Small is the new big, at least according to automakers who are scrambling to downsize engines to meet upcoming fuel economy and emission standards. No automaker is immune, and even luxury marques like BMW and Audi have jumped on the smaller-is-better bandwagon.
Forced induction is the key to making smaller engines meet customer expectations for power, while achieving automaker’s goals for improved fuel economy. Audi opted to go this route with the 2013 A8 3.0T
, which gets a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 in lieu of last year’s 4.2-liter V-8.
As Car and Driver
points out, power output drops from 372 horsepower to 333 horsepower, but the tradeoff was supposed to be improved fuel economy. Bad news for prospective A8 buyers, then: the EPA has rated the 2013 Audi A8 3.0T at 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, which is exactly the same rating as last year’s V-8 model
Audi is quick to point out that the 2013 A8 3.0T is quite a bit less expensive than last year’s V-8, which puts the starting price more in line with BMW’s base 7-Series
model, the 740i. The Audi delivers better fuel economy as well, and even beats the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid in highway fuel economy (although the Audi does give up one mpg in the city).
It’s quite likely that the V-6 powered Audi A8 will deliver better fuel economy than the EPA is projecting, as it features stop-start technology that last year’s V-8 lacked. We’ll know for certain once the new A8 begins hitting the streets this summer.