2011 Audi A8

All eyes will be on you in this stunner of a sedan.

Model Tested: Long wheelbase

Story: Evan “Evo” Yates

Subtlety is a fine art automakers seldom understand or even have the balls to attempt. The Audi A8 is the king of the understated in its luxury, CEO-status segment, which could possibly put it over the top when up against its flashy German cousins.

The initial and often sole noticeable exterior characteristic is the open-mouth grille, which seems to extend all the way to the pavement with every descending chrome bar. Also commanding attention from across intersections are the signature LED illuminated eyelids.

Unfortunately, that’s where the fun stops on the outside. If you fancy a nearly $100K sedan that gets you constantly noticed, this superlative sled is not your ride. The A8 is more of a gentleman’s sedan for those not desiring to share a platform with rappers or pro athletes; this car is perfect for flying under the radar while still being submerged in high class.

As soon as you settle into the cockpit, you are immersed in—but not overwhelmed with—gadgetry. The ergonomics are truly on point, and the MMI system is much easier to navigate than the 750Li’s iDrive system. The new touchpad is simply brilliant, allowing you to scribe destinations and numbers with your finger while keeping your eyes on the road. Everything seems to work well together, and just in case you need to toggle between items, there is a redundancy built in so you never miss a beat—all song titles, navigation routes and miscellaneous info is displayed in between the tachometer and speedometer.

The driving experience is remarkable, and you can adapt it to your driving style. Select “Auto” or “Comfort” on the Driver Select System, put it in drive and let the 4.2-liter V8 and eight-speed transmission do their dutiful duet. Or, if you want to get a little closer to its supercar sibling (the R8), roll the selector to “Dynamic,” shift into “S” and watch the behemoth sedan come alive as you click through the gears.

Specs:

Damage: $92,700

Power: 372hp, 328 lb.-ft.

0-60: 5.7 secs.

Gas Cash:17 city, 27 hwy

Miles Driven: 500

Interior:The A8’s interior makes you fall in love even more each time you enter. Dope gizmos, heated/ cooled/massaging seats and an excellent sound system will have you sitting in your car an extra 10 minutes before you go into work.

Exterior: The obvious selling point is the front end with the outlandish grille and signature LED headlights. After that, the exterior falls safely into large-Audi standards, with a mundane profile that received just a hint of a bodyline. Cop a lighter color if you ever want to see it, though.

Floss Factor: True car guys recognize what it is. And as long as you’re slightly receding and keep a scowl on your face, people will think you’re Jason Statham.

Flaw Factor: From the crease of the front door back, the styling flops—maybe even a step backward from the previous generation.


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