Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Audi A8 L 4.2 V8 Tdi - Low-Flying First Class

analysis

The top-end luxury car segment isn't the most important from a volume perspective. But given the R1-million-plus price tags these limousines command, even modest sales tallies represent an attractive proposition for the brands that offer them. Which explains why Audi has just updated its flagship A8 range. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the high-tech behemoth in Cape Town.

There are some compelling reasons why a significant number of Audi A8 buyers will rarely, if ever, get behind the wheel of their imposing steeds.

For starters, there's the space. Sitting in the back of the A8, and particularly the extended-length A8 L, is like being ensconced in the first class cabin of an airliner: stretch-out legroom, super-comfortable armchairs, high-resolution colour screens, and engaging surround sound.

No, there isn't space for the pretty airhostess and the drinks trolley. But you do get to savour a hand-crafted interior, with a level of execution that is indisputably upper end, and that can even be customised to suit personal taste and preference.

Progress might not be as swift as a Lear Jet at 42,000ft, but the Audi A8's ability to cover ground with unruffled ease, almost regardless of conditions, becomes clear as soon as you hit the...

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