Once you've built one of the world's most appreciated luxury sedans, what is a brand to do? If your name is Audi, you do your best to one-up the competition - and yourself - by introducing a fresh drivetrain. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI is part of the German automaker's push to extend its turbodiesel dominance across its entire lineup. The TDI engine under the hood of the new Audi A8 L TDI not only offers the power that Audi buyers have come to expect from the premium manufacturer, but it also delivers far better fuel mileage than many of its gas-only counterparts - an increasingly important attribute even for luxury marques.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI.
The big news for the 2013 Audi A8 L TDI is its new turbodiesel engine. This 3.0-liter unit, which has been deployed in other Audi models such as the Q7 full-size crossover (as well as its corporate sibling the Porsche Cayenne), is good for a healthy 240 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The TDI clean diesel engine is designed to reduce particulate emissions to a very low level - addressing old concerns about oil-burning motors being harmful to the environment - and attention has also been paid to keep its operation as quiet as possible so as not to intrude on the solemnity of the Audi A8 L TDI's passenger compartment.
02. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Comes With An Advanced Transmission
All versions of the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI are matched with the same eight-speed automatic transmission. This unit, which offers Tiptronic shifting for manual control over gear changes, is equipped with a torque converter in place of the dual clutch automated manual designs that are sprouting up across the segment. Few A8 L TDI owners will make use of the manual feature, but the torque converter allows for more comfortable, smoother shifting, especially at lower speeds, and it also comes with an automatic parking brake that engages as soon as the vehicle's ignition is switched off.
03. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Offers Standard All-Wheel Drive
The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI - like almost every model in the A8 lineup - features quattro all-wheel drive as standard equipment. This advanced all-wheel drive system splits the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6's output 40 percent to the front axles and 60 percent to the rear, offering excellent traction in all types of weather conditions. Quattro all-wheel drive also helps the A8 L TDI deliver a performance advantage on dry pavement as well, keeping the vehicle's serious torque production firmly planted on the tarmac and allowing it to reel off a zero to 60-mph time of 6.4 seconds.
04. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Boasts Good Fuel Efficiency
The primary reason for introducing a turbodiesel engine into the A8 family is to enjoy the fuel efficiency benefits that come with this type of technology. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI returns an EPA rating of 24-mpg in stop and go driving and 36-mpg on the highway, for a total combined rating of 28-mpg combined. This allows it to claim the status of 'most efficient German luxury full-size sedan,' beating both the Mercedes-Benz diesel-powered S-Class and BMW's hybrid 7 Series. In addition to its turbodiesel engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, the lightness imparted by the Audi A8 L's aluminum-intensive design also helps it at the fuel pump.
05. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Is The Brand's Flagship Sedan
The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI is one flavor of the German car company's flagship A8 full-size sedan. The decision to introduce a turbodiesel model at the very top of Audi's lineup has to do, of course, with prestige - but not necessarily that of the traditional variety. Greater numbers of well-to-do buyers are counting a low environmental impact as one of the key aspects of their automotive purchases, which means that hybrid drivetrains and turbodiesel models are coming into style. It also doesn't hurt that the A8 L TDI's horsepower and torque ratings are more than enough to make sure that performance doesn't suffer at the hands of eco-cred.
06. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Provides A Long-Wheelbase Design
The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI - as the 'L' in the model name might suggest - represents the long-wheelbase edition of the A8 sedan. The stretched-out platform offered by the Audi A8 L TDI is designed with the executive in mind, individuals who rarely drive their own vehicles but who are instead chauffeured from point A to point B. To this end, the A8 L TDI offers an additional five inches of leg room for those riding out back, to go with an extra one inch of headroom. A further advantage of the vehicle's longer wheelbase include a smoother ride thanks to an improved ability to soak up road insults and spread them over the length of the chassis.
07. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Is Luxuriously Equipped
The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI - befitting of a flagship luxury sedan - comes with a generous set of standard features. The vehicle's trunk and doors close using power assist, a rearview camera and parking sensors are included free of charge, and it also offers full leather seating, four zones of automatic climate control, automatic headlights, a keyless ignition and keyless entry feature, 19-inch rims, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Opting for the Premium trim introduces features such as LED headlights, additional safety equipment, 22-way adjustable front seats (including a massage feature) and wood trim.
08. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Can Be Had With Several Options Packages
The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI is quite customizable, as it features a number of options packages that can improve the comfort and tech quotient of the automobile. The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and the ability to load skis via a pass-through from the trunk to the rear seat, while the Front and Rear Comfort packages include heated and cooled almost-infinitely adjustable seating (front) as well as seat adjustments for the rear passenger. The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam headlights that can scout ahead for oncoming traffic, lane departure assistance, and a collision avoidance system.
09. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Is A Safe Car
In addition to the advanced safety features listed above in the Driver Assistance package, the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI also comes with side impact airbags mounted to the front and rear seats, full-length side curtain airbags, and dual forward airbags to help protect occupants in the event of a crash. Electronic stability control, traction control, and active front headrests also come standard with the Audi A8 L TDI, and it can be further equipped with optional safety features such as night vision and side assist. The latter works as a blind spot detection system that monitors the lanes on either side of the sedan.
10. The 2014 Audi A8 L TDI Is Priced Below The Competition
Despite its premium status and its impressive power and fuel efficiency, the 2014 Audi A8 L TDI is priced at considerably less than its main competitors. The Mercedes-Benz S350 Bluetec, a turbodiesel full-size luxury cruiser of the Audi's ilk, starts at an MSRP of $93,000, while the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 features an MSRP of $84,300. The Audi A8 L TDI checks in with a price tag of 'just' $83,300, sniping in underneath the BMW and obliterating the Mercedes-Benz from a value perspective. The price chasm becomes even greater when considering that the Audi A8 offers all-wheel drive (not found on its competitors), 30 percent better fuel economy than the S350 Bluetec, and 6-mpg better on the highway than the ActiveHybrid 7.