Nicholas Cooksey drives Audi’s ultimate luxury car in Dubai.
My first experience of the new A8 was in the back as a passenger. Reclining in the spacious and comfortable back seats while being chauffeured I felt like a sheikh.
From the back seat I was able to change the colours of the subtle interior strip lighting – ice blue was my favorite, closely followed by orange.
This is the fourth generation of Audi’s flagship luxury car. It’s big and designed to impress, while managing to somehow be deliberately ‘understated’ in the way German luxury cars are famous for.
It’s as technically advanced as any car on the market, including offering advanced levels of automated driving.
There’s all sorts of luxury options. There’s even an optional foot massager for back seat passengers – unfortunately the car I was in didn’t have this option fitted. Pity, I would have loved to try it out.
There’s all sorts of luxury options. There’s even an optional foot massager for back seat passengers.
For engines, you have a choice between a 340 hp turbocharged 3 liter V6, or a 460 hp twin turbo 4 liter V8. And a 449 hp hybrid will be launched soon.
Acceleration is impressive – the V8 provides zero to 100 kph in just 5.9 seconds with a regulated top speed of 248 kph.
For such a big car it has relatively good fuel economy according to the specifications.
All-wheel drive, eight-speed, and air suspension are standard. An optional active suspension system scans the road ahead for imperfections and then automatically adjusts the car’s suspension accordingly.
To be honest, I thought some of the gadgetry unnecessary, such as the remote parking function which only works in spaces so big that only the most insecure driver would consider using it. But this is the same for every noise cancellation through the audio system’s speakers. I kept checking the rev counter when the car was stationary to make sure the engine was still running.
The build quality of both the exterior and the interior is superb – the word ‘craftsmanship’ comes to mind. Of course, all cars at this level are superb. Still, the A8 ticks every box. It’s comfortable front and back, crammed with technology, near silent, has huge amounts of power, looks impressive, and can almost drive itself! It poses a very real threat to the Mercedes-Benz S Class, which of course is its intention.
To arrange a test drive in Bahrain, call
Audi Behbehani, Tel. +973 1745 9933, +973 1745 9999,
Starting Price: BHD 35,700
Nicholas Cooksey is the publisher of Arabian Magazines and Digital Group, Gulf Insider Media, and a jury member with the Middle East Car of the Year Awards (MECOTY).