So here we have the 2019 Audi A8L and it’s no surprise that I love it. This has always been one of my favorite cars simply because it is a very distinctive car, you always know an A8 when you see one. The styling of the A8 has always been understated, but never plain or dull. It has always had a sporting look to it without ever being too flamboyant or in your face. Inside it’s very much the same story, despite the new Audi Virtual Cockpit the interior seems like a very familiar place. I have always found the interiors of A8’s over the years to be a mixture of elegant and contemporary design, while at the same time remaining highly functional.
The Audi A8 graced us with its presence in 1994 but didn’t arrive to the US until 1996. The A8 was a replacement for the excellent Audi V8, which was a ground breaking car for the company. The Audi A8 was also ground breaking in its own right as it was the car that started the current Audi alphanumeric nomenclature to identify the series of car. It is also the first Audi offered with a twelve cylinder engine, which is my favorite version of the A8 but we will get to that later.
The exterior styling of the Audi A8 has always been one of my favorite parts of the car. It’s always unmistakably Audi especially with the current design language. The low and wide front grill and the Matrix LED headlights are a dead giveaway that this is definitely an Audi. Whenever I look at this car from the front, it makes me imagine what a German interpretation of Ghia coach work would look like. Walking along side the car I can’t help but notice how well the 20 inch wheels complement the ride height given by the Adaptive Air Suspension. The car seems to look just right. Going around back the OLED taillights really accentuate the width of the car and again provide a look that is distinctly Audi.
The interior of the new A8 is a great place to be. It has become even more high-tech with the new Audi Virtual Cockpit which now houses most controls within its two screens. The new digital gauge cluster also houses the navigation system and the night vision assistant which displays thermal images of your surroundings. The rest of the interior now features standard Valetta Leather and Natural Wood with Aluminum inlays. I will say though that you would be remiss if you didn’t upgrade to the full leather package which gives you Valcona leather on most of the interior surfaces.
Something that’s worth noting about the interior is that it has two configurations. The first interior configuration is the 5 passenger rear seat comfort package which includes among other things rear heated surfaces, Smart Remote Control and Ventilated Massage Seats. The second interior configuration is the four passenger configuration. In the 4 passenger configuration there is a fixed leather wrapped full length center console, folding tables, center rear airbag, wedge style floor footrests and Rear Matrix LED reading lights. In addition to all this comfort in technology you also get a huge trunk which is big enough to fit at least three suitcases.
The way the A8 drives is as serene and smooth as one would expect in an ultra luxury sedan. However with the combination of Quattro All Wheel drive an aluminum chassis and rear wheel steering you get a sportier feel than you might expect. This particular car is equipped with a 3.0 Liter Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection (TFSI) V6 with aluminum block and heads, which is good for 335 hp and 369 pounds feet of torque. It has a pretty good 0 to 60 time of 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of 130 miles an hour. The V-6 is mated to an eight speed automatic which is really quite smooth and unobtrusive. You also get the new 48 V electric system which makes this a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV). Although with the 4700 pound curb weight I would probably wait until the V8 comes out. Ideally with a car of this size and stature I would rather have the W12, but unfortunately in the American market we won’t have the pleasure of having that great engine. The smoothness torque and incredible balance of the W12 would have made a great complement to this car, however with the horrible misunderstanding that most people have about 12 cylinder cars not being fuel-efficient most people will opt for the smaller engine which really is a mistake with a car of this size and weight.
Aside from the seating configuration is this car has quite the options list. Most of which includes various luxury amenities which I can’t say I would be willing to go without. In my opinion it doesn’t make any sense to buy one of these cars just off the lot. Because with Audi you have the option to order a car which is really the only way to buy it. When you’re in this price range there really is no reason to buy a car off the lot when you can order exactly what you want. After all nothing is better than having a car that is uniquely you. I personally would have a fully optioned out car in Navarro blue with the nutmeg interior. A car that is fully optioned out should come out to about $120,000, which is not a bad price for the ultimate Audi saloon car. If the $83,000 base price is already pushing it for you, you really should be considering a fully loaded version of the excellent Audi S6, because you would be getting a much nicer car than a base A8 for around the same price or less.
The one caveat I would have to all of this is if I can’t have a W 12 or the diesel for that matter but wanted to stay in the level of luxury that the A8 provides, I would honestly have to say I would wait for the S8 to come out. The S8 would not only be the ultimate version of the A8 but it is a car that comes without compromise. You get power, comfort and practicality in one car. Really what more can you ask for.
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