Presence, power and poise is how Audi describes its flagship vehicle, the 2011 A8 L.
The L stands for long wheelbase. At 5.2 metres in total length, with no less than 130 mm in rear seat legroom alone, it quite literally fills the bill.
The backseat is more like a throne room with expanses of wood trim and buttery leathers, even a carpeted footrest that pops out for the feet of the tired captains of industry or princes of commerce who will ride there. This is matched by heated rear seats, power sunroof, deluxe four-zone climate control and electric rear and side window blinds. One of the very special extras are tables for laptops that are stowed in the front seat backs ready for use as a work surface or for a light lunch en route.
For those wishing a little light entertainment, there are 10.2-inch LCD monitors built into the front seat backs as well.
If the body is a little tired, there is a massage function built in to the rear seats. These seats also recline should one wish to have a nap.
But all is not reserved for those fortunate enough to ride in the rear. The front heated and cooled seats have no less than 22-way adjustability with four-way pneumatic lumbar support that is also memory capable.
Sound is literally out of this world with a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen super audio system.
For Canada, the prime model will be equipped with a 4.2-litre V8 with direct fuel injection producing 372 hp and 328 lb/ft of torque. It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 5.8 seconds with a fuel consumption rating of 9.7L/100 km.
Press the throttle at any speed and acceleration is near instant. But it doesn’t blast forward muscle car-style with lots of noise. It’s more like a Boeing 777, with a sensation of being slowly and inexorably pressed into the seat as eight gears change up seamlessly.
Get ready because A8 L is poised to crack the domain of the BMW 7 Series and the S-Class Mercedes with presence, power and poise.