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|MAYNARD'S GARAGE- 2013 A8 Sedan Debuts New Supercharged V-6, Auto Start-Stop and $5,000 Price Cuts|
|Written by Mark Maynard Creative Syndicate|
|Thursday, 09 August 2012 02:36|
The A8 3.0T engine saves 50 pounds and has V8-like performance.
The 2013 Audi A8 flagship sedan will debut new engine families, showcasing a 333- horsepower, supercharged, 3.0-liter six-cylinder and the company’s first use of auto start-stop in North America.
The auto start-stop system, which switches off the engine at stops to save fuel and emissions, doesn’t get any credit or incremental mileage gain in the EPA testing, but Audi claims a possible improvement when auto start-stop is used. It can be switched off, such as when creeping along in stop-and-go traffic.
While power is up, pricing is down. Sold in standard and long wheelbase models, the3.0T starts at $73,095 and $79,395 for the LWB, including the $895 freight charge from Neckarsulm, Germany. Those are price cuts of $5,850 and $5,500 from the 2012 models.
By comparison, the V8- powered 2013 Mercedes-Benz S550 starts at $95,905, and the V6-powered S400 hybrid starts at $93,255. The 2013 BMW 740iL, with turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, starts at $79,090.
My long-wheelbase tester was $85,045, which included the $3,000 Driver Assistance Package of adaptive cruise control and features stop and go capability, lane departure assist, side assist (blind-spot warning) and Pre Sense Plus.
The V6 power is just 39 hp short of the V8, with torque just 3 foot-pounds fewer. Performance can be aggressive depending on urgency, but around-town driving is focused for fuel economy. Shifting to Sport mode brings a marked jump in throttle response. This car also has electronic controls to set just about every driving parameter, from steering and acceleration to suspension and from comfort to dynamic, sometimes mixing settings, such as a dynamic setting for suspension and comfort for steering. The much-evolved stopand- go adaptive cruise and Pre Sense Plus systems are about one generation away from creating a driverless car. The whole system works as if the car is going to protect itself from body damage. The adaptive cruise can be set at one to three car lengths from the vehicle ahead and can adjust speed all the way down to a stop and then reaccelerate.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 03:19|