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The Audi A8L pampers our testers, overloads with gee-whiz features

Consumer Reports News: July 20, 2012 01:08 PM

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A technological tour de force, the Audi A8L luxury sedan is rich in power, pampering, and performance. Our testers praise its abundant features and note a few places where complexity trumps function.

In the automotive world, luxury has come to represent premium materials, quiet cabins, and cutting-edge technology, all befitting the dynamic needs of power brokers and industry scions. Often lost in the mix is that the term "luxury" often denotes a relaxing, stress-free experience.

The A8L gives its BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class rivals a run for their substantial money, starting with a 372-hp V8 engine behind the four-ring grille. It delivers effortless acceleration, and the performance is balanced with tenacious road-holding and impressive agility for a hefty, hedonistic ride.

The technology, as detailed in our video, ensures there are buttons and motors to address near-every function, including a touch-screen interface to adjust seat-belt height, seat massage, and seat bolsters. While impressive on the showroom floor, this is all a bit much while driving.

Likewise, the optional LED headlights look cool, but we found their low-beam coverage to be lacking.

Still, the Audi A8 delivers on the promise of a motoring experience that is a cut above. Click through to the complete road test for the details.

Jeff Bartlett

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