The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI is the newest luxury sedan powered by a six-cylinder instead of an eight, more proof that the engine downsizing trend is hitting all segments. At first, it’s odd to find something smaller than a V-8 or a mighty W-12 under the A8’s hood, but this is the second V-6 Audi has recently stuffed under the A8’s hood, after the 3.0T model’s gas-powered, supercharged 3.0-liter.
In TDI trim, the A8 gets a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel that sends 240 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine’s most noteworthy benefit, of course, is its best-in-class fuel economy. EPA-rated at 24/36 mpg city/highway (beating the 3.0T by 6 city and 8 hwy mpg), the engine works in tandem with the A8’s 23.8-gallon fuel tank to produce a bladder-punishing range of more than 800 miles.
The oil-burning engine is no slouch, either. Running from 0-60 mph took 5.8 seconds (half a second slower than the 3.0T) and the quarter mile required 14.5 seconds with a trap speed of 92.6 mph (13.8 seconds at 101.3 mph for the 3.0T). What these times don’t convey, however, is the experience from behind the wheel. Step on the go pedal from a stop and the tach needle doesn’t move much before you feel the engine churn out all the torque it’s got. Acceleration is smooth, quiet, and effortless, with the engine humming at an easy-breezy 1700 rpm once you’ve reached highway speeds of 70-80 mph.
Complementing the powertrain is a solid chassis highlighted by an adaptive air suspension that ensures the A8 glides on the road. If there’s a pothole out there that fazes this large Audi, I haven’t found it. The A8 also feels relatively light on its feet, responding well to steering inputs and staying planted through corners. Much credit goes to its aluminum body construction, which enables the A8’s comparatively light curb weight of 4529 pounds.
The interior is heavy with luxury and tech. Our 2014 A8 L tester featured a gorgeous two-toned Nougat brown and black color scheme. Accents included a mix of polished burl walnut, piano black inlays, and metallic trim. Standard items for the $83,395 base price include four-zone climate control, navigation, and power rear sunshades. (The TDI is only offered with the long-wheelbase variant.) That’s $3700 more than the base A8 3.0T L, but $5100 cheaper than the 4.0T L. Our tester totaled $99,445, with the biggest chunk of that going to the $6300 Bang & Olufsen sound system. Next up is a $4000 Premium package that adds blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, and 22-way adjustable and massaging front seats that alone are worth the premium. A Driver Assistance package ($3250) includes high-beam assist, lane keeping assist, and an adaptive cruise control that also has the ability to bring the A8 to a full stop and accelerate (perfect for traffic). The cruise control stalk is a bit hidden on the lower left side of the steering wheel column, which is fine during the day, but harder to operate at night because it’s not illuminated, though an owner should be able to memorize the functions after repeated use. The package also comes with a topview camera system, a helpful tool for nervous parkers as it provides a clear 360-degree view of obstacles surrounding the large sedan. Completing the options list is a panorama roof ($1300) and 20-inch rims ($1200).
From a value standpoint, the A8 L TDI starts to look more attractive when compared to its closest competitor, the Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec. The outgoing 2013 model costs almost $10,000 more, yet is 1.2 seconds slower to 60 mph despite having a bit more torque. To be fair, the all-new 2014 S-Class is around the corner and we’re eager to see what changes, if any, Benz will make to its diesel powerplant. For now, the A8 is the king of luxury diesels.
10 Quick Tips For 2014 Audi A8l | 2014 audi a8l – 2014 audi a8l
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