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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

2022 Audi A8 lineup slims down, gets a little fancier

Audi decided to rationalize its 2022 A8 lineup, handing S8 buyers a huge discount over 2021 in the process. Instead of last year’s four trims and four engine specifications, the new range includes merely two of each. The A8 60 series is gone, taking its six-cylinder PHEV powertrain and its lesser-powered V8 with it. There’s the carryover, entry-level A8 L 55 with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder making 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It costs $85,500 before the $1,095 destination, for $86,595 total, just $50 more than last year. Then there’s the carryover S8 with its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 belting out 563 hp and 590 lb-ft. Audi dropped the price to $117,995 after destination, a $14,250 drop from 2021.

The U.S. launch means we’re getting the refreshed design launched in Europe three months ago. The A8 receives a redesigned front end characterized by more precise matrix LED headlights, a wider, reshaped grille that ditches the horizontal slats in favor of a repeating, angular pattern and a sportier-looking bumper. In our market, the A8 will come standard with Audi’s S Line exterior package, making the grille black and affixing a muscular body kit. Out back, the OLED taillights linked by an LED light strip gain a function that changes their signature depending on the driving mode selected, among other parameters, and the rear diffuser insert gets redesigned horizontal bars. The S8 gets most of that, differentiated by an even wider grille in front and its large four exhaust pipes. Black Optic and Black Optic Plus packages can put even more of the dark stuff outside. For those not so into black, four new colors are are Firmament Blue, Manhattan Gray, Metallic District Green and Ultra Blue. For those not so into metallics and ultras, there are five new matte finishes in Daytona Gray, District Green, Floret Silver, Glacier White and Terra Gray. 

The A8 rides on five-spoke 19-inchers on all-season tires out of the factory, 20- and 21-inch rims can be specced. The S8 starts with five-double-spoke 20-inchers on summer tires, with 21-inch units available.

Most of the changes made to the carryover interior are tech- or comfort-related. The Audi E-Tron GT contributes its Dynamica microfiber to the headliner, door, and interior trim assuming the correct options are chosen. There are massage seats with lumbar support, and on the S8, a $5,900 rear comfort package reduces cabin capacity to four, thanks to a full-length center console extending to the aft quarters, containing fold out wing tables and a digital remote to control lighting and seating preferences.  

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