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The Audi A8's best assets are kept on the inside, but we're particularly fond of the new LED headlamps and tail lights, which are standard on all A8 models for 2015.
All the energy conserved on the exterior is reserved for the interior. Excuse us while we gush over one of the most stylish, best-detailed cabins we've seen, ever. The A8's cockpit, no matter how it's layered--wood, leather, aluminum or plastic, or all of the above--gives the impression that it hasn't missed a single detail. It's finished in materials that typically show up in even pricier brands, and though there's certainly a fair share of lines and surfaces and textures and knobs, the cumulative effect is exciting, not distracting.
The Audi A8 is on the lighter side of the segment–thanks to its aluminum space frame–but that isn't saying much for a category filled with two-ton sedans. That said, the frame helps improve the car's handling and save a little fuel in the process–or a lot of fuel, if you choose the turbodiesel engine.
Quattro all-wheel drive delivers sure-footed feel to the A8, even though the complexity of its suspension and wheel-and-tire offerings require a patient hand and Microsoft Excel license. (It's a German thing.) Quattro splits torque front to rear at a 40:60 ratio from takeoff, shifting power to a maximum of 60 percent front if the myriad sensors determine it need be so. On the S8, an active torque split from side to side comes into effect with the sport differential; it's now an option on other models as part of a Sport plus package, along with dynamic steering, adaptive air suspension, and summer 265/40 tires.
And therein lies the complexity. It's possible to configure an A8 3.0T with 19-inch all-season tires, or to opt an A8 L W12 up to Sport plus with summer tires, or to crank up the S8 to 21-inchers. The spectrum is broader than you think, particularly with Audi's Drive Select system on tap.Don't mistake the A8's clean, somewhat anonymous exterior lines as a reflection of the car's interior. It's the exact opposite–especially in long-wheelbase models–which are some of the best road tripping machines we've driven in a while, thanks to the TDI's long range, and the exceptional comfort of the form-fitting seats.
Step into the back seat--please, ma'am, we'll get your bags--and you'll see firsthand why the long-wheelbase car is such a grander execution. The standard backseat setup has long cushions good for lankier passengers, but there's simply not enough legroom for tall passengers, or for a car of this stature. The A8 L does have the space, and longer doors, so unless you're tight on parking space, it's worth the small premium. Multi-zone climate control keeps everyone comfortable, the rear seats are power-adjustable, and the right-side one includes a footrest while the left-side seat includes massage and recline functions. Available on the A8 L (and included in all W12 versions) are lavish individual seats in back that might just be cause to get someone else to do the driving.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.