Review: 2011 Audi A8 (Short Wheelbase)

Posted on 11. Apr, 2011 by in Auto News

The Audi A8 fifteen minutes of fame in Super Bowl XLV showed that Audi does not woo the intention for its flagship luxury sedan in the case of mainstream aspirational lust with an entrenched, obviously "upscale" behavior to fall. And as the economic recovery America is to stop to inspire over-the-top indulgence, and Mercedes owns the "bulk-and-bling" approach to luxury anyway, Audi attempt a more subtle, sophisticated brand of luxury flagship good marketing sense on paper. But Audi cleaner, leaner design aesthetic strike has the right tone for a "new era of luxury", or is it fate that the A8 over-subtlety that kept its predecessor breakinginto the mainstream full-size luxury? More to the point, Audi's sophisticated marketing message reflect a car that really offer a different approach to luxury? Let's find out …


Starting with this nose. Between the lovable tailfins on a Caddy and the Bangle-butt of a 7-series is the polarizing grin A8 drop-jaw grille. Our tester wore no front license plate, which is both a blessing and a curse: the need for the Auto Union logo sits front and center eventually rubs on the inner ADHD designer. But it looks like no BMW or Merc: white marker lights in yellow changed when one indicator. The avant-garde LED headlight squares have. "A richer spectral content in a certain range of wavelengths to facilitate the vision of the night" in the words of lighting guru Daniel Stern That is true. Please believe that HID's days are numbered.

Sad love fades past the A8 fender. It is a plus size A4. With elegant beading Similar to a 30 + foot yacht manufacturer smaller / similar vessels, the A8 looks sharp in its high beltline, demanding an oversized hull respect. But the reverse is downmarket enough noise for more chrome, more hectic … more of anything. Simply Red once said, "She was so beautiful, but oh so boring." Ostentatious exterior design is not for everyone, but Audi seems to have again erred a bit too far. On the side of subtlety

But inside the A8 does scream posh, free with a TV-binnacle dashboard timelessly, effortlessly sweeps the length of the cabin. Only the console undefined meeting point with the dashboard and a DVD / Media door would hit the center of prime real estate to make Camry giggle with delight. Fortunately, the A8 capture large amounts of wood grain and brushed aluminum, the heart is faster than mercury-laced bread Huckleberry Finn. Not to be confused metaphors, but the cabin LED accent lighting ups the ante with a TRON homage, so., The front-end of the goodwill indoors
And short out of the driver's seat, through well-chosen, well-crafted materials and surrounded the latest technology, sophisticated design of the A8 finally begins to make sense. Sit back in a 22-way adjustable massage throne strong enough. Pinch nerves and start the show Tap the ignition button and Audi MMI screen elegantly pops out, along with two made masterfully Bang & Olufsen tweeters. The $ 6300 audio upgrade has best-in-class imaging and heights, but as B & O products sold in shopping malls running flat on the mid / bass back home (paging Dr. Mark Levinson!).

The fleshy drawbar sports metal such as chromium-bits, with a wheel in order to control some of the Audi MMI functions. Not necessary because the console knob and fairly logical buttonage are a quick study. MMI unique Etch-A-Sketch-alike pad for entering addresses is cool, but stupid: a touch of the finest beats Kenwood scratching of a fingernail to write to an address. Nevertheless, a state of the art overload that would just seem pointless and geeky somehow feels right, if it is with ergonomic precision middle class materials. Like the rest of the car, the technology is easy to overlook or dismiss, and yet only Work with understated ease.

While the T-bar lever never warmed my soul, the 8 speeds are a necessary part of the fun, even if only in sport mode. It's a close ratio box, leaving the 4.2L V8 (372hp @ 6800rpm) no chance to fall from his power band. Very necessary as twin-turbo V8 under that price elsewhere. Even worse, Mercedes AWD adds a relatively cheap ($ 3000) option.

Then again, Audi has the Kenny G commercial. And the all-aluminum A8 is much easier poise on its feet than the big Benz, cornering precision and idiot-proof: I could chirp the tires on dry urban road. Flashes the torque converter, hammer the throttle and the A8 leaps forward, much to the anxiety of the residents. Throw in a corner, press the tip at full speed and still nothing: understeer creeps and active handling nanny taps the brakes, also achieved with the system.

So it's no M5, but the A8 is a pleasure to drive on a winding road, with linear control, quick tip-in and handle hectares. It's good enough to A8 briefly lose power steering assist in a fast U-turn: a small quibble, a simple solution for all chassis engineer.
Sun let's chill. By boulevardier in mind is the A8 air suspension ride over sharp bumps or pavement joints apartment: no matter how beautiful, Twanky-inch wheels for children. The A8 has enough heft Wheelbase / too boring impact harshness, but the endless pounding of the front end on my way to work, was old in a hurry. Larger rubber could also help, but the outer can really afford more sophistication?
No car is perfect, not even a luxo-sedan, kisses a 6-figure asking price. And the A8 is the best in class for cornering, plus it's a charming and timeless work of art, inside and out. If it had a pair of turbochargers and less worrisome depreciation rates, the A8 would hands down rule the competition. If on the other hand you can not commit to an Audi A8 is a BMW or Merc consider a lease as a company car instead. Audi approach to luxury needs a little more time to appreciate than the competition, and even if you do not decide for you, it can also be an experience worth.

Audi provided the test vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas.

Not a fan of our Facebook page? Too bad about that. For our Facebook peeps, here are the answers: Nick Roshon, not an old man's car is MMI easier than I expected to learn. Darren Williams: maybe the aluminum doors, why is it feels cheap, so it's a good value. Adam Blank, I suppose, it tops out at 155mph like most German cars, you have to promise to save me from prison before I found this in the real world. John Walker: the lighting, MMI touch pad and massaging seats are pretty outstanding, and no, do not tow with it. Ken Morton: every S-Class were I better rides, road crushing weight perhaps? Stephen Schwartz: like many new cars, the rear visibility is terrible, is still acceptable.