Road Report: 2011 A8
By John McDonald, August 11th, 2010
This past weekend I took the 2011 Audi A8 out for a little road test. It’s a serious car that turns up the heat in the luxury sedan market—putting in in the same class as the Mercedes Benz S550 and BMW 750, specifically. It’s a near complete overhaul from 2010—and one can only assume if there is yet another Transporter installment that Jason Statham will be behind the wheel of this ride as well.
I took the car on about a 100-mile journey, which gave me both highway and the city driving. The new design clearly makes it feel advanced and modern from last year (the new grill is major improvement) and the interior, as expected, is super-luxe with a combination of leather, wood and top technology including Bang & Olufsen speakers—and one of the best navigation systems I’ve ever used on a seven-inch screen. While personally, I would opt for a 21-inch wheel and tire package, there is very little the enthusiast might look to change from the stock model.
The Adaptive Cruise Control though is perhaps the most innovative of the vehicle’s technology and really takes it to the next level. Tell the car the max speed you want to achieve along with the distance you’d prefer to keep from the vehicle in front of you, and the car takes over. It took me a few times to trust the system, but sure enough each time a car either slowed down in front or pulled into my lane the car smoothly reduced speed and kept safe distant. I easily could have gone 45 minutes without touching my brake or gas pedal once. From a safety perspective this feature may eliminate rear-end accidents but for those that enjoy to “drive” it may get limited use.
For those looking at this category, I’d have to say this may just be the way to go. Check it out at www.audiusa.com.