2021 Audi A8 L Performance

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2021 Audi A8 L Sedan Performance, 0-60, Top Speed and MPG

Updated on: May 18, 2021

C. Khandelwal's image
C. Khandelwal

Automotive Journalist


Probably one of the understated cars of its segment, the 2021 A8 L is the flagship luxury sedan from the famed German automaker Audi. Available for sale at a base MSRP of $86,500 and coming in with 3 trim configurations, the 2021 Audi A8 L comes with the same powertrain as the outgoing 2020 model, which is a 3L turbocharged V6 motor producing 335 hp for the 55 TFSI trim and a 4L twin-turbo V8 motor producing 453 hp for the 60 TFSI trim. Both the trims come with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a Quattro AWD drivetrain as standard. 

The 2021 Audi A8 L is the German automaker's flagship saloon car

The base 3L turbocharged V6 motor can do 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and offers a combined gas mileage of 21 MPG. Along with that, a PHEV 60 TFSI e trim is also offered, which comes with a 3L turbocharged V6 motor mated to an electric motor, promising a much better 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a combined MPGe of 54. In this performance review, we will find out how well the 2021 Audi A8 L competes with the likes of the 2021 Mercedes Benz S Class, 2021 BMW 7 Series, and the 2021 Lexus LS 500.

The 2021 Audi A8 delivers smooth, effortless power and a buttery ride. - Thecarconnection

2021 Audi A8 L Engine: Power, Torque, and Transmission Options

The 2021 Audi A8 L, which is available for sale at a base MSRP of $86,500, comes in three different trim configurations and all of them are powered by a different set of engines. The base 55 TFSI Quattro trim is powered by a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine with 48-volt Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology, producing 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The top-of-the-line 60 TFSI Quattro trim is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine with which produces 453 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Audi A8 L gets a 3L V6 with a mild-hybrid system

On top of that, the plug-in hybrid variant of the Audi A8 L will be powered by a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine paired with electric motors powered by a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. All the trim will come with Audi’s Quattro AWD drivetrain as standard. Along with that, an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission is also offered with all the trims. This transmission also offers sequential shift control through paddle shifters. Multiple transmission modes are on offer as well. Having said all this, the Audi A8L is the type of car where you would want to get driven around rather than driving the car yourself.

Models

2021 Audi A8 L

2021 Mercedes Benz S Class

2021 BMW 7 Series

2021 Lexus LS 500

MSRP

$86,500

$107,450

$89,450

$77,000

Engine

3.0L turbocharged V6

3.0L turbocharged inline-6

3.0L turbocharged inline-6

3.5L twin-turbo V6

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

RWD

Transmission 

8 speed automatic

9 speed automatic

8 speed automatic

10 speed automatic

Power

335 hp @ 5,500 RPM

429 hp @ 5,500 RPM

335 hp @ 5,500 RPM

416 hp @ 6,000 RPM

Torque

369 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM

384 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

330 lb-ft @ 1,500 RPM

442 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

Although the 2021 Audi A8L’s engine output is comparable to the 2021 BMW 7 Series, the 2021 Mercedes Benz S Class is the clear winner here, as it outperforms its competitors by a significant margin. This is followed by the 2021 Lexus LS 500, which comes with a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 motor putting out 416 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.


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2021 Audi A8 L Acceleration: 0-60 and Quarter Mile Times

The base 55 TFSI Quattro trim of the 2021 Audi A8 L, which comes with the 3.0L turbocharged V6 with the mild hybrid system is capable of doing the 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The range-topping 60 TFSI Quattro trim with the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 mild hybrid motor will do it in a lower 4.5 seconds. The plug-in hybrid variant won’t be much of a slouch either going from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

2021 Audi A8 L accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds

The 0-60 mph times are quite respectable for a full-size luxury sedan that weighs 4,905 lbs. Along with the impressive 0-60 mph time showcased by the engines of the A8 L, these engines are also refined, with very minimal NVH on offer. The Quattro AWD system plays a major role in propelling this behemoth sedan to triple-digit speeds in a jiffy. The 2021 Audi A8 L managed to do a top speed of 128 MPH, which is electronically limited. But if these figures don't amuse you, then there's always the full-blown S8 version of this German luxury sedan.

Models

2021 Audi A8 L

2021 Mercedes Benz S Class

2021 BMW 7 Series

2021 Lexus LS 500

0-60 MPH

5.6 seconds

5.4 seconds

4.8 seconds

4.6 seconds

Quarter Mile

13.8 seconds

13.8 seconds

13.2 seconds

13.7 seconds

Top Speed 

128 MPH

N/A

130 MPH

168 MPH

The base 3L turbocharged V6 motor of the 2021 Audi A8 L turned out to be the slowest offering of the lot in terms of 0-60 mph time. The 2021 Lexus LS 500 and the 2021 BMW 7 Series did the same 0-60 mph in a much lower 4.6 seconds and 4.8 seconds, respectively. Even the 2021 Mercedes Benz S Class also offered a slightly lower 5.4 seconds of 0-60 mph time. However, if you choose the 60 TFSI trim, the 2021 Audi A8 L will come out with the best 0-60 mph and quarter-mile times.

2021 Audi A8 L Brakes: F/R Rotor Dimensions and Stopping Distance

Being a carryover model, the 2021 Audi A8 L is equipped with the same braking hardware as the outgoing 2020 model, which is ventilated discs on all four wheels. The base 55 TFSI trim comes with 14.8” rotors at the front with 13.8” rotors at the back. On the other hand, both the 60 TFSI and the 60 TFSI e-Hybrid trim are equipped with bigger 15.8” rotors at the front with the same 13.8” rotors at the back.

2021 Audi A8 L did the 60-0 mph braking in 118 feet

Although the brakes could be a bit aggressive resulting in sudden jerky movement in city traffic, the brakes are powerful enough to stop the car within a safe distance during emergencies. The 2021 Audi A8 L, which is available for a base selling price of $86,500, came out with a 60-0 mph braking distance of 118 feet, which is quite respectable considering its heavy curb weight of 4,905 lbs, which is the highest of the full-size luxury sedan segment. The initial bite is sharp and the brakes offer excellent progression. Along with that, all the braking features like ABS with EBD, automated emergency braking, brake assist, and many more are standard too.

Models

2021 Audi A8 L

2021 Mercedes Benz S Class

2021 BMW 7 Series

2021 Lexus LS 500

Front Brakes (in)

14.8

NA

NA

15.7

Rear Brakes (in)

13.8

NA

NA

14.1

60-0 MPH

118 feet

NA

112 feet

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,905 

4,839

3,713

4,740

Although the 2021 Mercedes Benz S Class' and the 2021 Lexus LS 500's 60-0 mph braking distance hasn't been measured yet, we expect it to be in line with the rest of the rivals, especially due to the heavy curb weight of these monikers. However, the 2021 BMW 7 Series offered a better 60-0 mph braking distance of 112 feet, which is 6 feet lower than the 2021 Audi A8 L.

With the base suspension, the Audi A8 isolates you from road irregularities but can still hammer down a back road when the mood strikes. - Caranddriver

2021 Audi A8 L Ride and Handling

Expecting a luxury yacht on wheels to go well around corners is a bit of a tall order, however, the 2021 Audi A8 L is quite nimble for its size. Moreover, you could further enhance the handling characteristics of the car with the available dynamic all-wheel steering option. Although the 2021 A8 L, which is offered for sale at a base MSRP of $86,500, might not be as dynamic as the 2021 BMW 7 Series, it is athletic enough for the driver to enjoy maneuvering the car, be it in tight city driving or cruising on the highway. The direct steering, minimal body roll, and excellent Quattro AWD drivetrain help this luxury sedan to do tight corners with utmost comfort.

2021 Audi A8 L gets Quattro AWD system as standard

Moreover, just like the 2020 model, the 2021 A8 L should also be equipped with five-link front and rear suspensions with Audi adaptive air suspension as standard on all the trims. On top of that, the top-of-the-range 60 TFSI trim is also available with predictive active suspension for a more comfortable ride. All of this contributes to the best in class slow city ride quality and impeccable highway riding, with no vertical movement. Even the sharpest undulations on the road are also absorbed by the 2021 Audi A8 L.

2021 Audi A8 L Performance Verdict

The 2021 Audi A8 L ticks most of the boxes for being a comfortable and powerful daily driver. Even though it is not as dynamically impressive as the 2021 BMW 7 Series, it is pretty close to it and we are ready to sacrifice a bit of fun for the excellent ride quality on offer from this Audi. The brakes are sharp and the steering is very direct, both of which add to the confidence of the driver. Apart from that, multiple engines are on offer too. Hence, the 2021 Audi A8 L should be on top of your wishlist if you are looking for a luxury full-size sedan that is available for sale under an MSRP of $100,000.

2021 Audi A8 L

Also Read:

2021 Audi A8 L FAQs

How many trims does the 2021 Audi A8 L come in?

The 2021 Audi A8 L comes in two trim configurations, namely 55 TFSI and 60 TFSI. Along with that, a PHEV 60 TFSI e trim is also offered.

What is the selling price of the 2021 Audi A8 L?

The 2021 Audi A8 L comes at a base selling price of $86,500 for the 55 TFSI trim and goes all the way to an MSRP of $98,900 for the top-of-the-line 60 TFSI trim.

How many interior colors can be had with the 2021 A8 L?

The 2021 Audi A8 L can be had in 9 interior colors along with 3 different decorative inlay materials.

What is the engine on offer with the 2021 Audi A8 L?

The 2021 Audi A8 L comes with a 3L turbocharged inline-6 motor producing 335 hp with the 55 TFSI trim. With the 60 TFSI trim, it gets a 4L twin-turbo V8 motor putting out 453 hp. Both the motors come with the 48-volt mild hybrid system too.

Is the 2021 Audi A8 L fast?

The 2021 Audi A8 L with the base 3L turbocharged inline-6 motor can do the 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and the quarter-mile run in 13.8 seconds.

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