What is it?
The facelifted Audi A8 has a tough job ahead, since it arrives arrives shortly after the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz S-class. The new S-class, though, has shaken the establishment to the core and reasserted its dominance over the rest of the field, which also includes the BMW 7-series and Jaguar XJ.
The facelift is best summed up in terms of the technology gains – chiefly matrix beam LED headlamps that can shut off or push on combinations of its 25 diodes independently, either to avoid blinding oncoming traffic or to highlight potential hazards – a line-up of all-Euro 6 compliant engines and its maker’s claim that the A8 is now the sportiest car in its class.
There are styling tweaks, too (new bonnet, grille, bumpers and so on) but for all the hoopla surrounding these modifications, it’s still unmistakably an A8, which is no bad thing, everything considered.
Here, we test the A8 on UK roads for the first time, powered by the 4.2 TDI. It’s the least modified engine in the line up, thanks to its already competitive figures that strike a decent balance between good performance and running cost claims.