Primary Navigation Mobile

There is a newer version of this car Read the latest Audi A8 Saloon review here

Audi A8 Saloon engines, drive and performance

1994 - 2002 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

When the A8 was initially launched, Audi only had a limited number of diesels in it’s line up and none of them ever made it into the luxury saloon. As a result the only engines are large petrol units, all of which are pretty thirsty so you can expect regular and pricey trips to the pumps. The entry-level car is the 2.8-litre with 193 bhp but thanks to the A8s lightweight aluminium construction it is still quick.

The 3.7-litre and 4.2-litre V8s are potent and for even more performance there’s an S8 version with 360bhp on tap that delivers sports car performance with effortless power delivery.

Although it’s a big car length-wise, it’s the A8s width that will cause the most problems, especially in narrow streets. It handles well for a large car though, although on more demanding roads you’re always aware of the considerable weight. The quattro four-wheel-drive makes the A8 an especially agile car, whether the road surface is wet or dry and means excellent traction at all times.

The controls are light, the steering precise, while the auto gearbox works well.