Audi’s A8 TDi V8 was one of our office favourites last year. We loved its style, titanic torque and peerless build quality, and fought among ourselves for the keys whenever the opportunity arose. Nevertheless, affection didn’t blind us: in our group test the Audi suffered precisely because of the V8’s drawbacks in terms of list price, handling, frugality and emissions relative to the six-cylinder opposition. Choosing the V8 TDi meant putting heart before head.
Now there’s an A8 with the Audi’s ‘new generation’ 3.0-litre TDi unit. Also available in the new A6, the twin inter-cooled turbo V6 features common-rail technology with piezo injectors that allow fine control of the fuel delivery – improving power (230bhp) and economy while cutting diesel clatter.
Refinement is immediately apparent: from outside it’s hushed at idle, and inside, whether murmuring on part throttle or smoothly spinning to its red line, the V6 is a sophisticate. Performance is more than adequate: Audi claims 0-60mph in 7.8sec, and 332lb ft of torque means the step-off to 30mph is performed with authoritative ease.