Audi A8 L W12
One of the finest automobiles Audi has ever produced
Feb. 6, 2006 12:00 PM
The A8 L W12 is one of the finest automobiles Audi has ever produced, second only to stratosphere sedans like Bentley in styling, smoothness of ride, and power. Upscale? Please. There’s even an optional $1000 fridge in the back seat in the pass-through. As we cruised down the streets of Manhattan, folks treated us (well, the car, anyway) like the hunk o’ class we were with looks, whistles, and comments. Acceleration is fierce, braking efficient, and cornering is phenomenal, especially considering this is a full-size, four-door sedan.
All A8s underwent a redesign a year ago; the wheelbase was elongated to provide even more space and comfort for rear-seat passengers, and the W12’s rear seats recline for maximum comfort. Every A8 gets two new unique touches: Soft Touch doors, which pull the side doors closed from a partially latched position, and Automatic Key, which allows the owner to unlock the doors and start the car simply by walking up and getting behind the wheel. The 4.2-liter V8 engine was tweaked to generate extra speed, and a six-speed Tiptronic automatic shift allows better gas mileage than the five-speed automatics of years past. Audi’s Aluminum Space Frame, a lightweight, highly rigid structure that bonds the vehicle into one stable unit, makes the ride ultra-smooth.
Interior: Your senses are bathed in a combo of wood and leather, and with windows up, the noise of the outside world all but disappears. The sound system is rich and full, and it’s a pleasure to get behind the wheel, whether it’s a trip through the hood or an eight-hour trek out of state. A handsome, center-mounted LCD screen withdraws into the dash when not needed. Big or tall? No problem. The front and back seats provide enough room for a basketball or football player – or both.
Exterior: It’s 4,729 pounds of hunk, with metallic trim lines, dignified but speedy-looking angles, and a signature waterfall grill. Twelve-spoke rims evoke the high life, and the trunk is cavernous. Trapezoidal-shaped exhaust pipes and “W12” badging on the deck lid, side moldings, grille, and door sills are the icing on the cake.