By Tony West and Jamar Lee
Year after year, Audi continues to have one of the most impressive lineups at the Chicago Auto Show. This year, the R8 Spyder and the S8 were two of Audi’s shining stars. And Audi has another whip, the A8 3.0T that stole the show. The 2013 A8 3.0T boasts efficiency, strength, and the same luxury and precision that makes Audi the sexiest car on the road. Auto Correspondent Jamar Lee got the chance to speak with Audi Marketing exec Mark Danhcke about the new and improved A8.
U.R. FLAIR: What new features have you done in 2012 in regards to the A8?
MARK DANHCKE: We’ve had the 4.2 liter V8 engine out for quite some time in the A8. This year we’re bringing out the 3.0T V6 supercharge engine that generates 333 horsepower. It’s the same engine and the same setup as the higher output versions we have in the S4 and the S5. Now we’re bringing it to the A8 so it’s great fuel economy and great performance at the same time. The A8, even in the 4.2 liter V8 version is more fuel efficient than the competitive hybrids that are out there in the same segment. The V6 3.0T will improve upon that.
U.R. FLAIR: We know these [Audis] are sports vehicles as well as family vehicles, so what safety features do you have that will make you feel safer in the A8?
MARK DANHCKE: Audi A8 comes with Audi Pre Sense and in a higher level spec, Audi Pre Sense Plus. It has cameras and radars on the car to help predict a potential crash situation and it prepares the car for that potential crash situation. It will tighten your seat belts, put your windows up to avoid anything coming into the car and out of the car, it will prepare the airbag for deployment if needed, and it will also help add boost to the braking so that you can come to a stop. For the 2013 model year the automatic cruise control will also enable you to come to a complete stop so it will actually do the braking for you. For that moment you may not be paying attention, the car will pick up that slack for you and hopefully help you out of a dangerous situation.
U.R. FLAIR: Is the glass roof [on the A8 3.0T] still as safe as the roof on your other vehicles?
MARK DANHCKE: It’s completely crash tested for roll over and everything else. The actual frame and the aluminum design is one of the stiffest forms you can probably imagine for a sedan of its size, and the weight of it will be carried by the overall A, B, and C pillars of the roofline itself. The [glass] roof is absolutely tested and it won’t shatter.