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(2005 model shown)
Coming in both regular- and long-wheelbase versions, the full-size A8 sedan blends comfort and performance with quiet elegance inside and out. The standard-length model comes amply powered by a 330-horsepower 4.2-liter V-8 engine, while the elongated A8L ups the ante by additionally offering a 6.0-liter W-12 powerplant. Added to the line last year, the W-12 (think two V-6s welded together at the sides and you have the general idea) generates a whopping 450 horsepower. Both engines come mated to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission that can be taken through the gears like a manual. An adaptive air suspension affords four separate ride settings to suit various drivers and conditions. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Audi's Electronic Stabilization Program are included. A long list of premium features includes a DVD navigation system with Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI). A diesel-powered A8 was previewed in Germany, but it's not likely to make its way to the American market soon. High-performance carbon ceramic brakes are added on the '06 12-cylinder version for added stopping abilities.