Poise with pace
Audi’s limo can cosset the CEO and thrill the chauffeur. Or vice versa
AUDI has lifted its game and the looks of its A8 flagship with the launch of a revamped model range.
The midlife update adds about $10,000 to the cost of the big limousine but there are now a lot more standard toys to play with and the packaging has been primped and polished to keep it up the front of the pack.
It is a fast and fun drive when required or a relaxed and regal carriage when carrying passengers.
The A8 cruises into the luxury limo market at $198,000 for the 3.0-litre turbo diesel with an eight-speed automatic and allwheel drive.
Hire-car drivers will gravitate to the long-wheelbase variant at $206,900.
The plutocrats who drive themselves — and want a more forceful assertion of their status — can head for the 4.2‒litre twin-turbo oilburner or the sports-oriented Audi S8 powered by a 4.0-litre V8 turbo at $279,000.
All A8s are fitted with standard air suspension, satnav with Google street or satellite view overlays, matrix-LED headlamps to automatically dim the high beam as traffic approaches or passes and a head-up display.
Competition includes the new S-Class Mercedes-Benz starting at $215,000 for the S350 with a 3.0-litre turbo diesel. That figure grows by $10K for the long-wheelbase version.
BMW’s equivalent entry level 7 Series is the 730d at $205,100. Petrol engines provide the motivation for all