So what does the new Audi A8 look like in the metal?
Well I heard several of the 750 hacks that crammed into the ‘Audi Pavillion’ on Miami Beach say that it just looks like a big A4. Yes, they have a point - but it’s far more impressive and imposing than that, and not just because it’s bigger.
The new A8 has a far more pronounced shoulder line and looks a lot more graceful than the A4, and the car it replaces. It also looks more chiselled and swooping too - if not quite the four door coupe look that Audi design boss Stefan Sielaff is claiming for it.
Sielaff can take a lot of credit for the way it looks inside though. We’ve got used to great Audi interiors and Sielaff himself was in charge of the cabin of the last A8. But this one moves the game on even further. Yes all the functionality is there, including a really impressive touch screen operating system. But the real joy is the craftsmanship inside. Textures, tones and materials really are more becoming of a Bentley than a Teutonic saloon. The back is an especially good place to sit too - even more so if the reclining chairs are fitted.
But the Audi’s got a difficult job. Despite the obvious appeal of the last two generations it’s never quite matched up to either an S-class or a 7-series in the eyes of luxury car buyers. Add the impressive looking new Jaguar XJ into the mix and it looks especially tricky.
But the new car looks a classy enough act to cope.