2001 A8 New Car Test Drive
Audi's A8 is big, fast and exceptionally comfortable. It rides like a luxury car, yet handles like a sports sedan. It's a rock at high speeds, extremely stable.
Those things can be said for most, if not all, cars in the $60,000-plus price range. Buyers in this class expect the best of everything, and they should. The A8, however, differs from its competitors in two key ways. All-aluminum construction yields lighter weight and increased crash protection; and quattro all-wheel drive provides a measure of security and outright grip that is only available with that four-circle badge.
Two models comprise the A8 model line, A8 ($62,200) and A8 L ($67,900). Related to these is a high-performance variant called the S8 ($72,500).
A8 4.2 comes with a 310-horsepower 4.2-liter V8, 5-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, and quattro all-wheel drive. (The smaller 3.7-liter V8 option has been dropped for 2001.)
A8 L is a longer-wheelbase version with greater rear-seat leg and head room.
S8 is propelled by a stouter version of the 4.2-liter powerplant that produces 360 horsepower. It comes with a sports suspension and big brakes.