Road Test: 2013 Audi A8 L 3.0


My wife likes to think of cars as having personalities. If they were to come to life how would they look and act?

2013 Audi A8 L 3.0
2013 Audi A8 L 3.0

If that’s the case, and if the 2013 Auto A8 L 3.0T were a man, it’s the car that would steal my wife. Not because he meant to, but because he’d be so incredibly handsome, athletic and sophisticated that he couldn’t stop himself. Heck, I’d probably be throwing myself at him.

2013 Audi A8 L Driver Compartment
Inside the A8 is appropriately elegant

He’d be the kind of person who is always just slightly overdressed, but it never looks out of place. Partially because his suits would always fit just right. Nothing bulky or rumpled. Of course the fact that he’s a champion polo player (or some such high society athletic endeavor) known for his incredibly fit body would make him look even better. He could hold his own in most mano y mano foot races, but he’d always do it with style. This isn’t about showing off, it’s simply about winning. And he does that very well.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that he gives killer massages. Really.

2013 Audi V6 3.0 Liter Turbo
2013 Audi V6 3.0 Liter Turbo

The Audi A8 is the top of the Audi line. If you ever had doubts about Audi being able to challenge Mercedes, the A8 will put them to rest. It has power, handling and comfort galore. My test car had Audi’s base engine, a 3.0 liter turbocharged V6 that pumps out 333 horsepower. That’s a big change from last year’s V8 which had more than 30 additional horses. Surprisingly, the result is nearly the same. In fact, it’s 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds is slightly faster. So don’t let anyone who owns the V8 model talk trash about the V6. It deserves to be there. Fuel mileage is decent for a car this large, 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway. The 3.0 liter V6 is merely the entry-level in the A8 line. Next stop is an all new 4.0 liter biturbo V8 engine that produces 420 hp. It drops the 0-60 mph down to 4.7 seconds.Of course the big dog is the 500 horsepower 6.0 liter W12. Forget 0-60 talk, that beast is all about luxury.

If you really want to get your pulse racing (and a fair number of tickets), go for the S8. That will push you from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds.

2013 Audi A8 L
This is what the A8 looks like as it drives away from you

My A8 test car was the L version which adds an additional five inches to the car’s length. It also had the Sport Plus package that adds summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive steering and a sport differential. Most A8 drivers aren’t likely to get too sporty, but it is an option.

Come to think of it, just about everything is an option on the A8. It starts with the usual stuff like the convenience package (power trunk, keyless access, parking system with camera and power closing doors) or the comfort package (front seat ventilation, wood inlays and 22 way multi contour comfort seat). And then they just go crazy with stuff like night vision assist, panorama sunroof, LED headlights, warm weather packages and cold weather packages. You can tweak this car to be exactly what you want. For a price, of course.

2013 Audi A8 Massage Display
The A8’s Display lets you choose your massage.

Inside, forget six way power seats. The A8 has 18 way power seats that massage you. That’s right, they actually massage you. I’m not talking about a vibrating seat cushion. The Audi seat allows you to choose where and how you want to be massaged. And the front passenger gets the same treatment. That might account for the relaxed look on the faces of the people in the A8 that just passed you. And while the rear passengers don’t get a private masseuse, if you opt for the L model they do get an additional five inches of leg room so they can stretch out.

2013 Audi A8 L side view
The L version stretches the A8 an extra 5 inches

Outside, the A8 aims for and achieves understated elegance. The front end is anchored by Audi’s signature Singleframe grille, which has more than a passing resemblance to a knight’s shield. The A8 isn’t going for anything trendy or funky. Just as the simple black evening gown has lasted through the ages, this body style will likely do the same.

2013 Audi A8 L Rear Seat
Serious leg room in the L version

Entry price for this world is $78,500. My (somewhat) modestly equipped version came in at $85,995. If you want to wow the folks at the country club, the W12 model will start at $135,395 (plus a $2,100 gas guzzler charge). If you’re more interested in speed than luxury, the S8 will  begin at $110,895.

The good news is that the A8 is not a man. Which means my marriage is safe. That is, until my wife meets the man who owns the A8.








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