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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A8 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Rolls-Royce Ghost doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The A8 has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Ghost doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.
The A8 has standard Audi Pre Sense City, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Ghost offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.
The A8 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Ghost doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
The A8’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Ghost doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the A8’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Ghost doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the A8 and the Ghost have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems and around view monitors.
The A8’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Ghost’s (12 vs. 4 years).
There are over 8 times as many Audi dealers as there are Rolls-Royce dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the A8’s warranty.
Regenerative brakes improve the A8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Ghost doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Ghost doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The A8 stops much shorter than the Ghost:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better traction, the A8’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ghost (265/40R20 vs. 255/40R21).
The A8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ghost’s standard 50 series tires.
The A8 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Ghost; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
The A8 55 TSFI handles at .93 G’s, while the Ghost pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the A8’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Ghost’s (42.3 feet vs. 44 feet). The A8’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Ghost Extended Wheelbase’s (42.3 feet vs. 45.9 feet).
The Audi A8 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 750 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The A8 is 6.1 inches shorter than the Ghost, making the A8 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For excellent aerodynamics, the A8 has standard flush composite headlights. The Ghost has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The A8 has 2 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ghost.
The A8 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The Ghost has no towing capacity.
The A8’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Ghost’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A8 has standard extendable sun visors. The Ghost doesn’t offer extendable visors.
On extremely cold winter days, the A8’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Ghost doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The A8 offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Ghost doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A8, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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