Last post on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:27 AM
You are in the Audi A8
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Audi A8, Sedan
#960 of 1483 Just returned
Feb 12, 2006 (9:26 am)
to the States this past Friday and I took my W-12 and blasted to the Hamptons Saturday. Upon my arrival at my buddy's house, there appeared what looked like an '07 S550. Quite naturally I got excited as this would be my first S550 I've seen in the States. It was a gorgeous pearlescent white on oak color combo.
Once I got over my intitial infactuation with the car, I entered my friends house and the first question was, whose car is that? He said it's his for the rest of the year. Well quite naturally it would be his seeing how is a top exec at DCX.
So to make a long story short, I got a chance to drive the car, which was a full-production model about $111K. The car drove splendidly well, markedly better than my '05 S65 or the '01 S500. I enjoyed the body control and ride quality that it had. It was very entertaining and the new 4-valve V-8 is years ahead of the 3-valver it replaces. Better throttle response and it sounds better through the rev range than that of my 2001 S500. With that said, I wonder why Mercedes skimped out on the interior. Don't get me wrong, it's interior is better than the outgoing '06 model, particularly how the panels line up and the interior material choice is appropiate at this price range. Everything feels rich. BUT, this ain't no Audi. The center stack, even tho better than the old one, looks cheap. The window switches remind me of my '72 Caddy Eldo convertible. They have a metallic look to them that doesn't go with the rest of the car. And can we say i-Drive, part 2. It is almost a direct clone. They could've learned a thing or two from Audi's MMI.
On the other hand, he drove my W-12 and was immediately impressed. He had never driven a new A8, so he was shocked at the way the car behaved, especially since the car is such a sleeper. He said that he wishes that he could hire the entire interior design team away from the VW Group and install them at DC. His remarks were that the seats are exemplary, and the choice of plastics, leather's, wood's, and fabrics are nothing short of outstanding.
After a few(ok, way too many) drinks, I asked, if you had to choose, which car would you take home today? Shockingly, he said the Audi. I said even tho it's been on the market for 2 years, it's not the "in" car right now. He replied that it doesn't matter; the time and effort that Audi puts in their cars speaks volumes about the product that they put on the market.
#961 of 1483 Re: Just returned [blkhemi]
Feb 12, 2006 (12:04 pm)
Thanks for the firsthand input about the new Mercedes..Sounds like the car is a winner, but I am a little surprised about the seats...I would think that they would have ben more to rave about...They and Lexus have some pretty hard seats, and I would have thought they would have plushed them up just a bit....I notice that I can drive the Audi far longer and not get fatigued ,than the Lexus.. We got a bit of snow up here in the mountains and the Audi did fine with the all seasons..Audi might not be the `Hot` car but I think it is getting warmer and warmer...Do you notice how quickly it does get warm on the inside....For me quicker than any other car I have ever had..Now if I had about just four hundred hp and the leather headliner I would have `the car` Tony
#962 of 1483 Going out in the snow...
Feb 12, 2006 (1:11 pm)
I'm on my way to return my grandaughter. We've had her for the weekend, and we're going out now to Bronxville from Queens. We've had more than 20" in Central Park and well over 12" in Queens.
I'll let you know how it went when we return.
#963 of 1483 We're Back
Feb 12, 2006 (3:10 pm)
The trip was totally uneventful..and that's a good thing. Most major road were clear, and the secondary and tercieary roads where no obsticle for my car. I saw other vehicles stuck and skidding, but I just kept on turckin'.
This is a new experience for me. My last two cars where a BMW 330CI Convertible w/sports package and a Porsche Boxster w/sports package. Both of which would do 360s with more than 3 snowflakes on the ground!
Feb 12, 2006 (8:41 pm)
I went out on the Long Island Sound earlier today. As you know, we New Yorkers are experiencing a Nor'easter, one heck of a storm. The W-12 proved a steady cruiser, especially if the car even thought about sliding or skidding, the stability and traction controls quelled it that instance. The quattro system is without a doubt, BEST among the AWD luxo sedans(Merc-4Matic, Volvo AWD, etc). This car has proved to me to be an all-weather vehicle, so much so that I'm thinking of selling my Jeep JGC and just keeping my Commander for my very rare off-road excursions.
Now if we can get rid of the snow, I'll be able to enjoy the dry side of the W-12's performance.
#965 of 1483 Re: Just returned [blkhemi]
Feb 12, 2006 (9:59 pm)
Interesting review. Mercedes nor BMW "work" the materials when it comes to design like Audi does IMO. That said I think the S600 would be the right car to compare a W12 A8 with.
#966 of 1483 Re: We're Back [emauss]
Feb 13, 2006 (1:24 pm)
Hi Eric---Long time--The snow storm started down here and then built as it tracked north...We only got a few inches, but enough for a test...I just wondered about how deep a snow you could have and not scrape the bottom...I kept the car elevated, but don`t think that it would go much deeper than five inches or so...What`s the magic number?? Tony
#967 of 1483 Re: We're Back [anthonyp]
Feb 13, 2006 (2:13 pm)
They say we had over 26" of snow in Central Park, but here in Queens (about 7 miles away), I would say we have nearer to 15".
I had the car raised for the first part of my traveling, but quickly brought it back down when I realized I was not where near bottoming out.
As was said, the car handle with aplomb and is a pleasure to drive even in this pretty bad weather.
#968 of 1483 Re: Just returned [merc1]
Feb 13, 2006 (2:56 pm)
It doesn't matter which model when it comes to the interior. Even the base A8 outscores all of it's competition in this category.
Now far as model designation is concerned in the performance area, sure, it's only fair to compare apples-to-apples. The W-12 and the S600. The S600 is faster, but the W-12 is a much better cocoon to enjoy the scenery in.
#969 of 1483 Re: Just returned [blkhemi]
Feb 15, 2006 (9:53 pm)
Well I haven't been in the new S yet since they didn't allow anyone to sit in them at Detroit. I would still generally agree that the Audi has a better interior more so in looks and design than just sheer better materials, IMO.