As promised in today’s podcast, here’s a teaser image of the forthcoming Audi A8 (courtesy of Top Gear‘s blog).
The A8 has been redesigned only once since it was introduced in 1994, and even then it traded total anonymity for mere subtlety. And not only did previous versions melt into the crowd, they didn’t sell well in the states either. As a result, you almost never see the things on the road. Which is too bad because it’s a great car. My first drive in one came courtesy of my boss at the time, and after a quick cross-town delivery I had to double-check the badging to make sure the “8” wasn’t a “6.” It was that nimble and it hid its executive-sized heft that well. Plus it made 80 mph in town feel like, well, the speed limit . . . at least to a kid who was commuting in a Neon at the time. Though the car is on my lifetime ownership short list, and I like the look of the redesign a lot, I find myself nursing mixed feelings. If this new generation is as sexy as the sketches promise, it might just become popular. It might become a car worth posing in. It might no longer be the best car that nobody ever sees or mentions. Which would be good for Audi, but not for me. Love can be so complicated.