Audi A8 3.0 TDI: Styling, luxury and performance

AudiSuper luxury cars are mostly perceived as those that are driven by chauffeurs and not by their owners. Naturally, their development revolves round the rear passenger seat and utmost care is taken as regards the comfort of those who occupy that seat. But what if that extremely successful businessman also happens to be a youngster who craves for the kicks and thrill of driving fast and powerful cars without compromising either on the luxury or and status? Audi have the answer. The A8. In the 3.0 TDI version. A few months ago we drove the fantabulous A8 4.2 and described its excellence against the competition. This month, we bring you the A8 for the modern-day businessman, who loves to drive more than being driven around!

There is no gainsaying that Audi have raised the standard when it comes to styling. The Ingolstadt-based manufacturers have set a new benchmark that is years ahead of the times. The full LED headlamps that bear testimony to the fact that this car comes with the four-ring badge, the big, chrome-lined grille, the completely black top with a panoramic sunroof, broad shoulders and a sharp tail make for a design that will appeal to one and all. It has got enough aggression and a bold stance Audiwithout taking anything away from its luxury saloon character.

Get inside the A8 and there is absolutely nothing that will give you a cause for complaint. Ample room at the front as well as the rear makes sure that you sit in the lap of luxury while driving yourself or while being driven. And the best part is that even with that much of room in the cabin, the car doesn’t feel huge while driving. It wraps around you so well that you don’t feel that you are driving such a big saloon. The power footrest at the rear is a highlight that ensures utmost comfort while doing long hauls. Recline the seat, stretch your legs and go for that much-needed power nap. Plush seats with massager, 10-inch LCDs for entertaining the passengers, individual climate controls and similar features make sure that your journey is nothing short of first class. This car has a cabin that pampers you so much that you wouldn’t feel like getting out of it!

Obviously, all this is perfect for one who is going to be driven around by the chauffeur. What about the enthusiast who loves to drive himself? For him, the real fun is packed under the bonnet of this German wonder. A 3.0-litre diesel motor sits in there. Peak of power audi250 PS at 4,000 rpm is excellent. However, what excited us most was the stupendous torque kicking in at 1,500 rpm and making its presence felt all the way up until 3,000. It’s 550 Nm of highly exhilarating experience. With the pedal floored you are guaranteed to sink your back deep into the seat. The A8 is truly quick with naught to hundred being achieved in 7.39 seconds.

Apart from the torque and the decent amount of power on offer, what contributes to the really quick acceleration time is the lightweight aluminium body of the A8. The eight-speed transmission with dual clutch shifts through the cogs in fractions of seconds, making it an absolutely seamless experience. This very transmission also helps return a decent fuel-efficiency of eight km per litre within the city and 11 kpl by shifting up in the highest possible gear and keeping the revs as low as possible. This kind of efficiency and a 90-litre fuel tank ensure a range of almost 800 km before re-fuelling is required. Now, wouldn’t you call that phenomenal range?

The gearing of the A8 is quite tall in general, which makes it possible for the car to cruise at a little over the idling rpm and still do speeds Audiin three-digit figures in the eighth gear on the highway. Adding a lot of character to the handling of the A8 is the amazingly well sorted chassis along with the suspension offered in three modes – auto, comfort and dynamic. However, what contributes the most is Audi’s trademark Quattro system that offers intelligent four-wheel grip. Other electronic aids like ESP, EBD, ABS, etc, add enough safety to the drive.

To us, the A8 makes a lot of sense in every way. Its styling and design, which we look at first, are in a class apart. The luxury and comfort of the cabin are exceptional in every aspect. Its performance is so athletic that you would rather be in the driver’s seat than in the passenger’s. And then there are safety features in this car that would make it the safest thing around.

At Rs 76.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune for the standard version) the Audi A8 is the best in class with its price tag too. No need to look elsewhere, well-heeled businessmen, luxury with performance is right here!

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