Audi A8 Review

audi a8 review 1

It all starts with a simple iPad app. Available now for free, the Audi A8 app shows you how the car will look in light tan or dark blue. You will also find out that the 19-speaker stereo system was custom-designed specifically for this car. You can find out how the pedestrian detection system works. And, you can gawk at a few beauty shots of this $78,000 luxury sedan. What the app doesn’t really explain though is that the real reason the Audi is such a wunderkind of engineering is not the tech features, or the styling, or even the luxury add-ons. The car is just a blast to drive – at any speed, under any conditions.

You can imagine that Audi engineers are chuckling to themselves about how Motor Trend just named the Chevy Volt as the car of the year. “Yeah right,” they might say. “And pigs can fly.”

The truth is, the A8 does not seem as innovative, at least in terms of fuel efficiency and high-tech features. It might come as a surprise to learn that the Infiniti M37X we recently tested actually has more advanced safety features (well, at first glance – more on that later) such as a lane keeping system that brakes the wheels slightly to nudge you back into your lane. In terms of “green tech” the Chevy Volt is decidedly more advanced – after all, not many cars have one gas and one electric motor.

However, taken as a whole, the Audi A8 is one of the best (if not the best) production cars ever made. After a week of driving an all-black model with the extra PreSense package and a few optional accessories (such as all LED lights on the front and rear of the car that mimic sunlight), we can say that this is the vehicle you want if you crave only the best top-end luxury and high-tech features.

Styling and interior accents

The Audi A8 retains that classic Audi look, which is to say that it’s not flashy or bulbous like a BMW 7-Series or the Infiniti M37X, but instead has a sleek and understated look and a slim side profile. It’s surprisingly sleek for a large sedan. The all-black model we drove was not really a head-turner, but we think Audi likes it that way. It is a car that is designed for luxury and sporty handling.

audi a8 review 3

Inside, the A8 is also not necessarily meant for extreme luxury appointments. We ended up liking the cockpit feel of the Infinity M37X better, and found that the A8 has a bit more of that Mercedes feel where you don’t necessarily feel like you are in tune with the controls. That changed quickly once we actually put the vehicle in drive, because at that point the shifting and adjustments the car makes take over and it’s a blast to accelerate into high speeds and a lot of fun to take corners. In many ways, the interior styling is also meant to be understated – it’s not flashy, but trim and professional.

audi a8 review 7

Now, we should mention the stereo system at this point. Designed by Bang & Olufsen, this 19-speaker system pumps out 1500 watts and you feel every note. Seriously, this is an extremely powerful, crisp, and well-tuned audio system and finally, after many months, we can say it is on par or even slightly edges out the stereo system in the BMW 740Li. (Interestingly, we found the stereo in the Jeep Grand Cherokee to be a hair louder and more bass-thumping than the A8.) When you switch the car on, the front speakers rise out of the dash; they look like tiny satellites. We played recent releases by Band of Horses, Bruce Springsteen, and a band called The Go! Team and were just blown away.

Cars

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.
Cars

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Cars

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Don’t let the SUV bodies fool you, BMW’s X3 M and X4 M are bona fide M cars

BMW is launching the first M versions of its X3 and X4. The 2020 X3 M and X4 M Competition pack a new 503-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six and BMW’s usual array of performance tech.
Cars

After years of Le Mans misfortune, Toyota becomes impossible to beat

Toyota scored a one-two finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, its second win a row at the legendary French race. Toyota is the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans twice, but its wins came without any real competition.
Cars

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.
Cars

Intel hates that your car is dumber than your phone. Here’s how they’ll fix it

Motorists are often underwhelmed and/or frustrated with their car's native infotainment system, so millions of them rely on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Intel is helping Google and Volvo change that by bringing phone-like tech to the…
Cars

Fisker wants to make sure Tesla’s Model Y isn’t in a class of one when it lands

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

Could a high-performance Nissan Leaf steal the mighty GT-R’s lunch money?

Nissan developed the electric Leaf with range and practicality in mind, but the hatchback could lend its hardware to a high-performance flagship. One of Nissan's chief executives announced a four-motor, 850-hp model could arrive during the…
Cars

Forget turrets. Hummer could fight its next war in the electric SUV segment

General Motors is considering resurrecting the Hummer brand it axed in 2010 to make electric off-roaders. The plan hasn't been approved yet, and it risks alienating some die-hard Hummer fans, but it makes sense on several levels.
Cars

This futuristic driverless pod will soon be delivering pizza in Texas

Pizza delivery using driverless pods is about to become a thing. Domino's has partnered with autonomous-tech specialist Nuro to use the futuristic pods for a trial delivery service starting later this year.
1 of 2