Audi A8 4.2TDI Quattro SE Exec 21 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    If anything confirms that you've made it, it's the new Audi executive express


    I have to confess, I’m a sucker for Audis. I had the opportunity to compete in the Scottish Rally in the Eighties as part of the Audi rally team alongside Stig Blomquist and Hannu Mikkola at the wheel of the stunning Audi Quattro and saw how professionally they approach every aspect of their work. Since then Audi’s commercial sales story has been truly remarkable going from just 14,000 sales in 1991 to almost 101,000 in 2007 and 2008. The reason is they’re producing stylish, quality, exciting cars across the range, from the entry level A1 to the massive Q7 SUV. Between them there’s the stunning R8, now with its convertible Spyder version and the quirky and fun TT.

    The latest A8 fill the luxury slot and it does so beautifully and elegantly. It also introduces significant new technology to make the life of the A8 owner and driver that much more comfortable, effortless and safe. I love the all-LED headlights, the night vision which highlights obstacles in the dark, the predictive touch pad on the sat nav screen and the other clever touches like the automatic clock adjustment when you drive around Europe. The sat nav recognises where you are and sets the clock to the local time, while also adjusting the headlights for driving on the right. 

    It’s quiet, sophisticated and effortless

    On the road

    As you’d imagine, it’s a delight on the road with the massive V8 turbodiesel providing everything and more than you need for the job. It’s quiet, sophisticated and effortless but with an amazing economy normally associated with much smaller, less luxurious cars.

    That, and the low CO2 is achieved by what Audi call ‘recuperation technology’ – recycling a proportion of the otherwise wasted kinetic energy generated under normal braking. That’s normally lost as heat but instead the A8 stores it temporarily in the vehicle battery to reduce the engine load when the car subsequently accelerates again. It’s clever stuff and just one example of the huge advances the company has made, following in the tyre tracks of the innovative Quattro technology of 30 years ago.  

    Comfort & Safety

    Yes, it is … absolutely comfortable and totally safe, not least because of its pre-sense system which analyses information from the ESP sensors. When they indicate maximum braking or skidding, the control unit steps in and depending on the severity of the situation, issues a warning signal, decelerates, closes the windows and sunroof, activates the hazard warning lights and tensions the seat belts.

    Should I buy one?

    For the best in luxury, comfort and latest technology at a sensible price, this is the car.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £66,450 / £69,750
    Engine / Power: 4134cc V8 / 350bhp
    How fast?: 0-60 mph 5.5secs, Max 155mph
    How big/heavy?: H1460mm  W1949mm L5137mm / 1995kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 37.2mpg / CO2 199g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: / Band J
    Alternatives: Mercedes S Class; BMW 7 Series; Jaguar XJ

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