LUXURY AT A PRICE
THE operative number here is 5.9…. litres per 100km and seconds from 0100km/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 that 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 multi-media 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.
They went to great lengths with lighting elsewhere in the car with about the funkiest interior illumination system on the market. Disco springs to mind.
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 rolls on 19-inch alloys, but from the rear looks too much like smaller Audis, apart from the striking sequential LED blinkers.
From the side, you get a full appreciation of the A8's size. It looks imposing.
In terms of drive feel, it has plenty to offer – comfort to a luxury level or sharp 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.
The transmission is imperceptible despite having eight cogs and there's a paddle shift to play with if you have the urge.
Verdict: Awesome car, goes beautifully, sumptuous luxury, safe, economical, fast, silent (most of the time).
Good looking too.
The Audi A8 TDi... big, luxurious and everything else.