The latest benchmark in the premium luxury category?
Audi’s flagship has been re-launched for 2011, and it’s a magnificent tour de force of performance, luxury, refinement and cutting-edge technology.
Greater visual flair for 2011
There’s no mistaking the A8 for some other premium sedan; its commanding one-piece grille and wave LED headlights ensure that. Not only distinctive, the new setup is eye-candy for the sweet tooth. The vehicle’s overall appearance is slightly more sculpted than previously while remaining true to the clean design aesthetics that Audi has always executed so deftly.
The A8 has grown slightly in size however you’d need a measuring tape to verify that claim as it’s not apparent to the eye, and that’s good. Big isn’t necessarily “in” these days. The extra girth provides slightly greater cabin space without adding weight to the A8, which is relatively svelte thanks to Audi’s Space Frame technology and the liberal use of aluminum.
Cabin abounds with quality and technology
A true highlight of the A8 other than its performance and driving dynamics is its spacious cabin. Here one finds first-class surroundings suitable for the most pretentious of boardrooms. Wood, aluminum and leather harmonize with one and other as smoothly as the Canadian Tenors.
Audi has created one of the finest premium-level cabins in the industry, and they have artfully laden the posh environs with enough high-tech goodies to keep the inner geek in all of us baffled for days. In fact, it takes several days of acquainting one’s self with the tech content before the multitude of programs crystallize.
My tester was equipped with Audi’s version of Night Vision, which is displayed more appropriately in front of the driver rather than to the side, as with BMW’s setup. A most interesting feature in the new A8 is the addition of a touchpad to the MMI interface.
The touchpad allows the driver to enter data, such as a destination address, into the navigation system by scribing letters and digits onto the pad using a fingertip. Once accustomed to the process, it becomes a marvelous shortcut for many input functions.
It wasn’t the amazing 22-way power seats with massage or the pair of 10-inch entertainment screens mounted in the rear of the Valcona leather-lined interior of my tester that most excited me…no, it was the outrageous $7,000 optional Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System that stole my breath.
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