What is it?
It’s Audi’s newly revised A8, equipped with a 2.8-litre V6 engine, front-wheel drive and multitronic CVT transmission.
If that all sounds a little ordinary for the Ingolstadt manufacturer’s big saloon, it should do, because this is the base model. It does, however, emit just 199g/km of CO2, meaning that it will escape Red Ken’s £25 congestion charge. Most importantly, it offers a decent tax saving.
What’s it like?
The answer to this question depends on what you’re doing. If you’re accelerating, then all of Audi’s work on the revised A8 – much of it concentrated on noise damping – appears to have been futile. The blend of CVT and V6 results in free-spinning, high-revving engine noise that is harsh for something that costs a whisker under £50k.
On the other hand, once the A8 is up to motorway cruising speeds, it is near silent. There’s a smidgen of wind noise from somewhere around the top of the door frame, but that aside, Audi’s work on underbody cladding and suspension has paid dividends.
That said, the same applies to the 3.0 TDI diesel A8, and in all aspects bar company car tax it is a more attractive proposition than the 2.8 petrol. Its extra torque results in a driving experience that is both more rapid and more relaxed, and it costs only £1000 more than the 2.8 petrol.