Audi A8

The best seat in the Audi A8 is diagonally behind the driver. This might seem strange in other vehicles but it makes perfect sense for the German carmaker’s latest and most luxurious since most A8 owners would be driven and would therefore spend most of their commute in that seat.

The back seats are certainly class-leading in their category. Considering how low they recline, Audi probably took their cues from business class airline seats. A centre console offers individual tablets for each passenger to tweak the air- conditioning, extend window privacy blinds and more. There is even an adjustable reading light for those long drives.

You can also tweak the back seats of your Audi A8 with a plethora of optional wood and leather inlays. There are also a lot of subtle technological accoutrements that set the A8 apart from its siblings in the Audi stable, including a fancy elevated entry function that noticeably and quickly raises the car by 50mm for easier entry and exit when you open the door.

Another notable function is the predictive active suspension system, which works in tandem with the camera to identify uneven road surfaces and bumps before immediately adjusting the suspension in anticipation. The system also reacts when you’re speeding up rapidly or braking hard, ensuring that you are gently pushed back into your seat instead of being pressed against your seat belt. The A8 is clearly Audi’s preferred showcase to flex its technological prowess.

If there is one knock against the A8, it’s the inconspicuous exterior. Sure, you can jazz it up by adding shiny accents to the front and rear bumpers, but it was never designed to turn heads. It has an air of anonymity that a reclusive millionaire would embrace.

(Related: Car review: The Audi A7 Sportback)

On weekends, when the driver is off- duty, hop into the cockpit and you’ll be rewarded with a sporty ride that happily devours straights and handles corners with verve, thanks to a nifty feature called transverse force reduction. When cornering, the A8 will raise the body on the outer side of the bend while lowering it on the other side. It’s barely noticeable, but you’ll appreciate it when your full cup of coffee in the holder barely spills a drop.

The 3.0-litre V6 engine completes the century sprint in 5.6 seconds and propels the A8 to a top speed of 250kph. Sufficient for your weekend drives around the island and even up to Malaysia, once the borders reopen. The boot also passes the golf bag test with enough space for two fully equipped ones. But you don’t buy an A8 for the drive. You purchase it for everything else that the car offers. In this case, while the car might look unassuming, it is anything but that inside.


ENGINE: 3.0-litre TFSI quattro V6 engine

TORQUE: 500nM at 1370-4500 rpm

POWER: 250kW

0-100 KPH: 5.6s

TOP SPEED: 250kph

(Related: Car review: The new Audi A4 focuses on refinement and not evolution)