You’ve worked hard most of your adult life. You’ve bitten your tongue with bosses that would’ve gotten beaten up on any playground as a child, you’ve shown up to work sick, sometimes hungover, but always somewhat productive. You’ve hit deadlines and made quotas and persevered in the face of certain doom, and finally the powers that be have taken notice and rewarded you for all your hard work. You’ve made it. You finally get the corner office and the swanky title on your business card and a salary that puts you in the “very comfortable” category of income. So now what? Well, it’s time to make your morning commute a little easier and let the neighbors know you’ve arrived … in more ways than one.
That level of accomplishment is what the 2019 Audi A8 L signifies and was created for. But the A8 isn’t a cliche, brash M5, nor is it an elitist bandwagon Tesla Model S. No, the A8 L is about as understated as luxury gets without being boring.
Once you get inside the A8 L, you’ll be very happy about all that work you put in. Close the door and almost every conceivable amount of noise, vibration and harshness is all but eliminated, leaving you with an almost surreally quiet ride. Of course, you can click on the huge Bang & Olufsen stereo system is you get weirded out by the quiet. The A8 sports Audi’s famed virtual cockpit sits from and center with two main digital readouts and even your choice of background image. The center console is equally high tech, utilizing more touch screens than buttons or dials. The A8 is worth the price of admission just for the brilliance of the colors all the displays use.
But, it should be noted that this A8 L is not your grandfathers Caddy. Sure, the A8 L is quiet and comfortable, but it is by no means a slouch or just a highway pillow. It’s German roots are still alive and well as evidenced by the 3.0-liter twin-scroll single turbocharged DOHC V6 under hood that makes an impressive 335-horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. There is also a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that chips in some power as well. That power is routed through Audi’s smooth shifting 8-speed automatic and sent, as you might have guessed, to Audi’s world renowned all-wheel drive system.
The A8 L puts all of that power to the ground and wastes no time hustling to 60 mph if you happen to be running late to your new job, hitting the mark in a quick but not mind-blowing 5.6 seconds. Rumor has it that the US will get an optional 4.0-liter DOHC 32-valve twin-turbo V8 next year that makes a stupefying 453-horsepower and mind-melding 487 lb-ft of torque, which would make just about anyone forget they’re driving a 4,400 pound car with a 123.1-inch wheelbase. Optioned out with that monster V8 in European trim drops that 0-60 mph time to a Bimmer-smoking 4.0 seconds flat! Also on the waiting list for the US is Audi’s four-wheel steering and predictive active suspension, both of which will undoubtedly make the A8 feel more like an S8.
But for now the A8 L’s active suspension can do a very fine job of catering to your every whim on a moments notice. It has the ability to raise and lower each individual wheel as you’re driving to deal with varying road conditions. The system can even raise a side of the car if it senses you may get hit from the side to minimize injury. Of course, most of the standard issue safety systems will do their best to prevent that. What won’t make the cut though, is Audi’s traffic Jam Pilot — basically a self-driving mode below 37 mph, due to regulation issues. But that’s okay, with a base price of $84,795, you should be the one driving your new trophy. After all, you earned it.