With CAFÉ standards taking effect, seeing engines downsizing across the board are pretty much a daily occurrence, as automakers scramble to increase their average fuel economy. So, to see Audi scrapping the 4.2-liter V-8 option in the A8 was really no shock, but the actual numbers game just does not quite add up to us.
The replacement engine for the 4.2-liter is a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine that pumps out 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The horsepower drop is substantial between the 4.2-liter and 3-liter engines at a 39-pony drop, but the torque of the blower-equipped V-6 is only 3 pound-feet lower than the 4.2-liter. That’s all well and good, as long as this change over was to help it satisfy the fuel economy needs of drivers, but that’s not the case, as the EPA rates the 3.0-liter engine at 17 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, which is 1 mpg lower than the V-8 in the city and the same mpg on the highway.
The only area that customers are saving is in the pricing arena, as Audi is sheering off $6,530 from the 2012 Audi A8 4.2’s price, placing the new 2013 Audi A8 3.0T’s price at $73,095. According to Audi, it will be releasing a new V-8 in the Fall, so we’ll see if this engine will pump out the same ponies as the 4.2-liter did.
We will keep a close eye on this one, as we are all for increased mpg and lower emissions, but not at the expense of horsepower. Horsepower robbing is exactly why we pretty much cleared our minds of any American cars built from 1973 through 1988. Let’s not let this new crunch turn into the great horsepower massacre II…
gallery: Audi A8