ABS standard. Side air bags standard in front and rear. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC available in 2000, standard from 2001.
Audi's flagship sedan competes among the world's largest and most luxurious sedans and is the only one in its class with all-wheel drive. Consider the Mercedes-Benz E420 4Matic as an alternative. It has an all-aluminum body coupled with a powerful 4.2-liter, 310-hp V8. A five-speed automatic transmission and stability control are standard. The A8 has a total of eight air bags--one in each of the four doors, as well as side-curtain air bags. But so-so ride comfort and controls show this model's age. For 2001 a longer-wheelbase L model was introduced with a roomier rear seat. A 360-hp luxury sport sedan dubbed the S8 is the latest edition. A GPS navigation system comes standard.