Audi’s A8 L is a no-compromise package deal positive to make an impression

Audi’s fourth-gen A8 arrives in India practically two-and-a-half years after it was launched in world markets. The brand new flagship sedan is bigger than its predecessor, primarily based on a brand new platform and is loaded with tech. So, has it been well worth the wait?

The brand new A8 L wears its limousine coronary heart on its sleeve. If the 10ft (3,128mm) wheelbase wasn’t sufficient, the rear overhang extends far out, making it appear to be a correct stretched sedan. What additionally helps is the window line, which stretches far again past the precise seating space of the cabin, giving it a curved, coupé-like form. This check automobile sits on a set of reasonably racy five-spoke, 19-inch wheels, however that’s the one sporty contact you’ll see right here.

As with earlier A8s, there’s been no try at making this automobile look sporty or overly curvaceous. It’s all enterprise, although straight traces and creases, and daring particulars on the entrance and rear do liven issues up. There’s loads of chrome throughout too; it does ship that all-important highway presence for a luxurious automobile.

The interiors

The again seat is, in fact, the place you gravitate to in a automobile like this, and Audi has actually gone to city right here. First, there isn’t any extra bench seat and the break up rear cabin is customary — a tall centre console runs between the 2 chairs, and homes the central AC vents, seat controls, the non-obligatory rear wi-fi cellphone charger, an non-obligatory mini-fridge situated within the boot, and a small command centre that centres round a detachable touchscreen pill. This operates each single perform of the rear seat — powered sunshades, sunroof, lights, local weather management, media and the seats themselves.

The rear seats are what actually set this ‘limousine’ class of luxurious sedans other than the whole lot else in the marketplace. Positive, the long-wheelbase E-class additionally will get reclining seats and added legroom, however the A8 and its opponents are in a complete completely different league.

Heating, cooling and massaging seats are the norm right here, as are the leisure screens, panoramic sunroof, and powered sunshades for the whole rear cabin. Although the sheer plushness of the cushioning would possibly nonetheless fall slightly shy of these in an S-class, it’s close to not possible to fault the rear-seat consolation. Except for the large quantity of changes you may make (together with folding the entrance passenger seat ahead) there’s the non-obligatory foot-massage system, which is exclusive to the Audi. Constructed into the again of the front-passenger seat, this heated pad kneads your soles into rest.

Then there’s the rear leisure system. The screens are literally removable Android-powered tablets replete with front-facing cameras, web connectivity and full performance. Which means not solely are you able to entry in-car infotainment capabilities, however you may as well stream your favorite films and even maintain video conferences.

The entrance half of the cabin has quite a lot of the wow issue too, with air-con vents that glide gently open while you slide your finger throughout the touch-sensitive management strips. The twin-touchscreen MMI system is current, in fact, and as we’ve documented prior to now, it’s feature-packed and appears wonderful, however might be tough to make use of on the transfer.

Issues aren’t all that rosy from the motive force’s seat although. The large transmission tunnel means the motive force footwell could be very slender and there’s an audible squeak that emanates from someplace behind the centre console on a bumpy highway. Additionally, at sure occasions of the day, the large plank of shiny black trim on the dashboard throws up huge reflections.

The engine

Coming to the engine, the A8 is offered in 55 TFSI guise in India, and which means a 340hp/500Nm turbocharged petrol V6 engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system. An 8-speed automated gearbox is customary as is the Quattro all-wheel drive.

Now, whereas this is similar engine because the Q8, the A8 is 160kg lighter than the SUV, and because of this it feels noticeably sprightlier. Audi claims it’ll do 0-100kph 0.2sec faster than the Q8 too, taking simply 5.7sec, and although that’s fairly fast for a limo, this isn’t a sporty engine by nature. Sure, a tough launch will yield the requisite outcomes, however in most driving conditions, energy supply is light, clean and much more refined. And whilst you’d need a little bit of sport within the Q8, on this A8, you don’t.

Equally, the driving dynamics — you merely don’t wish to put this automobile in Dynamic mode. Even after I needed to go faster, I discovered myself dialling simply the powertrain into ‘Dynamic’ and leaving the steering and suspension at their soothing, mushy greatest. We now have introduced the A8 L onto some reasonably unsavoury rural roads, and, frankly, that further diploma of absorption you get from ‘Consolation’ permits it to trip flat over a patchy highway. Credit score should additionally go to the fitment of 19-inch alloy wheels that take among the hit.

The agility of the A8 L comes as a giant shock, and that’s largely due to the non-obligatory rear-wheel steering. Pair that with a light-weight and easy really feel on the wheel and also you get a 5.3m sedan that tucks into site visitors gaps like a hatchback. Additionally, while you’re altering lanes at excessive pace, stability isn’t compromised, because the rear wheels flip in the identical course because the entrance ones, reasonably than the other.


In summation, for those who’re seeking to purchase your subsequent limousine, you’ve got a really compelling possibility within the A8. Imported as a CBU with a beginning value of ₹1.56 crore (ex-showroom, pan-India), the A8 L 55 TFSI is a little more costly than six-cylinder-petrol-powered variations of its domestically assembled rivals, the S-class and seven Collection. The differentiator, like with the Q8, is the extraordinary degree of customisation. Prospects have entry to the complete Audi Unique catalogue of paints, upholstery, trims and wheels, which ought to guarantee that every automobile stands out. Furthermore, although there are gear choices to select from, the usual specification could be very beneficiant; so even for those who don’t wish to spend a rupee greater than the beginning spec, you’ll nonetheless get a complete luxurious expertise.

Audi is aware of it has misplaced valuable floor to Mercedes and BMW on this prime tier of brand-defining flagship luxurious sedans; and to make up for it, it has pulled out all of the stops with the A8 L, providing a no-compromise package deal that’s positive to make an impression as massive because the grille on its nostril.

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