2012 Audi A8: Luxury and Power, Together As One
Photos by Alex Martinez
It was a great pleasure being able to test out this large Audi sedan and you can be assured that it was full of surprises. From the quality and specific attention to detail to the raw heart-pumping power, the new Audi A8 does not disappoint and genuinely shows its value. With the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S Class, and the Lexus LS sedans as the competition; being awarded the “Best Large Luxury Sedan” title by Road & Track as well as Car & Driver was no easy feat.
To start off with, the model we drove boasted the 4.2 liter FSI ® V8 wielding 372 horsepower, and a 0-60 time of only 5.7 seconds. The 6.3 Liter W12 is also available on the L model. With how large the car is, we assumed that the 4.2 will not perform as well as it does on smaller Audi models, and were we wrong. From a complete stop, when you put your foot down; you are pushed back in your seat and the car takes off like a rocket. As on almost any automatic; it took a second for the power to kick in and for the car to really get going. It seems this response time has gotten much quicker from older Audi models. Once you depart; you can’t help but hear the roar of that V8. Just as quick as this sedan is, Audi was sure to include brakes to match for superb stopping power.
Set up with an 8 speed tiptronic transmission and paddle shifters; it is easy to downshift and gain speed you need it, or select a higher gear to get better fuel efficiency. While this sedan is fitted with a large V8 and the Quattro AWD system, you wouldn’t expect much on the end of fuel efficiency. Surprisingly, the highway mileage is 28 MPG and 18 MPG for city driving; which is not bad considering how large the car is and how much it weighs; also a vast improvement from older Audi models.
We had the opportunity to take the sedan on the highway as well as do some city driving. There was nothing but complete comfort on the highway, with only the suspension taking the beating from the road. The adaptive air suspension adorns comfort and dynamic settings for the ride characteristics and ride height of your choice. These settings can easily be adjusted from the Audi Connect ® display on the dash. City driving also felt just as comfortable, but we could see a downside to the A8 as being difficult to park and maneuver in tight areas.
For interior, there is not much overlooked in the way of luxury and attention to detail. Equipped with front seat massagers, brilliant leather and stitching, and ambient LED track lighting; you truly feel indulged in what it has to offer. As soon as you sit in the driver seat and hit the start button; the car comes alive, speakers come out of the dash, navigation screen comes from hiding, and the steering wheel lowers. The A8 feels as if it awakens and welcomes you as the driver, and with so many options it can really be customized exactly to anyone’s specifications. The Audi Connect ® display was extremely easy to use with many different features including 3D topographical navigation, satellite radio, and news and weather updates. While the front seating has plenty of space, individuals riding in the back seat may have trouble with leg room and head room if they are any taller than 6 feet, but this may be less of an issue with the L version of the sedan. For traveling purposes, there is an abundance of space in the trunk. It was very difficult to even find any downsides to the interior; everything seemed right where it should be and easy to find, yet the steering wheel felt slightly small in the cockpit.
Driving around in downtown Denver we could not help but get plenty of looks in the A8. Displaying clean body lines, a large chrome front grill along with 19” wheels standard; it is truly a vision. From what we are seeing on all new models; it includes the LED running lights in the front and rear giving it that signature Audi look.
It was genuinely difficult to go back to our everyday cars after experiencing what Audi has given to drivers with the A8. In driving this; we embraced luxury and sportiness all in one package. Not only do you get the space and comfort of a large luxury sedan, but the power, speed, and agility you acquire is baffling. As always; the Quattro AWD system comes standard along with many other safety features, and starting at around $78,750 the Audi A8 has by far exceeded our expectations.