There are many ways to look at the new Audi A8 (Audi’s rebirth of its luxury saloon) these views obviously include adoring with your own two eyes!
This vehicle has to be seen to be believed. The incredibly high-tech system can look at itself in its surroundings through 23 camera systems interpreting its position through radar, laser and ultrasonic views rendering itself in 3-D, giving a clear nudge towards the A8’s brand new Level-3 autonomous abilities which are now the basis of the A7, A6 and the future of Audi. Although sadly it is something that won’t be seen in the UK for some time to come, due to UK self-drive legislation being remarkably more short-sighted than the A8 itself! However – it is unfair to start on a negative – but now the only negative is out of the way, prepare to be wowed by the third generation A8!
At this point, a review would happily veer off onto the driving experience; the inimitable Audi virtual cockpit, the five drive options, the rear-wheel steering, which allows the car to turn in a smaller circle than the A4, the two haptic feedback touchscreens and more ‘casual’ voice control. Safety systems such as cross traffic assist offer enhanced virtual visibility, as does the lane-assist and how passenger safety won’t allow the doors to open in front of approaching traffic – oh and it can park itself of course. BUT, the new A8 is all about the passenger experience.
Audi has simply taken passenger comfort and in-car functionality to another level.
As you’re the boss, settle into the left-hand rear seat, choose the piped mood-lighting ambiance – a favourite is the cool blue hues of Maritime or Caribbean (with the levels of comfort experienced here there should clearly be an ‘Aviation’ mood as this ergonomic experience is more likened to first class air travel) and choose ‘enhanced leg room’…watch the front passenger seat reconfigure and open a bay for the passenger’s feet – this along with the seat back, offers massage functionality – guaranteeing an arrival status of rested, relaxed with a feeling of general well-being.
There are tablet computers on the back of the front seat head rests and a smaller tablet in the middle rear console that detaches to control all of the in-car systems and settings. This also works as a mobile phone thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity to one’s own device, which is quietly, wirelessly charging out of harm’s way in the armrest on a charging mat – we say harm’s way loosely as the A8 has the most advanced safety features on any Audi to date…
This A8 is up against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-series, or is it? Audi has literally reinvented luxury detail, passenger comfort and relaxation. Pop up Bang & Olufsen speakers, hidden air vents – silently filtering ionised and seasonally-changing fragranced air into the vehicle through an atomiser.
And as a working environment, the A8 has been perfected – seven reading lights – all with spot control, seat position pre-sets and a host of device connectivity.
Overall the A8 caters for top-level work, rest, and play – it is a thrilling drive and a passenger’s dream.
The Audi A8 is a vehicle to behold, although operating in a niche market with an entry price of £69,100 (£73,095 for the long-wheel base A8L), available in petrol, diesel and e-tron boasting wireless charging, it is a people pleaser.
Think less S-class and 7-Series and more Bentley Flying Spur!