Audi A8 W12 and Audi S8 cancelled for 2010

The 2010 Audi A8 will not have the W12 or the S8's V10

The 2010 Audi A8 will not have the W12 or the S8's V10

Update 1/12/2009: It looks like Audi has had a change of heart and has now confirmed plans for an S8 for 2011.

Update 16/04/2010: And to completely trash this article, we now have confirmation that the 2011 Audi A8 L will come complete with W12. Oh, well. We’re right more that we’re wrong. Thankfully.

Sad to see, but it looks like Audi has made the decision to get rid of the cars that sit at the very top of its saloon range – the Audi A8 W12 and the Audi S8.

The next generation of Audi’s big saloon is on the way, and expected to be revealed pretty soon, with the car going in to production in 2010. But it seems that Audi are no longer going to take the fight to Mercedes and BMW (and Jaguar, with the new Jaguar XJR) in the uber-performance big saloon market.

There are three ways of looking at this.

1. Audi is being a responsible manufacturer in these constrained and eco-aware times, and has decided that it cannot continue to produce profligate uber-saloons with huge engines and performance (not to mention the emissions – don’t forget the emissions!). It has therefore decided that commencing in 2010 it will no longer supply the A8/S8 with the engine it deserves.

2. Despite trying as hard as it can, Audi has finally conceded that it is not capable of manufacturing and marketing premium luxury saloon cars to compete with the best from Mercedes and BMW. It concedes that the BMW 760i (in standard and long wheelbase versions) is a far superior car. Further, Audi believes it cannot ever compete against the Mercedes S63 AMG, never mind the Mercedes S65 AMG. So what’s the point of continuing to build a car that people don’t want.

3. Audi is a victim of its own success. So good is the Audi A8 W12, and the Audi S8, that it is causing big problems within the VW Group. Bentley are unravelling at the moment and struggling to sell anything. Porsche has to make the Panamera work. Audi’s big A8 with a powerful W12 and its S8 with an equally powerful (almost) V10, undermines both Porsche and Bentley. Ergo, no more super powerful A8s.

Take your pick. I know which I’d go for.

Cars UK Motoring Directory


  1. Jarrod Nash says

    Hang on – so they discontinue the W12 A8 but carry on manufacturing the VW Phaeton with the W12?

    Makes no sense, surely the market for the W12 A8 / S8 is far larger than the W12 Phaeton, given the choice between the Audi or the VW it’s would be a no brainer, or maybe this is to ‘persuade’ potential Audi W12 A8 customers to go for the Phaeton to pump its sales figures up?

    More to the point, what would Jason Statham drive if there was a Transporter-4? A Phaeton? Not likely!

    • CarsUK says

      LOL! But if Jason did drive the Phaeton he would be hugely impressed.

      When we wrote this article – just about a year ago – the word coming out from Audi was that they were considering dropping the S8 and the W12 A8 for the next generation due to the growing climate change lobby. But they had a change of heart and we updated this story in December last year to let you know that the S8 would happen, and only a short while back to say the W12 A8 was also going ahead – look at the top of this article for links to those stories.

  2. Neanderthal says

    I believe that is the worst decision ever taken by Audi. Totally agree with Marvin, who cares about MB or BMW? The A8L W12 is unique, no MB or BMW model atracts me more than the car used in Transporter 2 and 3.
    BTW the new A8 2011 is kinda downgraded for me, didn´t like its design or its panel at all. Wake up Audi!

  3. rafa torres says

    i drive an audi a8 L 2004 and thought of upgrading to an s8 2010, how can audi discontinue such an awesome animal like that, c’mon audi

  4. Chris Gateley says

    I am disappointed to hear Audi discontinuing S8/W12 version of A8. I drive 4.2diesal A8 – wonderful car. I am looking for more power and wanted new S8/W12 only to be told no. Shame as i loved the understated look of the A8. Now likely to go for Merc AMG63.
    Sorry Audi

  5. MArvin says

    I have been an Audi enthusiast or Audi lover since 1989.  Who cares about competing with Mercedes and BMW.  Many people like Audi because of the design.  Mercedes design are becoming undesireable to many people.  The CLK is unattractive although I used to love Mercedes.  Can a Ford Taurus compete with with a Honda Accord?  The Ford is cheaper so they’re sells are competitive.  So swear they will only buy the Honda and some say they buy cars built in the US only as patriotic people.  Transporter 2 and 3 (the movie) has gotten many people exited about the W12.

What do you think?