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First Drive: Audi A8 3.0 TDI

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Hot on the heels of Mercedes’ mighty S-Class Audi have just launched a leaner, greener version of their flagship model the A8.

What is it? Audi’s big limo gets a nip-tuck all around , there’s new lights, bumper, the engines are more efficient and  some key technology features have been added.

First impressions of the new Audi A8?   While the cosmetic changes are not immediately obvious at first glance the exterior is now subtlety sharper, slicker with a more dynamic look.

What about the interior? From the way the doors close with a reassuring thud to the supremely comfortable seats the A8’s cabin wraps you in luxury. This beautiful cool interior is better trimmed than ever and fuses the old world wood and leather with new technology beautifully.  Space in the back is good but not quite as generous as expected of a car of this size.

And on the road?  We had a chance to test drive the new 3.0 diesel, one of   five petrol and diesel engines available on the A8 and the one most likely to be the biggest seller. Behind the wheel its wonderfully refined and power is delivered by the whisper-quiet TDI engine. On our brief test drive the A8  feels nimble and eager and while on such a short journey  it was hard to determine quite how rewarding the A8 is as a driver’s car  it certainly feels like one of the most complete in its class.

How Much? Prices start from €92,800 for the entry level petrol model and €94,080 for the diesel.

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How Safe? As expected of a car in this class a number of high tech safety features are designed to help both avoid crashes or in the event of a collision minimise injury. New additions to the A8 include active lane assist, which makes slight steering adjustments when necessary, park assist system with 360° display, which handles steering when parking, and the head-up display which display important info such as speed limit signs or sat nav directions  directly at eye level on the windscreen.

What about my options? There is a choice of three trim levels: SE, SE Executive and with standard or long wheelbase. If you yearn for still more the Audi W12, with a 6.3 litre engine under the bonnet, arrives in Ireland in April. It can accelerate from 0-100kph in 4.6 seconds but comes with a hefty price tag of €155,160.

3 words to describe the Audi A8: Opulent; Advanced; Dazzling

 

For more information check out Audi.ie  or the Audi facebook page

 

Geraldine Herbert

24th January, 2014

 

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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