Poise with pace

Audi’s limo can cos­set the CEO and thrill the chauf­feur. Or vice versa

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

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.

VALUE

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

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