Audi A8 4.2 FSI in the test: sedan with subtle elegance

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Audi A8 4.2 FSI in the test
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W so it is clear that the Preliminary reporting in tabloid style has hit deep. No hybrid for the start of series production, it said, a weight-intensive all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

The A8 is a sedan of subtle elegance, without stylist gags

Has Audi put an outmoded dinosaur on its wheels? Of course not, the CO2 clock is ticking heavily in Ingolstadt too. In the model tested here with an eight-cylinder gasoline engine, the standard consumption could be reduced by over one liter. That's a word, because we're talking about a car of truly princely dimensions. Well over five meters long, almost two wide. What the designers have hidden very skilfully. The Audi A8 does not present itself as bulky Thick ship, but as a sedan of subtle elegance, in which no obvious stylist gags disturb the line.

Everything in the Audi A8 is top notch, even the wooden strips are handmade

In the interior, the generous amount of space that meets the expectations of a luxury vehicle without restrictions even more pulled out all the stops. Skilful handling of materials and attention to detail have long been considered Audi features, and a new high is reached here. Everything is of the finest quality - right down to the wooden strips, the edges of which are handcrafted to be flattering. The technical perfection, which is reminiscent of the classic coach-builders of history, is combined with the latest electronics. The operating system called MMI shows a fundamental further development, with a touchpad like on a laptop being the key.

The Audi A8 also sets standards in the operation of the complex technology

You paint letters with your finger - the name of a destination, for example of a telephone conversation partner. And already what you want appears on the retractable screen. The whole thing also works with remarkable perfection. Only those who do not know the alphabet have to use the voice control, which is also available. When it comes to operating a car crammed full of complex technology, the Audi sets standards. And he does other things toono weaknesses.

Highly comfortable, multi-adjustable seats or an unobtrusively working air conditioning are among the things that are taken for granted, which are only worth mentioning for the sake of completeness. When driving, the impression that the size of the body takes a backseat grows. As swiftly and easily as the Audi A8 reacts to steering movements, it can certainly give the impression of sitting in a mid-size sedan.

The Audi A8 also goes one better when it comes to agility

The good clarity towards the front also contributes to this. As with many modern cars, you only have to rely on good judgment at the rear - or on the reversing camera, which is one of the recommended extras. Audi's top model has always been one of the particularly agile representatives of the luxury class, and the new Audi A8 goes one step further. If the dynamic position is selected in the driving programs menu, the immediate reaction of the steering appears a bit exaggerated. The new, very gently shifting eight-speed automatic transmission then shows a decidedly sporty characteristic that is not necessarily in the sense of economical locomotion.

Despite high engine speeds, the interior of the Audi A8 is quiet

And the V8 engine bites like an angry rattlesnake. The running noise of the eight-cylinder is of course so well insulated that the interior is quiet even at high engine speeds. Comfort mode appears to be more agreeable under most circumstances. Then everything is gentler - especially suspension and damping. There was a lot of catching up to do here, as the suspension comfort of the predecessors had largely fallen victim to the desired driving dynamics. The improvement is obvious. The suspension responds sensitively and also absorbs rough bumps without causing the body to move vertically.

Despite the light metal construction, the Audi A8 scratches the two-ton mark

The Audi is now on par with its competition, something without Doubt represents the most important advance in development. Despite the light metal construction, the car was not really light. In the test car, the abundance of optional equipment weighs so hard that it scratches the two-ton mark. All-wheel drive also contributes, but it would be wrong to question it. Anyone who has ever been on the road with the Quattro in winter will find the drive of only two wheels in powerful cars an antediluvian relic.

The test consumption of the Audi A8 is noticeably lower than that of its predecessor

The A8 shows the best driving safety under all conditions, what forOf course, not only the four-wheel mechanics, but also the coordination of the chassis electronics is responsible. And the consumption? What the standard values ​​show can be understood in practice. Traveling quickly with ten liters is not a problem, especially on the motorway, where the favorable drag coefficient and the long-translated eighth speed step come into play. The test consumption is noticeably lower than that of the predecessor, to which internal engine measures also contribute.

Standing water, for example: After a cold start, the coolant in the engine block is not circulated and heats up quickly. This reduces internal friction and thus consumption. A total work of art is created from many detailed developments. Not just a decent car, but an extraordinary one. Chapeau, Mr. Stadler.


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