The 4.2 liter V8 from Audi has been around for a very, very, very long time. Roughly two decades actually. And each time the automaker has simply updated it, made it more efficient, and more powerful, and provided different versions of it. The engine first truly came into prominence in the Audi V8, which would become the Audi A8. From there it trickled down the model range powering the madness that are Audi’s “S” and “RS” models. There is no question then that such an engine is certainly very venerable with that type of ability and heritage. But now it’s heading into retirement after a long reign. In its place in 2013? A brand new 4.0 twin turbocharged V8 will fill the engine bay in the new A8, as well as the S6 and S7. .2 liters less displacement, but with two earth sucking turbines mean the engine thunders out 420 bhp and 406 lb ft or torque, which is a full 48 bhp and a massive 78 lb-ft more than the 4.2 V8 version in the A8 (although the 4.2 did make 420 bhp in Audi’s other “RS” models). Besides the power increase, the new engine will also have cylinder deactivation, so you can go from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds (3.9 seconds!!!!) and drain Saudi Arabia dry, or meander around town and make no friends at the petrol station.
In addition, Ingolstadt will still let you have the 6.3L W12 if you feel the need to attach your A8 to giant tow hook in the ground and pull the world, plus, new for 2013, the 3.0T supercharged mill from the A6 and S4. However, regardless of the engine you choose for the A8, the power will be handled by the same 8 speed automatic and sent to all four wheels.
But the A8 isn’t the only model getting the attention for the 2013 model year. The Q7 will now have a much revised version of the 3.0 TDI, making it 55 lbs lighter (Audi has been serious about putting its cars on a diet). It will now output 15 more bhp up to 240 bhp, and 406 lb-ft of torque.