When Audi showed the 2013 A8 3.0T at the Detroit auto show, it claimed the 333-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that replaced the 372-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 would achieve better fuel economy. And what would the gain be? Well, according to the EPA, there isn’t a gain.
The new A8’s V-6 has been rated by the EPA for 18 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, exactly the same as last year’s car with the 4.2-liter V-8. So what’s the point? Well, Audi says that the six-cylinder should push the A8’s base price from $ 79,625 closer to the price of entry for BMW’s 7-series, $ 71,895. On top of that, it’s still more fuel-efficient than the base 740i or S550. Even if the EPA numbers for the six-cylinder aren’t better than the eight’s, we imagine real-world mileage will improve through means of Audi’s stop-start technology.
Audi’s expansion of its flagship lineup creates a hole for V-8 power. The new S8 will get a 520-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, and we imagine that a detuned version of this powerplant could well slot into the price gap left by the 4.2-liter’s departure. The six-cylinder A8 will hit showrooms this summer.