crankandpiston.com prepares to sample life at the premium end of the spectrum with our latest Management Fleet acquisition[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||January 2015|
|Kilometres this month:||N/A|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||N/A|
As one Audi exits the crankandpiston.com long term clubhouse, another heads through the revolving doors in the opposite direction. Our latest Ingolstadt incumbent however is quite different. Gone is the off-road finesse of the Q5, replaced with nutmeg brown Valcona leather, a panoramic sunroof, and a bangin’ Bose surround sound system. Our newest long termer is Audi’s flagship A8.
There’s more to this latest acquisition though than the hedonistic whim of our deputy editor. Some of our most established readers may remember that the A8 went up against Hyundai’s brand new Centennial in 2013, Audi the only manufacturer among the big German three willing to take on the Korean new guard mano-y-mano. Ultimately Ingolstadt – so confident were they in their product – walked away with the blue ribbon, and we did wonder at the time whether we’d simply scratched the surface of its potential. Now safely in our pocket for the next three months, we’re keen to take a closer look at the A8, and from a purely aesthetic standpoint we’re off to a good start.
It’s a good looking beast, all smooth curves, 21-inch Audi Sport alloys and slick headlights, behind which we find a 429bhp 4-litre turbocharged V8 capable of the traditional 250kph limited top speed and a 4.6 second 0-100kph sprint time. It’s the ‘L’ emblem on the bootlid though that warrants further context, signifying as it does a long wheelbase edition and additional legroom as a result.
Our fully loaded long termer also comes with Rear Package Plus, meaning seat ventilation, individual rear power seats, rear seat entertainment controls and a couple of TV screens. in short, a decent place to doth the cap over the eyes and grab some shut-eye after a hard day slaving over the laptop. In total, $20K-worth of extras have been lumped onto our $104,500 premium cruiser.
The driver needn’t feel short-changed though, courtesy of a silky smooth ride thanks to adaptive air suspension, excellent lumbar support and a roll call of driver assistance systems: kerbed alloys (of which our A8 L already arrived with three) should be a thing of the past thanks to the 360-degree top view parking camera. Completing the technical line-up is Audi Side Assist to aid with lane changing, adaptive cruise control and a Head-Up display. Because that’s always handy.
How well the Audi will handle the camera gear, the empty coffee mugs and the Burger King wrappers though remains to be seen…
|Engine:||V8 / 3993cc|
|Power||435bhp @ 5100-6000rpm|
|Torque||442lb ft ft @ 1500-5000rpm|
|Transmission||Eight-speed tiptronic automatic / Quattro all-wheel drive|
|Front suspension||Adaptive air suspension with four selectable modes|
|Rear suspension||Adaptive air suspension with four selectable modes|
|Brakes||Carbon fibre-reinforced ceramic brake discs front and rear|
|Wheels||21” x 9J ‘5-arm Structure’ alloys front and rear|
|Tyres||75/35 R21 front and rear|
|Top speed:||250kph (limited)|
|Price:||$104,500 (base) / $125,200 (test model)|