2018 Audi A8 Performance

$59,582 - $82,666

2018 Audi A8 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Audi A8 was new.


Performance: 9.1

When it comes to performance, the 2018 Audi A8 seems to do everything well. Its engines are refined and powerful, and the base V6 is also one of the most fuel-efficient in the segment. For a vehicle this size, the A8 handles remarkably well, blending a comfortable ride with athletic handling.

  • "Combining an absurd amount of power with the refinement one expects from an executive luxury sedan makes for a highly enjoyable, if unusual, driving experience. Whether you're cruising along on the freeway or facing a red light with an empty street ahead, the Audi S8 always delivers satisfaction." -- Edmunds
  • "Calling Audi's full-size 2017 A8 a luxury sedan may be a bit deceptive, as this big cruiser is also quite the performer. Standard quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) coupled with a sophisticated 5-link front suspension helps the A8 round curves with utter confidence, and when the road gets rough the A8's adaptive air suspension has your backside." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The engines are satisfying in their own ways. The supercharged V6 is remarkably potent for its size, while the twin-turbo V8 is a fabulous choice for those who appreciate both speed and subtlety. It's strong, smooth and fuel efficient." -- Autotrader (2016)

Acceleration and Power

There are three different engines available in this lineup. Each is attached to a different trim level, and all come with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The A8 3.0, which is the base model, comes with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6. This 333-horsepower engine is more than enough to take on everyday driving scenarios, and gets better gas mileage on the highway than most in this class. Its fuel economy rating is 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

Searching for something meatier? Audi also offers a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. In the A8 4.0, this engine has a 450-horsepower rating and is able to reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Fuel economy does suffer, however. The A8 4.0 gets 16/26 mpg city/highway. This engine is also under the hood of the S8 Plus, where special tuning results in 605 horsepower. Acceleration is scorching with the S8 Plus (it sprints to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds), though gas mileage sees another drop to 14 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

  • "Is it a luxury sedan or a performance car? With the 2018 A8, you get both. The scales tip toward the latter in the A8 4.0T with its V8 engine, though even the standard supercharged V6 does a fine job hustling Audi's flagship up to speed. … The S8 will rocket you from 0 to 60 in a supercar-like 3.7 seconds, all while tackling corners like a smaller and lither car." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With its seemingly endless power and surprisingly good fuel economy, the V8-equipped 4.0T Sport is our favorite in the 2017 Audi A8 lineup. Of course, the supercharged V6 in the A8 3.0T provides brisk response in pretty much any driving situation, but the V8 model gets up to speed with such grace and confidence that we're pretty sure you'll be smitten with it. Indeed, it's thrilling enough to stand in for the pricier S8 performance model, unless you simply must have the fastest A8 variant." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The impressive eight-speed automatic transmission shifts almost imperceptibly and optimizes both performance and fuel economy. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow for manual shift overrides." -- Consumer Reports (2017)

Handling and Braking

All A8 models come with Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive and an air suspension system. The tuning of this suspension, along with precise steering, makes the A8 handle like a smaller car. It has very little body lean in corners. At the same time, this is still a proper luxury sedan, and its ride is both smooth and quiet.

  • "All A8 models have a fine degree of finesse and comfort thanks to standard air suspension and all-wheel drive, the latter especially appreciated in cold-weather states. In our time with an A8 high in the Rocky Mountains, we found it to be quiet and exceedingly comfortable in everyday driving. The S8, a driver's car, danced through corners." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Standard all-wheel drive provides sure-footed roadholding all year round, while the well-tuned suspension and intuitive steering response allow this big sedan to go around tight turns like a smaller car. Drivers with high expectations for performance and handling should be quite happy with the Audi A8. What's more, the A8 still delivers the superb ride comfort expected of an elite luxury sedan. The standard air suspension smooths out rough pavement with ease, and the cabin remains quiet as a crypt." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Despite its large girth, the A8 handles well. It feels solid and there's little body lean. The precise steering is quick and communicative but feels heavy, especially at low speeds. Setting the suspension to its 'comfort' mode somewhat reduces steering weight and makes the suspension feel softer. The all-wheel drive operates transparently and this car felt particularly sure-footed on snowy roads. The wide, 43-foot turning circle can be a chore in tight spaces." -- Consumer Reports (2017)

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