Sure, beauty tends to be skin deep. But when it comes to first impressions, a pretty face helps to set the mood for developing a long-lasting, meaningful relationship. There is no denying the emotional response to the clean and cool aesthetics of the Audi A8. Every glance elicits deeper emotional attachment further supported by the driving experience. You see, this is one beauty that’s not only graceful sitting still, but inspiring in motion.
I hold a great deal of respect for automotive designers. They are faced with maintaining the heritage lines while advancing the design into the next ‘logical’ permutation. For years Audi designers have managed to create beauty without offending. Some may argue they have been soft on pushing the envelope – especially compared to BMW – but by refining rather then re-defining the appearance; the Audi flagship tops the competition in sex appeal.
To my surprise, the outside proportions are relatively ‘compact’, considering the ample space available on the inside.
MMI is Audi’s equivalent to BMW’s iDrive. Essentially, MMI puts almost all critical controls at your fingertips. A lot has been written about the virtues of this approach. Those individuals still struggling with the basics of programming the time on a VCR may find the advanced functions of MMI somewhat cumbersome to use. The basics, however, are as simple as selecting the correct function and turning a knob. I for one appreciate the decision both Audi and BMW have made in centralizing these functions. Change is never easy – and for purists, this may be the final frontier of acceptance.
Audi equipped the A8 with a couple of engine choices. My tester came with a silky smooth 4.2 litre V8 with 5 valves per cylinder & variable valve timing. The power-plant is good for 335 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 317 pounds foot of torque at 3500 rpm. 0-100 km/h arrives in just 6.3 seconds. Not bad from a vehicle with a curb weight of 1975 kg.
If greater performance is desired… no problem. Audi now offers a W12 option good for 450 horsepower and 0-100 km/h in 5.0 seconds flat.
For those who actually purchase the Audi for comfort will not be disappointed. Whether you choose to use the A8 as a daily commute weapon or long distance companion, the experience promises to be both refreshing and rewarding. Comfort is best acknowledged when it’s not perceptible – be it good or bad – and the Audi delivers in spades.
I fell in love with the A8. Thrilling, comfortable, safe, entertaining and promises to age gracefully. And that’s what love is all about.