Though diesel-powered vehicle options are growing in the Canadian market, outdated perceptions remain that diesel engines are noisy, soot-barfing devices that clatter and rattle, won’t start in the cold, and have emissions one could harvest for chemical warfare.
Actually, today’s diesel-powered rides are incredibly refined and quiet, especially given their massive torque output. There’s no soot, no stink, performance is plentiful, and they start just fine at -30 below zero. They’re also really, really easy on fuel. In fact, diesel engines today are so smooth and quiet, and powerful and clean that they can even be used in a luxury flagship sedan.
What is a 2015 Audi A8 L TDI?
The 2015 Audi A8 L TDI is an all-wheel drive luxury spa that boasts an extended wheelbase for generous roominess, a laundry list of world-class feature content, and exceptionally confident winter driving dynamics. It’s also a showcase of the latest in Audi safety, convenience, and comfort-enhancing technologies. Audi’s flagship sedan product A8 competes with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and it’s the only one available powered by diesel on this side of the globe.
2015 Audi A8L TDI Pricing & Specs
The A8 model range starts at $85,300, with the extended-wheelbase A8 L model wearing a sticker that starts at $92,800 with a 3.0L supercharged gasoline V6. Opt for the fuel-sipping 3.0L TDI V6, good for 240 horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of torque, and pricing climbs just north of $98,100. An 8-speed automatic with lightning-fast paddle-shifting capability is included. From that basis, the tester added numerous high-dollar options and packages totaling the cost of a nice Lexus for an as-tested price of about $137,000.
Driving the 2015 Audi A8 L TDI
The drive, even in very lousy weather, is exceptionally confident and world-class. Engage COMFORT mode from the Drive Select system and the steering lightens, the suspension softens, and the throttle and transmission collaborate in keeping revs low, which further reduces noise and increases refinement. In this setting, the A8 L’s body undulates gently over uneven roads, and the Quattro AWD system, when called upon, re-strategizes its delivery of drive power amongst the wheels with millisecond precision and not even a squirm from beneath the car as traction is optimized.
On winter tires, even in a blizzard, you’re riding confidently and in the lap of laidback luxury -- and achieving exceptional mileage. On winter rubber, using the Quattro system often and vigorously, I averaged just 8.8L/100km overall. I’ve literally put more fuel through a 4-cylinder Honda Accord.
Engage the DYNAMIC mode, hammer down, and let the 406 lb-ft of torque blast the A8 L up to speed as if it’s just been rear-ended by a speeding dump truck. With Quattro AWD eliminating wheel spin, the A8 L gets up and goes, right now, when requested. All that torque is great stuff for both effortless light-throttle acceleration, and getting off the line something fierce. Even opened right up, the engine makes scarcely more than a muted growl that sounds like its coming from another car.
The selectable DYNAMIC mode reconfigures the Quattro system’s centre differential, enabling a friskier handling dynamic and more tail-happy driving on slippery back roads when drivers feel so inclined. In winter driving, the A8 L has a secretly sporty side, and a very comfortable and confident side that can be toggled with the press of a button.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Audi A8 L TDI
The A8 L TDI is massive in size and restrained in the use of chrome and glitz and shout-y design touches. You needn’t be wearing a suit, sporting a set of Ray-Bans with a Bluetooth earpiece whisking dignitaries out of hot-zones to look like an A8 driver.
Ultimately, it’s the lavish cabin that pulls its weight hardest towards the big-dollar price tag. You can lounge in the reclining, massaging, heated, and ventilated rear seats, send navigation destinations up front to your driver, deploy privacy screens to keep prying eyes off your luxury business, and take in a movie on your own TV screen. Or play some Clapton on the mega-watt stereo system, complete with pop-up tweeters that make me not even care if the thing plays music at all.
Other notes? Layer upon layer of rich colours, textures, details, and contrasting materials combine and intersect for a tremendously sophisticated atmosphere, and the night-vision system with pedestrian tracking, and a potent LED headlamp system with washers helps optimize awareness up the road in inclement weather.
Comparing the 2015 Audi A8 L TDI
In the Canadian marketplace, the A8 L TDI is without rival as a diesel-powered flagship sedan that gives drivers access to immense torque, extremely reasonable fuel bills, and a highway cruising range beyond 1,000km. If there’s ever been a better car to prove that diesel power nowadays is refined, smooth, quiet, odorless, and very pleasing in the seat of your pants when you stomp the throttle, I don’t know what it is.