Tiny de­tails that add up to a big suc­cess


A gi­ant grilling

What a big gob! That’s the Audi A8, not me. I’ve never fully un­der­stood this ob­ses­sion with su­per-sized grilles, but our A8 cer­tainly has one. The trape­zoidal front end has grown ever big­ger in re­cent years and it’s now 119cm wide and 47cm tall, pep­pered with cam­eras and radar sen­sors. Yes, this beast from the deep can see through its mouth.

Clas­si­cal styling

This is a big car, mea­sur­ing 5302mm long, 1488mm high and 1945mm wide, or 2130mm with mir­rors. I’ve never un­der­stood why man­u­fac­tur­ers quote width with­out mir­rors; it’s not like you can re­move them be­fore squeez­ing through a nar­row gap… (Though squeez­ing through may re­move them.)

I pre­fer the el­e­gant styling at the rear to the rather over-the-top face.


Still con­fused by Audi badges? You’re not alone. Our car is a 50 TDI Qu­at­tro and I wa­ger you can de­ci­pher two of those. (This car is in­deed diesel and AWD.) The nu­mer­i­cal hi­er­ar­chy is non­sen­si­cal yet easy enough to un­der­stand: big­ger is brawnier, ba­si­cally. I won­der when car mak­ers will start us­ing CO2 as a nam­ing con­ven­tion…

The wheel deal

Our A8 rolls on these rather un­usual – and pretty – 20-inch, 20-spoke, con­trast­ing grey, partly pol­ished al­loy wheels. Turns out they’re rare, too: Audi has now dis­con­tin­ued them. Per­haps the £3100 cost of this op­tion put peo­ple ož. They’re shod in grippy, quiet Goodyear Ea­gle F1 tyres, whose vi­tal stats are 265/40 R20.

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