2015 Audi A8

What's new for 2015? The Audi A8 receives a few updates for 2015 that include revised front-end styling with standard LED headlights, a bit more power for the A8 4.0T, a lane-keeping assist feature and a head-up display.

When it comes to flagship luxury sedans, models from Germany have dominated the segment for some time now. It's also true that within that group the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class have traditionally enjoyed the lion's share of popularity. But the 2015 Audi A8 could very well change people's perceptions, as it has all the right qualities expected of the class while also endearing itself to drivers who enjoy a sense of connectedness with the road.

Go with an Audi A8 and you'll be getting a supremely luxurious interior, top-of-the-line materials and an abundance of high-tech features. As with other luxury sedans in this class, the A8 provides ample power throughout the lineup, but it stands out for its appeal as a driver's car. Thanks to standard all-wheel drive, the A8 is blessed with confident road manners and tenacious grip on a winding mountain road. It may be a big sedan, but it won't necessarily seem like that when you're behind the wheel.

Usually, sharp handling capabilities come at the expense of ride comfort, but the A8 has no such shortcoming. It rides just as smoothly as its rivals and adequately isolates the passengers from the harshness of the outside world. Whether it's performing daily commuting duties or transporting lucky passengers on a lengthy road trip, the A8 offers many amenities and cosseting comfort that make it worthy of consideration as one of the best in its class.

Exterior Highlights
Large luxury sedan available in either normal or long-wheelbase versions

The 2015 Audi A8 is a large luxury sedan that is available in either normal or long-wheelbase versions for the six- and eight-cylinder gasoline-powered models. Diesel-powered TDI models and the range-topping W12 are available only in the long-wheelbase body style.

The base A8 3.0T trim is appointed with 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, heated and power-folding exterior mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, power door closers, an adaptive air suspension, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 14-way power adjustable front seats (with four-way power lumbar), front seat memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a power rear sunshade. Electronic features include in-car WiFi, an 8-inch display screen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Audi's MMI infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls, a rearview camera and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, iPod connectivity and satellite radio.

The eight-cylinder A8 4.0T includes all of the above plus interior active noise cancellation. Opting for any of the long-wheelbase versions adds the Warm Weather package (four-zone automatic climate control and power rear side sunshades), the Extended Leather package (leather-upholstered door armrests, center console and airbag cover), rear seat vanity mirrors and LED reading lights.

The long-wheelbase W12 further adds 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, dual-pane acoustic glass, variable-ratio steering, premium leather upholstery, a simulated suede headliner, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, a blind-spot monitoring system, a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system and a six-CD changer. Also included are the Cold Weather package (heated steering wheel, a rear seat cargo pass-through and heated rear seats), the Rear Seat Comfort package (separate rear power-adjustable outboard seats and rear seat ventilation with massage) and a fixed rear seat center console that reduces passenger capacity from five to four.

Many of the items featured in upper trims are available as packaged options in supporting models. Other notable add-ons include adaptive cruise control, a sport differential, enhanced steering, automatic high-beam control, night vision with pedestrian and animal detection, a lane-departure warning and keeping system, a sunroof with solar panels that power an auxiliary cooling fan, ventilated 18-way power-adjustable front seats, sport seats with diamond-stitched upholstery and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system. A variety of interior wood trim accents are also available.

In A8 W12 trim, additional options include the Executive Rear Seat Comfort package, which includes a power foot rest for the right rear passenger, a cool box in the rear center console and a household-type power outlet.

Excellent materials, smart design, high-tech features, 14-way adjustable seats, MMI infotainment interface, rearview camera

Among large luxury flagships, interiors are arguably one of the most important deciding factors. The 2015 Audi A8 rises to the occasion with excellent materials, smart design and an abundance of high-tech features. Most Audis are notable for their businesslike austere design, but the A8 is decidedly luxurious in its execution, using rich wood accents and supple leather surfaces to complement it.

Comfort is in no short supply, even with the standard 14-way adjustable front seats. Upgrading to the optional 18-way adjustable ventilated seats further enhances passenger satisfaction, and the massage functions should be enough to send most people over the edge (although certain competitors also offer them). That same level of decadence can also be enjoyed in the rear seats by upgrading to the Rear Seat Comfort package for long-wheelbase versions. Even without that option, rear passengers enjoy a wealth of space and amenities.

Audi's MMI infotainment interface should also meet the high expectations for the class with sharp graphics and quick responses to inputs. There's also a small pad on which you can trace letters and numbers with your fingertip to enter addresses or search for phone numbers and music.

Standard safety features for all 2015 Audi A8 models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and Audi's Pre-Sense system that pretensions seatbelts and closes the sunroof and windows if it detects heavy braking.

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