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Audi A8 & S8 get a facelift to stand up to the new Mercedes S Class

Thu, 22 Aug 2013

The Audi A8 (pictured) and S8 get a facelift for 2014

The Mercedes S Class has always been the benchmark against which all luxury saloons are measured, so with a new S-Class now heading for a Mercedes showroom near you, Audi are giving the A8 and S8 a facelift in the hope their sales will hold up. On the cosmetic front, the A8/S8 facelift is pretty much what you’d expect with a nip and tuck for the bumpers and grill, the odd new contour, bits of extra chrome and LED headlights. There’s also the option of Matrix LED headlights that light up to 25 individual LEDs to suit need.

Under the bonnet there are minor tweaks to the oily bits too.

The 3.0 litre diesel gets a bit more power (8bhp) and does a few more miles to the gallon (3.7), the 4.2 litre diesel now matches the power in the Cayenne – 385bhp and 627lb/ft of torque, the 3.0 litre petrol gets and extra 20bhp (now with 310bhp) and the S8 gets…no changes at all.

Other minor mechanical tweaks include the option of carbon ceramic brakes on the A8 as well as the S8, the 4.2 litre diesel gets the sport diff from the S8 and Audi have waved goodbye to the FWD 3.0 litre diesel.

There are more toys to play with – stuff like Adaptive Cruise, Active Lane Assist, Night Vision – and plenty of other options like a fridge and a power footrest if you’re paying with someone else’s money.

The Audi A8 is a good car, it’s just not inspiring. And this makeover seems almost a half-hearted effort to sprinkle a bit of new fairy dust on the A8 to five it a chance against the new S-Class. Which may be a vain hope.

What makes it worse is that it looks like Audi are planning something of a price hike for the 2014 A8. Which won’t help it against the S-Class one bit.

The 2014 Audi A8 facelift will debut at Frankfurt next month with firts customer cars reaching Audi’s UK showrooms in January 2014.

By Cars UK