Audi A8 L The All Prestigious Sedan
سيارات MAR 16, 2012
The four rings always confused me when I was a little boy and I used to yell, “Dad, an Olympics car!!” duh… Well, now I am all grown-up and know that they represent a class leading manufacturer.



Driving Impressions

Our test car came with the 3.0L TFSI V6 engine dishing out 290 horses and a top speed limited to 250km/hr. A level next, you fall into a humungous W12 and hence the V8 missing in 2012. The V6 had a near-instantaneous throttle response and a clean, smooth power delivery, and never felt tired till it hit the limiter. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel command snappy upshifts, or just leave it in “D” or “S”. Too much oomph for such a small engine? No, the A8L has an aluminum chassis bringing the weight down to a respectable 1880kg. The Quattro system’s 40/60, front/rear torque split and the 8-speed triptronic ensure you whip off smoothly .The Audi possesses multiple ride/handling/response personalities; it’s all under the control of the Drive Select system whose Dynamic, Comfort, Auto and Individual modes are accessed through the A8’s Multi-Media Interface (MMI) whose screen noiselessly emerges from beneath a polished wood trap door in the dash. Do you prefer, say, higher steering effort and snappier throttle response but with a more supple ride? Simply dial it in through the MMI. Left to its own devices in Auto, the chassis reacts quickly and decisively to sudden control inputs.Steering feel firms up in the sportier setting and offers better feedback of the tire/road interaction. Well-controlled shock valving helps the huge 20 inch tires find that elusive last bit of grip on bumpy sections of corners, allowing the AWD to put the power down that much better. Brakes are much bigger than the standard car, intended to bring the 2 tonne behemoth to stop, and they do it effectively.



Exterior

Recent design exercises from the Audi boffins have made us wonder whether Audi is following the ‘bigger is better’ mantra. Viewed from the front you are in doubt; is it a car fixed to the grille or a grille bolted on to the car? I mean, check out the new A8’s grille, a chrome-stacked, 8-slatted trapezoidal piece-of-art that is a behemoth in its own way. It is further ‘blinged’ by two equally interesting and impressive headlight clusters, each with a set of 10 white-hot LEDs. Add to this a slash of LEDs that form the running lights which appear as a pair of frowning eye brows in the rearview mirror of the car ahead and you have that perfect recipe for a huge intimidating car.



Interior

The full extra length of this sedan benefits rear-seat passengers, longer doors for more convenient entry and the space available inside is like you are in a first class airliner.Seats can be heated, ventilated and adjusted in a variety of ways: forward and back, seat cushion depth and seat back angle. There is also a fully adjustable lumbar support. Rich natural Valonea leather cocoons your body and let you sink into the seats. Luxurious all leather interiors with a dash of natural wood, the four-zone automatic air conditioning that has 25 adjusting motors to give you that soft breeze or hail force winds. A panoramic roof with tilt allows plenty of light to reach the car’s interior. Sun blinds for both panels to keep out direct sunlight, blinds are also there for rear window and rear doors - all this for that mobile office, lounge or first class travel. It still rides a tad more firm than others but these amenities do make other class leading sedans feel outdated, and I haven’t even reached the best parts yet!



Features

A large AUDI MMI controller in the rear centre armrest controls the entertainment system, the seats, DVD drive, 10.2 inch LCD mounted on the back of front seats, a hard drive jukebox, slots for SD memory cards. It also has full access to the on-board radio, the TV tuner, the DVD changer and the navigation system. And a BOSE 14 speaker system with a 12 channel amplifier is also there for the occasional opera session. Strips of thin ambient light run all throughout the cabin; these light up the car’s interior and offer color modes like evening warm to modern bright white and more. The MMI interface is a charm to use and you don’t need to be an IT guru to tune radio or enter a destination in GPS, unlike other cars, andthe “MMI Touch” is a touchpad located just in front of the shift selector where, for instance, you can draw letters with your fingertip to enter a nav destination, drag the nav map around, etc so more time is spent looking down the road not at the screen.



Verdict

The conclusion from within the group of world’s best large sedans from Mercedes, BMW, Lexus: the A8 L scores much more points than any of them and even out-classes them in many ways! Customers for the top model value comfort, style and prestige, which is why Audi designed the A8 long wheelbase version for both chauffeurs and those who drive themselves.
 

 
سيارات MAR 16, 2012
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