What's New for 2000
Updated styling in the form of a revised grille, enlarged headlights, added chrome and aluminum trim and reshaped bumpers provides a subtle new look. Inside, new interior surfaces and standard Valcona leather intensify an already richly appointed cabin. Revised switchgear makes it easier to pilot the A8, and a new navigation system is available. A new 4.2-liter, 40-valve V8 resides under the hood, and aluminum suspension components reduce unsprung weight and enhance handling. A long wheelbase version (A8L) is now available for increased comfort of rear passengers, and comes standard with an electronic stability control system and navigation system.
Introduced in 1997, he A8 is aging gracefully. Sporting senior A4 styling, sumptuous interior appointments, and the revolutionary Audi Space Frame (ASF), the A8 is lighter, tighter and more responsive than many other super-luxury competitors. But to remain competitive, Audi has subtly updated its flagship sedan with numerous improvements for 2000.
The highly regarded ASF remains intact this year. Employing lightweight aluminum-alloy construction, ASF is designed to provide superior structural rigidity, improved handling and responsiveness, better fuel efficiency and easier recycling. Audi furthers the use of aluminum in the A8 for 2000 by adding suspension components constructed of the stuff to reduce unsprung weight and improve responsiveness and handling. Improvements in ride comfort are also on tap for 2000.
Two models are available for 2000. The A8 4.2 Quattro, which has all-wheel drive, is powered by a new 310-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8 engine under the hood. Sporting 40-valves, this new V8 makes peak power between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm. It's smoother, more responsive, and more fuel-efficient than last year's motor. Then there's the A8 L, which adds five inches to the standard A8's wheelbase, yielding increased legroom for rear passengers.
The safety of your passengers is a priority in the A8. This year, Audi adds its Sideguard head airbag system to the A8. Sideguard consists of inflatable curtain airbags installed in the headliner along each side of the car, which cover the windows in the event of an accident. These airbags, remain inflated for five seconds to protect the head in case the vehicle rolls over.
Audi's vaunted quattro all-wheel-drive system is standard. Additionally, Electronic Differential Locking (EDL) provides low-speed traction control operating through the standard ABS. Optional on the A8 and standard on the L is the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which is designed to make the car easier to control near the limits of adhesion.
Inside, drivers will find a revised interior slathered in real wood and new-for-2000 Valcona leather upholstery. Instrumentation has also been updated for 2000, and it's superbly user-friendly. A navigation system is standard on the L and optional on the A8, eschewing the traditional in-dash screen in favor of a more subdued readout that shares space with the information center in the gauge cluster.
Despite its rather expensive price tag, the A8's technological advances and long list of standard equipment should prove desirable enough to continue bringing BMW, Lexus and Benz intenders into Audi showrooms.