Exceptional Luxury For The Discerning Buyer
Audi has been on the EV scene as long if not longer than its German rivals. And, up to now they’ve focused on small cars, performance machines, and utility vehicles. That means larger sedans like this A8L continue to soldier on with traditional petrol power, and that’s just fine with us!
While many brands have shifted their flagship focus to Sport Utility Vehicles, and Audi certainly sells plenty of them, including the very flagship worthy Q8, there’s just something about a big luxurious 4-door sedan that says you’ve arrived like no SUV can do. And that’s where this 2022 Audi A8 comes in. 3-years into its 4th generation, this big sedan has a few small changes that both keep the look fresh and ensure that technology is up to date.
We’re certainly glad this big sedan is still a big part of Audi’s plans, but they have pared down choices considerably. No more V8 or plug-in hybrid available; strictly V6 now, as you’ll have to step up to the S8 if you want a V8. And just one trim to choose from, L, which denotes the long wheelbase version of the A8, the only one we get here in the U.S.
Also, S-line trim is now standard which means a sportier-looking front fascia with black grille. You can take that black theme even further with a Black Optic package which applies the darkness to the side mirrors, badges, and logos, as well as adds unique 21-inch wheels. Never among the flashiest in the segment, the blackout treatment makes the unassuming A8 even more of a sleeper. Careful observers will notice for ’22, Audi’s signature singleframe grille has gotten a bit wider.
Much like the outside, nothing inside the A8 is overly showy or ostentatious, but incredibly well-crafted as always. And tech is not only up to date with competitors but integrated into the cabin much better in most cases. Ambient lighting is included, as are twin sunroofs. Seats are firm, but in the all-day comfortable way, and there’s lots of legroom in the back seat to stretch out. Plus, individual climate controls and vanity mirrors; though not as much trunk space as you might expect, just 12.5 cubic-ft.
The lone available engine in this A8 is the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 which rates 335-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. Those numbers may be relatively moderate by today’s standards, but aided by standard quattro all-wheel drive, and an extremely smooth 8-speed automatic transmission, it felt plenty lively to us. After a somewhat soft launch, we could really feel the power pouring out of this turbo V6, and working its way to the wheels quite effectively; enabling a 5.5-second sprint to 60.
It’s a great sounding engine too, and it never really let up on the power delivery the whole way down the track. The overall feel was incredibly smooth and refined, like it wasn’t really working at all, just plugging away without effort to deliver 14.2-second ¼-miles at 99 miles-per-hour.
The A8’s weight comes in at more than 4,700-lbs., and while we could certainly sense that through our handling course, it didn’t come through as sloppiness or cumbersomeness; rather, feeling incredibly solid and stable, with surprisingly little body roll. Steering is light, but with just enough feel to get a good sense of what’s happening up front. And there was great overall balance that allowed us to carry quite a bit of speed through the cones without encountering much in the way of understeer or oversteer. In braking runs, there was quite a bit of nosedive, and a very soft feel through the pedal; but overall results were quite good, as stops were straight and smooth, averaging just 110-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.
As mentioned, Audi has made the decision making process much easier on you with a single model available, starting at a more than reasonable $87,595; though there are a few packages you can add from there.
Whereas Mercedes-Benz tends to border on tech overload, and BMW attempts to over deliver when it comes to performance, the current A8L continues to offer a near perfect compromise. Exceptional luxury for the discerning buyer with enough confidence in themselves that they don’t need to be first in line or be the most flamboyantly dressed at the party. That’s the 2022 Audi A8L.
Engine: 3.0L Turbo V6
Torque: 369 lb-ft
0-60: 5.5 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.2 seconds at 99 mph
60-0 Braking: 110 feet (avg)
EPA: 19 City / 28 Highway / 22 Combined