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Audi A8

Motoring Review

Our fast paced lives often leave us with little time to escape the realities of the connected world of instant information. Thankfully, the newly revised Audi A8 allows us to escape to serenity in this luxury barge.

The A8 models received a few minor upgrades that subtly improve the driving experience for those who either want to spend time in the luxurious rear being chauffeured around, or take the wheel and be transported in unperturbed harmony.

The cabin paints an exclusive picture of elegance and plushness to ensure the utmost comfort for all occupants.

The exquisite finishes and quality detailing, coupled with a perfect balance of technology through Audi’s renowned MMI system and a Zen-like surrounding offer peaceful motoring along. Of course, the host of exclusive optionsallow you to individualise your vehicle for that personal touch.

On the outside, the most noticeable changes can be found in the revised bonnet and front bumper withtheir more aggressive look that’s complemented by the famous Audi grille as well as chrome strips around the A8 to accentuate luxury.

Probably the biggest talking point though is the introduction of the innovative Matrix LED headlights, standard on the A8 W12 and optional on the other A8 models. The system functions by operating on the high beam, which comprises of 25 individual LEDs per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually, depending on the situation. It reacts to other vehicles on the road and adjusts the distribution of light in response to the current driving situation. It’s a nifty piece of kit, which will surely be a driving force in future vehicles.

Tackling the road with confidence, the A8 glides along rather than tears up the tar with its imposing road presence. The A8 weighs in at just under two tonnes. Largely responsible for its relatively light physique is Audi Space Frame design that weighs just 231kg.

The 3.0-litre (190kW/580Nm) and 4.2-litre (283kW/850Nm) diesel engines make light work of shoving the almost-two-tonne machine along. Audi is also the only manufacturer to offer a V8 diesel engine in the South African D-segment. These engines are available in both the short- and long-wheelbase versions.

For someone looking for more gusto, the S8 will be available from May.It features Audi’s 4.0 TFSI engine capable of developing 382kW and 650Nm of torque with a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds.

Also joining the rest of the line-up in May is the A8 W12 6.3 long-wheelbase model while the Audi A8 Security will be offered later in 2014 in both 4.0TFSI and W12 6.3 versions.

Overall, the Audi A8 embodies opulence and its company is easy to enjoy as the power builds smoothly and effortlessly and the steering is well weighted.

Spending time in the luxury cabin is the A8’s purpose and it’s difficult to fault, but the D-segment is controlled by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and for good reason. It’s still arguably the most impressive executive sedan, but the new light touches made to the A8 shows Audi is always ready to take on its fellow Germans.

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