Audi S8, Toyota Camry are the most 2009 passenger vehicles, says NHTSA

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 6, 2011

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration divulged that the Audi S8 and the Toyota Camry are the most stolen 2009 passenger vehicles. This recently-released report monitored the theft rates of all the new 2009 passenger vehicles stolen that year. The overall theft rate for 2009 dropped to 1.33 per 1,000 vehicles, standing for a 21.3% decrease from the 1.69 thefts per thousand in 2008.

The list doesn’t include most SUVs and pickups. This is why the Cadillac Escalade isn’t a part of this list. The agency found out that the S8 had the highest theft rate, with a record of 8.81 thefts for each 1,000 vehicles built. However, the car has low production numbers.

Of the 227 units produced in 2009, only two were taken by thieves. From a purely statistical standpoint, the Camry (which was the top-selling vehicle in 2009), had been the most stolen passenger vehicle with a total of 781 units stolen. Coming in second to the S8 is Ford's Mustang Shelby GT, with 8.61 vehicles for each 1,000 stolen.

In 2009, 581 units were produced and five of these were stolen. At No. 3 is the BMW M5, with 7.58 per 1,000 units stolen. At No.4, there’s the Dodge Charger, with 6.47 cars stolen for every 1,000 copies. The Honda S2000 is at No. 5, with 5.60 per 1,000 copies stolen. The rest of the models included in the top 10 list are: Mitsubishi Galant, the Chrysler 300, the Infiniti M35/M45, the Cadillac STS and the Mercedes-Benz CL-class.

Being a large sedan that displays luxury and shows extreme power, Audi expects that the S8 will be leading its S model range. In addition to providing top value, the S8 is equipped with the brand’s own modular efficiency platform, which includes features like the start-stop systems and recuperation systems. One technology that clearly has a significant part is the cylinder on demand, which is in fact newly developed. When under part load, 4 of its 8 cylinders are deactivated thus resulting in a gain in efficiency. This increase in efficiency is evident when running at moderate highway speeds.

With the S8, Audi will be offering a package of acoustic measures like the Active Noise Cancellation system. What this system does is to restrain any possible vibrations or intrusive noise. Powering the S8 is the twin-turbo 4.0-liter TFSI V8 engine with output of at least 382 kW (520 hp) with peak torque of 650 Nm (479.42 lb.-ft.), available from 1,700 rpm and up to 5,500 rpm. Fuel efficiency is at 10.2 liters for every 100 km, which is around 23.06 mpg US.

This is not only better when compared to its rivals but it surpasses even the previous model. Fuel efficiency of the 5.2-liter V10 engine is measured at 13.2 liters for every 100 km (17.82 mpg US). Comparatively, this is better by as much as 23%, even if output is higher by 51 kW (70 hp).

In terms of actual performance, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.14 mph) is possible at 4.2 seconds with maximum speed being capped electronically at 250 km/h (155.34 mph). With the 8-speed tiptronic, this allows the S8 to combine efficiency with sportiness. This is because it is possible to have tall gears especially at low revs. Meanwhile downshift is comfortable and fast once needed by the driver.

Power for the Quattro drivetrain is delivered by the tiptronic which mixes the sport differential in its rear axle with the center differential which is self-locking. Once dynamic driving is engaged, majority of the power is channelled to the outside wheel which pushes the S8 to the corner. Audi disclosed that the S8 is slated to be introduced to the market by the spring of 2012.

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