The 2013 Audi A8L: Expensive luxury thats not a Mercedes

When you compare German car makers, it seems to me that almost all of them slip pretty snugly into their established niche. Volkswagen is sport and compacts, Porsche is fast sports cars, Mercedes-Benz is luxury and elegance. Audi, to me at least, seems to wander in and out of these categories but with the 2013 Audi A8L, it has firmly planted both feet into that expensive luxury category.

The 2013 Audi A8L is one part of a model line that can arrive in one of three ways. There are three engine sizes and three wheelbases on offer. A V6, V8 and V12 engine will be enough power to brighten up anyone’s day. The longer wheelbases come with the bigger engines, and even though the cars are identical from the door pillar forward, the extra inches translate to more legroom in the back, which tells you where Audi were going with this car. The better choice of engine is the new 4.0L V8 motor that you can figure is two Audi-built turbo 2.0L engines bolted together. Once we’ve digested that, its no surprise that this yacht will rocket you to 60mph from a standing start in only 3.9secs, almost as fast as a Corvette. The advantage over the V12 is in fuel economy. With the V8, Audi incorporates Cylinder Optimization which shuts down engine capacity automatically that is surplus to requirements. Top speed is 137mph but only because someone programmed the delimiter that way. The fire under this hood is stunning and with the 8-speed automatic transmission, it is a dream to drive.

Move inside the 2013 Audi A8L and a sea of luxury and elegance opens up. The top of the line interior package will set the owner back about $14,000 but nothing is left to the imagination. Every possible circumstance either comfort-wise or driving-wise is covered. Back seats are lumbar-active and heated. Computer screens are mounted to the back of each front seat. Audi Connect puts Google Maps and 3D Satellite Navigation Imagery at your fingertips. The technology has enough capacity to handle up to five plugged-in Wi-Fi participants. Audi MMI is the touch control arm of the system and Audi Drive allows you to decide on which driving experience you’d like to take you to work today. You’d swear you were still in your living room.

When you look closely at the A8L and figure that in addition to what we have covered already that the legendary Quattro all wheel drive is at the core of the car’s handling, it’s clear that we’re looking at one of the top vehicles in its class bar none. It is the flagship of the Audi brand so every attempt has been made to square this car off with the S-Class, 7 Series and LS460, and frankly, its stacks up brilliantly. The base price of the 2013 Audi A8L is around $88,000 but when you figure in all of the features that we’ve discussed today, you’re looking at $125,00 and some loose change.

No doubt whatsoever that the A8L has work to do to claw back Mercedes and BMW stragglers, but if I had anything to say to the executives up in their ivory towers at those two companies , I’d stick to two words only.

“Watch out”.

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