Last post on Jul 23, 2010 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Audi A8
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Audi A8, Sedan
#13 of 1483 My not so joyful A8 experiences
Aug 10, 1999 (1:41 pm)
I own an A8 4.2l 1998 and have some non
theoretical experiences to share.
1. It takes a hell of a long time to get the AL
automobile fixed. I was run off the road at a high
speed clover leaf access and what looked like a
safe run off zone had a hidden 4' deep drainage
ditch. Over three months w/o my ten day old car.
Cost to my insurance company $27,000.
2. Rear vision from the driver's seat is
dangerously poor. The passenger's outside mirror is
small and awful with several major blind spots on
the right. Driver's side is a little better,
however, compared to the S class cars I have driven
it is outrageous that Audi would do such a
shameful job on the safety details. Directly out
the rear window there are major blind areas due to
the very large rear seat head rests. In addition
the C pillar's design was deemed production ready
The 1991 date came from one of two books Audi
sends its' A8 owners. I am still surprised at the
emphasis made about the C pillar size being fixed
as it is by management. Between the head rests and
the fat pillars there are two very large blind
spots to the right and left when backing up or
using the rear view mirror.
I requested modification to the rear head rests
before delivery. I received what has become a stock
answer from Audi "No, the car passed all safety
requirements......." My dealings with Audi for the
past 19 months have been an ongoing nightmare of
duplicity, arrogance, and unprofessional. My worst
Dealer and Manufacture experience in 41 years of
The Audi dynamic still puzzles me since their
advertisements, image, and history are performance
related. My dealer started off very positively
about several changes I wanted to make after
driving the car for 4-5k miles. What a shock to
have exhaust and brake upgrades refused after the
dealer conferred with the area representative for
Audi. The most disturbing aspect about the refusal
was being treated like a "slow child" and treated
in a very unpleasant manner.
It seems that when my dealer confers with the Audi
represenative that their formerly friendly and
willingness to participate, if not doing the work
helping acquire parts and provide referrals to
competent Audi qualified Tuner/Mechanics.
These are among the high points of my ongoing
"enthusiastic" discussions with Audi. My most
recent service, first oil change, detailing, a few
clunks from the front end, and an intermittent
problem with the entry remote system was awful. I
sent the car right back with a five point re do
list including the remote control being totally non
functional when my A8 was returned. My A8 has been
at the dealer for three and one half weeks and
still the entry remote does not work.
The A8 is a fine car to drive, some times anyway,
ie: when no one is passing on the right or left
side with a speed differential > 20 MPH over my 80
mph on the interstate. Too many near misses when
making a signaled lane change that includes LOOK
out the window in the direction you are going to
double check for any UFO's closing rapidly. Only my
1988 Honda CRX SI, "Car of the Year" was worse for
rear vision and I sold it after 9 months of
Beautiful execution of detail and refinement
marred by inexplicable safety deficiencies: vision
and awkwardness using the dash controls for
heat/cool and radio. Far too distracting for the
driver. The two companies supplying rear view
mirrors, the center one inside, are Gentex and
Donnelley? Both of these manufacture's offer
mirrors with a compass integrated into the mirror.
Quite similar to my wife's Grand Cherokee LTD. In
the Audi models prior to 99 or 00 that incorporate
a GPS unit as part of the front center console. I
want my damned compass and feel mildly miffed that
I need to pay $180 - $250 for a mirror
incorporating a compass.
I wonder if the close association of the Audi R &
D / manufacturing creates a "Not Invented Here"
syndrome? This may account for the lack of
forethought oversights that are so annoying with
the A8. IE: NOT TETHER FOR THE GAS CAP OR PLACE TO
SECURE IT. This oversight is a grade three fubar.
Should you avoid the A8? I'm neither qualified to
have an opinion per: Audi, or intelligent enough to make wise decisions per: Dealer. Funny I'm the gentleman who paid $70k (taxes tags etc.) for a fully loaded, every option except 17" wheels for the A8. My experience is an ongoing aggravation in the extreme, and I hope your experiences with your dealer and Audi of America are far more positive than mine are.
Anonymous and angry.
PS: I investigate "parktronic" equipment to
compensate for the lack of safe rear vision when
backing up and decided up a Microwave 10 ghz unit
with a transceiver mounted on a license plate
bracket and a small annunciator and visual display
that provides both three levels 3' 6' 12' alerting
to obsticals behind the car when in reverse. I
asked my dealer to install it. 2 wires without
polarity consideration for voltage and running the
audio/visual alert head (2" x 3/4 x 1").
My dealer's service manager called me up in a huff
about my requesting they install aftermarket parts
on my A8. Audi rep said NO. Dealership said if
they wanted to do aftermarket they'd go to work for BestBuy or Circuit City.
#14 of 1483 Quiet huh?
Sep 14, 1999 (7:02 am)
Nobody has anything else to say about this wonderful car? Anybody looking foward to the 2000 model?
#15 of 1483 Too quiet
Sep 16, 1999 (1:19 pm)
Yes, Merc1, I am looking forward to the 2000 A8 and wish there was more info about it out there. I am told Audi intends to increase the horse power from 300 to about 365, in order to keep the A8 ahead of the new A6, which gets the 4.2 300 hp engine from A8 this year. I wish Audi would release some info on the 2000 models; maybe Audi is not Y2K Compliant yet.
Sep 17, 1999 (1:40 am)
I am considering the purchase of a either an A8 or a 540 (most likely used). I'm looking for feedback from folks who have driven both. Any comments/experience to share?
#17 of 1483 540 or A8? A8
Sep 17, 1999 (2:02 am)
An interesting choice, especially because the (used) 540 will be considerably less expensive than the A8. I had a 540 before the recent body style change, and thought it was the best car I had ever driven. The new 540 is also a BLAST to drive, but I can't get past the fact that BMW has opted for a body designed by wind-tunnel engineers. The new 540 now looks like every thing else on the road, especially like a Honda from behind (though the front is still pretty striking).
I'd like a 540, if they hadn't ruined its design. Also, if winter driving is a concern, then there is no comparing the A8 Quattro to a 540 rear wheel drive (BMW can keep the "traction control").
For me, the A8 still has some character in body style (though it is, admittedly, no 740/750). And the attention to detail in the passenger cabin is absolutely to my liking.
As a pure matter of road manners (cornering, handling, ride, etc.) I think it is a coin flip between these two choices. Will either be a dream? Yup. But the A8 will set you back a number of $$ more.
Good choices and good luck.
#18 of 1483 2000 A8 info
Sep 17, 1999 (6:26 pm)
1) The engine is getting a 5-valve per cylinder head (40 valves total) with a modest 10 hp and 7 lb-ft torque gain. Therefore, the horesepower is (only) 310. Throttle response is supposedly improved for better low end power. Additional aluminum suspension components have dropped the weight by about 100 lbs.
2) The A8 3.7 model has been discontinued.
3) The base MSRP has been reduced to $62,000.
4) A new front grille, revised door handles, and revised front apron change with foglights are the main exterior changes.
5) Interior upgrades include a revised center console with Symphony stereo (in-dash CD/cassette).
6) New options include park distance control, and navigation system.
For exact invoice and MSRP, you can visit the www.a4.org A8/S8 forum.
#19 of 1483 '00 A8 MSRP/Invoice prices
Sep 17, 1999 (6:41 pm)
These prices were posted by an Audi dealer on A4.org forums. Kelly Blue Book web site might have these prices up by now. As you can see, there is still a sizeable difference between base invoice and MSRP prices. Considering that this wonderful sedan doesn't sell all that well, it should be possible to buy one close to invoice prices. I imagine that the massive dealer incentives won't be available for the '00 A8 right away. Perhaps later in the model year, Audi will bring back similar incentives (up to $7,500 now!) to move the A8's.
Note that the navigation system is not the full- screen type with maps. It's a simple design with simple directions and voice (same as A4 and A6).
MSRP for '00 A8 4.2 quattro:
base - $62000
warm weather pkg - $1200
premium comfort pkg - $1500
xenon - $500
17" wheels - $1000
navigation - $1100
acoustic parking - $700
ESP - $550 (electronic stability program)
premium alcantara - $3500
phone - $495
destination - $525
Invoice prices for '00 A8 4.2 quattro
base - $54805
warm weather pkg - $1056
premium comfort pkg - $1320
xenon - $440
17" wheels - $880
navigation - $968
acoustic parking - $616
ESP - $484
premium alcantara - $3080
phone - $431
Sep 22, 1999 (8:53 pm)
Has anyone been able to take advantage of the $7500 dealer incentive on a '99? If my math is right, a 4.2 Quattro with Warm and Electronics packages can be had for around 53.5K and that would still give the dealer a $1000 profit. Given this current incentives, are these '99s hard to find. I'm in CT.
#21 of 1483 To syketa R.E. 540 vs A8
Oct 01, 1999 (9:30 pm)
Thanks for the input. Sorry, I understand the confusion based on my wording. I meant I was considering both used A8's as well as used 540's. I bought a '97 A8 yesterday with 9K miles on it (yes 9,000) for about $6K more that I could find a minimally equipped 540 of the same vintage with much higher mileage. I had an '87 BMW L-7 with a limited slip diff. so I have some idea what BMW's are like in winter driving conditions. I know I did the right thing for my driving needs.
#22 of 1483 Car & Driver comparison test
Oct 02, 1999 (1:09 am)
The November issue of Car & Driver has a 5-way comparison test of luxury sedans. Here is the order of finish:
1) BMW 740iL
2) Lexus LS400
3) Audi A8 4.2 quattro
4) Mercedes Benz S430
5) Jaguar XJ8
The A8 finished with 90 points, 3 points behind the winner and 1 point behind the LS400. The A8 had the strongest acceleration among the group, although all the numbers seem on the high side (A8 was fastest in 0-60 at 7.0 seconds). Lexus claimes that the LS400 accelerates to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. Well in this test, the LS400 was about a full second slower.
The A8 lost points for relatively harsh ride, weak brakes, excessive tire noise and lack of adequate room in the back for three passengers. The base and as-tested prices listed for the A8 seem to be about 5 grand too high ($67,500 base vs actual $62,000). Also, the vehicle weight is listed at over 4000 lbs. It was my impression that the '00 model weighs close to 3850 lbs with the additional use of aluminum suspension components.
By the way, the revised interior of the A8 (as shown in one of the pictures) is simply gorgeous.