2016 Audi A8 L 4.0T Sport
Introduced in 2009, the current-generation Audi A8L received a significant update in 2013, and by the looks of things, the full-size sedan isn’t due to be replaced until 2017. That, however, doesn’t mean Ingolstadt will rest on its laurels for two more years and leave the A8 unchanged. The German flagship has already received its most powerful iteration ever as the A8 Plus in 2015, and with 2016 right around the corner the long-wheelbase version is in for a few improvements of its own — at least in 4.0T trim.
The model that slots between the 3.0 TFSI/3.0 TDI and the W12 has gained new visuals and an equipment update for 2016, along with a more powerful V-8 engine and a "Sport" badge. The good news is that the upgraded model costs only $100 more than last year’s car, which is quite surprising given Audi’s latest releases stood out through expensive options such as the SQ5 Plus’ exclusive Macaw Blue package — a ridiculous €12,000 bundle consisting of an exterior paint and contrast stitching for the upholstery.
The revised A8 L 4.0T joins the recently updated A8 L Security, which was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show with class VR 9 ballistic protection standard for customers in need of a bullet-proof limousine. The 3.0 TFSI, 3.0 TDI, and W12 are also likely to receive upgrades by the time the next-generation A8 arrives, but until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the 4.0T model.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi A8 L 4.0T Sport.
2016 Audi A8 L 4.0T Sport
Horsepower @ RPM:450
0-60 time:4.6 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:130 mph
The 2016 version is in many ways a long-wheelbase version of the S8.
For a mild update outside the mid-cycle facelift, the 4.0T Sport received quite a few changes, including a front bumper that gives the sedan a sportier appearance. While last year’s model looked rather subdued (I’d dare say a bit dull), the 2016 version is in many ways a long-wheelbase version of the S8. The lower bumper is actually identical to the S8’s, featuring revised side intakes with honeycomb mesh and a protruding splitter. The horizontal inserts in the intakes are also similar, although they’re painted black on the A8 L and lack the fog lamps. The main grille, on the other hand, carries over unchanged and keeps its chrome trim.
The rear bumper was also revised, gaining a more aggressive design and losing its chrome strip. Moving onto the sides, there are beefier rocker panels and a pair of gorgeous five-spoke rims. These are available as either 20-inch units wrapped in all-season tires or 21-inch rollers with summer tires. Audi also removed the chrome in the side skirts to give the 4.0T an even closer resemblance to the performance-oriented S8. Granted, the "Sport" in its name isn’t just for commercial purposes.
Note: standard Audi A8 pictured here.
On the inside, the sportier 4.0T comes with standard Executive and Luxury packages. The Luxury bundle adds Balao Brown Valcona leather seating surfaces with diamond stitching and a Snow White Alcantara headliner. The Executive package brings in both the Premium and Cold Weather packages, which include ventilated, 22-way adjustable front seats with massage function, head-up display, Audi Side Assist with Audi Pre Sense Rear, a top view camera system, rear-seat pass-through, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel with shift paddles. Additionally, the Executive bundle also includes a panoramic sunroof.
The 4.0T Sport is only two packages away from becoming a fully equipped A8 L.
Both packages cost $8,500 when purchased individually.
Other standard features include four-zone automatic climate control, power tilt and telescopic steering column, dual-pane acoustic glass, two 12-volt power outlets, ambient LED lighting, and a leather-wrapped gear-shift lever. With so many features offered as standard, the 4.0T Sport is only two packages away from becoming a fully equipped A8 L. If you want the works, all you need to do is add the Rear Seat Comfort and Driver Assistance package.
There’s big news under the hood as well. Though most similar updates do not alter the drivetrain, the Sport badge adds an extra 15 horsepower to the 4.0T. Specifically, the turbocharged, 4.0-liter V-8 engine now cranks out 450 horsepower and 444 pound-feet of torque, only 50 horses and 19 pound-feet fewer than the range-topping A8 L W12. Audi didn’t say how quick the updated 4.0T is from 0 to 60, but it should take around 4.6 seconds to hit the benchmark. The sedan’s top speed remains unchanged at 130 mph. Naturally, the V-8 engine mates to an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and a Quattro all-wheel drive system.
Like most luxury cars, the A8 L 4.0T Sport is equipped with many standard safety features. The sedan gets dual-stage airbags for both the driver and the passenger, as well as front thorax side bags, knee airbags, and head curtain airbags. The rear passengers also get thorax side airbags.
The power central locking system features safety unlock if airbags deploy, while the both the driver and front passenger have safety belt reminders. Other systems include Anti-lock Brake System with secondary collision brake assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), a tire-pressure monitoring system, an anti-theft alarm with immobilizer, and lower anchors and tethers for children in the rear seats.
Pricing for the 2016 A8 L 4.0T Sport starts from $90,500, which accounts for a $100 premium over last year’s model. The sticker doesn’t include destination charge, taxes, and title, as well as other options available for this model.
For instance, for $5,900 you can add comfort front seats in Balao Brown Valcona leather without the diamond-pattern stitching and the same amount will get you Balsamic Brown Natural Fine Grain Ash Wood upper inlays for the dashboard and door panels. The 21-inch, five-arm-structure wheels depicted in the photos cost $1,200.
There’s also the Rear Seat Comfort package at $2,500, adding power outboard rear seats with lumbar adjustment (five-passenger configuration), ventilation and massage function, and a front passenger seat power adjustment from the rear seat. For $2,250, you can also get the High-Beam Assistant, Audi Pre Sense Plus, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go as part of the Driver Assistance package.
A particularly interesting package for this big limousine is the $2,500 Dynamic package with the Quattro Sport differential and Dynamic steering. It won’t turn the 4.0T Sport into a track beast, but it will provide a more spirited experience behind the wheel. Other options include the Audi Design Selection ($5,900), a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System ($6,300), Night Vision Assistant ($2,300), and Rear Seat Entertainment ($3,000).
All told, a fully loaded 4.0T Sport will fetch $116,450, which is as much as an Audi S8 or a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.
Redesigned from the ground up for 2016, the BMW 7 Series has yet to receive a long-wheelbase version in the U.S., but its new platform, lightweight components, and revised styling make it a good option against the A8 L. In the U.S., power comes from two engines. There’s the 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque and the 4.4-liter V-8 that cranks out 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of twist. The V-8 model needs 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. Pricing starts from $81,300 for the base 740i trim and from $97,400 for the 750i xDrive model.
Read more about the BMW 7 Series here.
Launched for 2016, the CT6 is Cadillac’s long-awaited rival for the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Although not a very significant departure from the current Art and Science design theme of the CTS, the CT6 does have a commanding appearance and classic luxury-car proportions. Inside, it comes with many features its German competitors can’t offer, including a 2.2-liter center console storage unit and a 10.2-inch display. Fans of V-8 engines will be disappointed by the CT6’s current drivetrain lineup, which only includes four-cylinder and V-6 powerplants. The range-topping model features a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 400 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic. But even though it doesn’t have the 4.0T Sport’s output, the CT6 is about 700 pounds lighter.
Find out more about the Cadillac CT6 here.
Though it’s not the most powerful A8 L out there, the 4.0T is definitely the sportiest now that it has received a more aggressive front apron and blacked-out exterior. Audi did just enough to keep it fresh for a couple of years, but U.S. sales are likely to drop with the new BMW 7 Series and Cadillac CT6 in dealerships. If you’re looking for that extra legroom in the rear passenger area and you agree with the A8’s subdued design, than the 4.0T Sport is a pretty good option.