Audi A8 L drive review: The gentleman's luxury flagship ride – HT Auto

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The battle for supremacy in the luxury car space is often fought top down and three flagship sedans from three renowned German brands have often been engaged in a very intense rivalry against each other. While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series has a sizeable fan following, the Audi A8 too has been a firm favourite for many over the years. And to expand the fan base, the Germans recently updated the model with the 2022 Audi A8 L.
Launched at a starting price of 1.29 crore for the Technology variant and going up to 1.69 lakh for the Celebration variant, the 2022 edition of the Audi flagship is an updated model but one that continues to back its inherent strengths – comfort, technology and a capable drive. It may not be as glitzy as some of its rivals but does its understated highlights truly strike a chord with the niche buyers out and about for a ride that is an extension of their success?
Here is the first-drive review of the 2022 Audi A8L:
The latest Audi A8L wants to strike a perfect balance between youthful energy and mature confidence. Think of it as a super luxury ride for the young and dynamic entrepreneur. He or she may not want his or her ride to grab eyeballs and yet, would want envious glances. Those glances are primarily due to the large proportions of the A8L and the sensible use of chrome. The face is highlighted by a large chrome with generous chrome treatment. The border line expanding below the grille and enveloping the air intakes is also done in chrome. The reworked adaptive LED headlight units look extremely stylish too but come as an extra at 10 lakh over the price of the vehicle. For the price, these smart Matrix headlights boast of a mind of their own – offering auto-adjustment based on surroundings and ambient conditions.
Move to the side and the A8L stands on 19-inch wheels which sport a reserved alloy design. There is a chrome strip on the bottom half of the door while the sedan continues to have a stretched and strong shoulder line. The overall length of 5,300 mm and a wheelbase of 3,100 mm is impressively evident and justifies the ‘L’ in Audi A8 L. And while it may have an impressively inviting appearance, come too close and the proximity sensors on the OLED tail lights put out visual warnings.

How luxurious is the cabin of the Audi A8 L?

Audi is offering a nearly countless number of customization options on the A8 L which means if you and your business partner both decide to buy this boss car, each of you may still have something unique to brag about. The sedan also comes with the option of four or five-seat layout which is great.
While generously loaded, the cabin does feel a bit too plain when compared to the model’s direct rivals and for the price that one is paying to be inside one. The dual-screen set up on the dashboard, the virtual cockpit, the gear lever are now becoming increasingly common on Audi models and there’s not much that the A8 L can highlight as its own. But it does offer almost all that the passenger at the back would expect from a flagship sedan – plenty of leg space, an optional relaxation package with plethora of massage functionalities that includes foot massage, entertainment screens and even chiller tucked behind the central armrest. Do note though that the relaxation package is again an optional extra and while the sedan comes with a 17-speaker Bang and Olufsen music system, you will have to pay more to get the 23-speaker system.

How is the Audi A8 L to drive?

It is quite a shame that as far as flagship sedans are concerned, hardly any owner drives the vehicle him or herself. The Audi A8 L begs to be driven and there’s good reason.
Powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-petrol engine, there is 340 hp of max power and 500 Nm of torque on offer. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission unit and the shifts are typically smooth and precise. Slip to Dynamic mode and this luxury car assumes an aggressive character that helps it go from standstill to 100 kmph in just 5.7 seconds. I would happily trade the foot massage on the back seat for this any day, hands and feet down. And while there may not be much feedback for fun from the steering wheel, the A8 L is an extremely comfortable car with its adaptive air suspension working overtime, every time. Want even more comfort on the move? The Predictive Active Suspension comes in at 15 lakh extra and helps the sedan scan the road ahead to automatically adjust the suspension
The latest Audi A8 L may be a facelift but it does offer a whole lot to the mature customer base it is targeting. Comfort is usually at the very top of the priority list and the sedan aces the game here. It is quite a capable vehicle to drive which means if you do decide to get behind the wheel occasionally, there would be much to appreciate.
And the A8 L looks like a flagship too so there’s the added advantage of making a real statement when you arrive. On the flipside though, the cabin isn’t exactly overwhelming you with glitz and glamour, and the optional packages do significantly add to the final price of the vehicle.
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