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Audi A8 L: Lots of high-quality engineering, plus artful design inside and out

Audi A8 L

Great review here of the new Audi A8 L, a true flagship. Read on!

Thumb the starter button and the W12 whirrs to life with a deep woofle. This engine sounds and makes the car feel premium and expensive (no surprise there, as it is both). Our preferred way to roll was with the transmission selector set for Sport Drive, which means high shifter points and quicker downshifts. No matter, this new tranny practically melts from gear to gear, although its best characterized as extremely smooth, but not mushy. As you’d expect, the W12’s calling cards are that smoothness, and torque (443 pound-feet of it, as a matter of fact. There’s no freeway onramp this steamer can’t handle). And you don’t need max revs to do it: Just massage the pedal through the mid-range, and surf that mile-wide torque curve. Cruise along at 70 in eighth gear, and matting the throttle brings a couple instant downshift and you’re at 100, truly that quick. Bentley makes great use of turbochargers aboard this engine, but they’re just not necessary in this application. The W12 looks, sounds, and powers like the premium flagship powertrain offering it is.