Audi - A8 / S8
The Audi A8 is a full-size luxury executive car built by the German automaker Audi to replace the V8 model as its flagship offering. First brought to the market in 1994, most versions of the A8 have featured quattro all-wheel-drive as standard as well as a Multitronic or Tiptronic automatic transmission. The A8 rivals long-running German competitors, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series, along with the Jaguar XJ, Lexus LS, and the long-wheelbase Volkswagen Phaeton; all are competitors in the same size and price category. Two generations of the A8 have been produced in both short and long wheelbase form.
The A8 debuted in Europe in 1994, although it wasn't until 1997 that it became available in North America. Unlike the V8 model, which was built on an existing steel platform, the A8 debuted on Audi's then-new D2 platform, an all aluminium space frame which helped to significantly reduce weight without sacrificing rigidity. The saloon was offered in both the A8 and the A8L long-Wheelbase version. The A8L adds five inches of rear legroom. In addition to being the world's first car built on an entirely aluminum platform, updates to the car in 1997 included the addition of six interior airbags, making the A8 the first vehicle to be so equipped.