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2021 Audi A8 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

The 2021 Audi A8 has a supple ride, and its optional engines help deliver brisk acceleration. The standard engine is a bit meek, and fuel economy is poor across the lineup.

  • "If ever there was a car designed for comfortable Interstate travel, the Audi A8 is it. As stated, it gobbles up the miles with ease, and it’s so quiet and smooth and solidly built that it makes 75 or 80 mph feel like about 60. No surprise that this sedan comes from the land of the high-speed Autobahn." -- Autotrader
  • "Packed with innovation, the Audi A8 is easy to drive and unexpectedly athletic." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "At least the Audi A8 is pleasant in motion, thanks to its breezy drivetrain, a rather well-isolated chassis, and competent, bump-soaking suspension. Though laden with a trove of technological bells and whistles, the dynamic fundamentals are sound, if a bit understated." -- Automobile Magazine (2019)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque (55 TFSI Quattro)
  • Available powertrains:
    • twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with 453 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque (60 TFSI Quattro)
    • turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and electric motor with a combined 443 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque (60 TFSI e Quattro)
    • twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with 563 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque (S8)
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

The base Audi A8 has decent acceleration, but it feels a little understated. All three of the car's higher trims have stronger powertrains and are more engaging to drive.

  • "Everything about the A8 is smooth and accommodating, and power delivery is no exception. While the V6 in the A8 L 55 TFSI Quattro has plenty of power for a 4,775-pound car, this A8 isn’t especially quick. Much better is the acceleration and passing power provided by the 453-horsepower turbocharged V8 of the A8 L 60 TFSI Quattro or the 443-horsepower PHEV powertrain in the A8 L 60 TFSI e Quattro model." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Audi's engine is smooth, but there's no fanfare to its power delivery, and sound-deadening measures are so extensive that it's practically inaudible with the windows up." -- Car and Driver
  • "The driving experience of the 2021 Audi A8 is best characterized as smooth and refined, with more than ample power (especially in the V8-powered A8 60 TFSI models)." -- Autotrader

MPG Estimates

The Audi A8's fuel economy is subpar compared to other super luxury cars.

  • 55 TFSI Quattro: 17/26 mpg city/highway
  • 60 TFSI Quattro: 15/23 mpg
  • TFSI e Quattro: 54 MPG-equivalent
  • S8: 13/22 mpg

Handling and Braking

The A8 prioritizes ride comfort over handling and agility, but its overall demeanor is a nice blend of the two. All-wheel drive and an adaptive air suspension are standard. Options include rear-wheel steering, an active suspension, a sport differential, and ceramic brakes.

  • "Handling dynamics are impressively buttoned-down, although the response is more satisfying than exciting. Rear-wheel steering, part of the Black Optic Package, makes the A8 feel smaller than it is by helping to tighten this large sedan’s turning radius." -- Autotrader
  • "The A8 offers a very Audi-like blend of athleticism and ride comfort. … With the base suspension, the Audi A8 isolates you from road irregularities but can still hammer down a back road when the mood strikes." -- Car and Driver
  • "Ride quality is pleasant, and miles easily tick by. At 75 mph, it feels like you’re driving at about 50." -- Kelley Blue Book
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2021 Audi A8

MSRP: $86,500 - $130,900

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