By on December 1, 2009

Audi A8

I won’t lie, I was expecting something a little more… dramatic from the new Audi A8. On the other hand, if it weren’t a fundamentally understated car, it wouldn’t be an A8.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

22 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: If It Ain’t Broke Edition...”


  • avatar
    twotone

    Looks like Audi hired Chris Bangle.
    Twotone
     

  • avatar

    The current car is better. Even the one before that is better. This A8 is too easily mistaken for an A4, and lacks the presence needed in a large sedan.

  • avatar

    I really like it.  It’s not over the top with flame surfacing, but it’s got some visual interest.  The interior shots really look good, I think.  In some pictures, it doesn’t look as big as it is, but in others I think it’s got a nice presence to it.
    I’d give it serious thought if I were spending 10X my usual car budget.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Reminds me the A5, which I spotted in Frakfurt during a recent trip to middle east.
    And that thing, even without hubcaps was gorgeus.
    Also,  I don’t understand what they’re doing with the headlamps, they look like they’re coming from outer space. I’m sure I dig them.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    @riko
    Oh yes, and Mercedes, BMWs….
    Most of the taxis were Mercedes E-Class from various generations.

  • avatar
    peekay

    Way better than the big Beemer.

    • 0 avatar
      PGAero

      Are you talking the BMW K1300GT, or the K1200LT?  I don’t know.  I think comparing bikes to cars tends to confuse things.  Totally different purposes.
       
      ;o)

  • avatar
    jkross22

    That’s it?  Nearly indistinguishable from an A4, I’m sure much to the chagrin of soon to be A8 buyers.
     
    I like the small/medium/large idea, but it worked for BMW when those late 90’s/early 00’s BMW’s looked great.  The Audi looks a bit droopy to my eyes.  The design seems to work better for the smaller A4, but looks a bit odd on the longer/larger A4 Avant and here as well.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    One can spot some differences but to the casual observer this will appear the same as the previous generation A8, the only uglification being the headlights, which look way too MaxPower for this class of car. It seems the Porsche philosophy of hiring designers to not make any changes to the design seems to have filtered through immediately.
    In my opinion this will bomb again in the US, as the previous generations have and I cannot see it making much impact anywhere outside of Europe, for that matter. And unless they’ve fixed the interior headroom issue (the current one really falls way short of expectations in that respect), and the suspension settings, it will continue to play a marginal role in Europe, too. What a missed opportunity…

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Not a fan of the bilge keel/strake part way up the doors. Other than that, fine. In person, no way to confuse this car with the A4 – the A6 maybe.
    I like simple and discreet. My favorite 90’s sleeper was the Merc E500/500E assembled by Porsche and my favorite aughts sleeper was the Audi RS6. In each case, they were practically indistinguishable from the more plebian versions of the same car.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    That’s it?  Nearly indistinguishable from an A4, I’m sure much to the chagrin of soon to be A8 buyers.
     
    That’s a virtue of the car, not a vice.  If I had the money (a big, big, if) I’d certainly get an A8 in silver with a modest wheel choice because it doesn’t stand out like a 7-Series or S-Class.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    I like the way it looks. Up in Canada we can get it without the front plate…grill looks bad-ass without the plate. There is a LOAD of cool tech in the car too. I like how the transmission can read the gps to help determine gearing, like if you are coming up to tight turn it won’t upshift. Moble wifi hotspot is cool too. And 3D google earth data integrated into the gps etc etc. Not sure if the touchscreen is the best way to interface with the gps though….a voice command system that actually works would be better. And it could have more power, but thats what the S8 is for I guess.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    From what I understand from people who were present at the unveiling, the car looks significantly more imposing and elegant in person than in photos.  The A5/S5 are much the same way – fairly bland in photos, but very sleek in person.

    Also keep in mind that the forthcoming A7 will probably add that little something that this car may lack on the exterior (at least from initial glances).

    I suggest taking a look at the interior shots, however – it looks like one heluva place to spend some time.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    What’s with the Storm Troopers eyes?

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Given its size, I doubt the new A8 will be confused with the A4 in person.   But it is odd that Audi is taking the “same sausage, 3 sizes” approach.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    The front end is softer than I expected from the concept, but overall I like the design. I think the only slight weakness is the rear end, its a bit too much like the A4. The new turn signals rock. Instead of shutting the LED strip off for a conventional signal, the entire strip turns yellow and flashes. Looks awesome, and should eliminate the “I saw a brand new Audi and one of its LED strips was already burnt out” comments.
     
    The interior  looks fantastic, and there’s no obvious cost cutting as on the A4. The A8 definitely still has the best interior in the segment. I still prefer a mid-size sedan, but if I were shopping in the full-size segment, this would be it.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Hmmmmmm.

    It’s not parked in my driveway?  That’s about the only thing I see wrong…..

  • avatar
    JSF22

    I like everything but the LED DRLs, which after just a couple of years are beginning to look like caricatures of themselves.

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    There’s something to like about not being noticed when you’re driving around in flagship luxury.
    The 7 is garish, the S pretentious.  LS says I read Consumer Reports and am beginning to grow fond of the delicious flavor of prune juice.
    The A8L says “I might be an A6, wait – no, yes, maybe. Nothing to see here in any case.”  And it says it to no one in particular, because no one in particular is noticing.  The perfect car for a TARP villain.

  • avatar
    V6

    hate the headlights and i think the front in general could have been sharper, it looks too soft and a bit clumsy. i am sure it will look much better in person though, audi always have a great stance/road presence. however i’m most keen to see a proper profile shot to check out how much front overhang there is

  • avatar
    DearS

    I like the interior more than before, but I’m sad that they let go so much of what made the old car great and replaced it with an over sized Sonata, albeit with an Audi grill. Its still a great car mechanically, but I’ve never been so turned off about a new car. I feel so indifferent when I look at it that I lose interest in getting any closer. I’m glad I feel this way, its new for me. I feel like I can relate to people who cherish looks over anything else.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States