Lux­ury, econ­omy and power

Driv­ers will want for noth­ing with a range of im­pres­sive tech­no­log­i­cal driver as­sist op­tions, PETER BARN­WELL writes

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE -

THE oper­a­tive num­ber here is 5.9 — litres per 100km and seconds from 0-100km/h. It ap­plies to the new Audi A8 3.0TDi limo that forms part of a three-model line-up.

It’s the “en­try level’’ A8 run­ning a 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 en­gine and eight-speed tip­tronic auto — and sells for $195,000.

You can step up to a long wheel­base ver­sion of the same car for an ad­di­tional $12,000 — the only long wheel­base A8 in the range.

Re­cently re­vised, the “new” model gains more stan­dard kit — almost to a ridicu­lous level — but more im­por­tant is the driver as­sist stuff that in­cludes adap­tive cruise con­trol, ac­tive lane as­sist, side as­sist, park as­sist, 360-de­gree rev­ers­ing cam­era, pre-sense crash prepa­ra­tion, stop and go func­tion and power-as­sisted door close and boot op­er­a­tion.

It’s a solid base to start from in new tech­nol­ogy terms.

Plenty more is avail­able at ex­tra cost.

The A8 is a big five-seater ‘sa­loon’ car with plenty of room inside for all — and a large boot for their lug­gage.

Th­ese lucky souls will en­joy the com­fort of adap­tive air sus­pen­sion, leather up­hol­stery, pre­mium Bose audio and a mul­ti­me­dia Audi Con­nect sys­tem in­clud­ing a Wi-Fi hotspot. The front seat oc­cu­pants even get heated/ven­ti­lated seats.

Drive Se­lect al­lows the driver to choose how the A8 be­haves in a range from com­fort to sport. There’s an auto mode that cov­ers all bases.

It has in­cred­i­ble LED head­lights with auto high beam. The mul­ti­fac­eted lights il­lu­mi­nate au­to­mat­i­cally in cer­tain pat­terns to al­low for the ve­hi­cle’s speed, am­bi­ent light­ing and other ve­hi­cles — from the driver’s seat it’s like sit­ting be­hind a light show.

Some­thing to re­mem­ber is the A8’s quat­tro all-wheel drive — the only car in this seg­ment with such a sys­tem that in­creases grip and safety lev­els.

Though large, the A8 is “only” 1880kg — light for the seg­ment — thanks to its alu­minium space frame con­struc­tion.

It looks im­pos­ing.

In terms of drive feel it has plenty to of­fer — com­fort to a lux­ury level or sporty re­sponses at the touch of a but­ton.

The en­gine has plenty of kick and achieves some 190kW/580Nm out­put. Sounds OK for a diesel too.

It’s all you re­ally need in a car this size.

Awe­some car, goes beau­ti­fully, sump­tu­ous lux­ury, safe, eco­nom­i­cal, fast, silent (most of the time). Good look­ing too.

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