2014 Audi A8L Facelift India Review
We were totally astounded by 2013 A8L’s eclectic mix of technology and craftsmanship. Now with the 2014 facelift, we review the A8L powered by a V6 3.0 L TDI and subtle changes. Audi has splashed a lot more attention, new materials all around and visual tweaks apart. On the inside, though, the 2014 facelift is a little difficult to differentiate than its predecessor.
Images: Hanoz Patel and Amit Chhangani
The 2014 A8L retains majority of the lines of the 2013 version only to further refine them and make the A8L look more elegant. While the massive front grille remains similar like before, the current car receives twin creases on the engine hood. If you missed that, you just cannot overlook the new and stunning Matrix LED headlamps with integrated day time running lights. The lower bumper has received a revision too with surround effect chrome strip treatment. The trademark Audi Bulgarian beard grille bears 7 chrome strips as opposed to the earlier 8 making it look well defined and less cluttered.
The 2014 version also gets the new cast aluminium 18 inch wheels in 10 spoke V design. While it remains similar from the sides as before, the rear end has seen some clever changes to changing it from bland (somewhat) to beautiful. Take for instance the revised tail lights which are still LEDs, however they have a chrome strip running through them imparting a slimmer look, further accentuating the curved boot lid. The lower chrome strip on the bumper now wraps around enhancing the curved profile. The tail pipes are now a set of slim trapezoidal chrome tips, a big departure from the earlier simplistic round tips.
As they say, it’s hard to improve perfection. Audi, however, has still managed to find ways to improve the already stunning interiors. Overall, the glossiness has been toned down with polished veneer wood inserts being replaced by raw textured wood trims. The most important change remains the all new 3 spoke steering wheel instead of the earlier 4 spoke one. The new multifunction steering wheel bears a big round boss and Audi has also done away with the glossy wood trim found on the earlier version.
The facelifted A8L gets a brushed aluminium strip running across the length of the dashboard which used to be piano black earlier. The test car you see in the pictures dressed in Sand beige pearl effect paint especially complements the interior of the car. The seats are upholstered in high quality Valcona leather`s Baloa brown and snow white combination. The door pads are a mix of Alacantara, leather and brushed aluminium inlays. As always, pictures do better justice to the interiors, feast your eyes on them along with the description
The rear central console has a refrigerator inside
Triple cup holders near the rear AC vents
Rear view parking camera has a hi-definition, bright display with steering guides
It can power any 2 pin device, the voltage numbers say it all
Rear passenger seat adjustments and settings
No need to yank the ash tray out, there is a button for it as well!
Individual display screens, vanity mirrors, panoramic sunroof, refrigerator, you name it and the A8 has it!
Spare wheel isn’t full sized. It’s a space saver with a maximum permissible speed of 80 km/h
Engine, drive and handling
With oil burners becoming the hot favorites in India, Audi offers the 2014 A8L with an option of two engines: A 4 litre V8 TFSI gasoline and the 3 litre TDI V6 tested here. The turbocharged V6 displaces 2967cc and produces a hefty 254bhp@4000-4250 rpm. The torque figure 580Nm @ 1750-2500rpm is even more impressive. This engine has been mated to 8 speed tiptronic and delivers power to all wheels via Audi`s proprietary Quattro tech. The V6 endows this 2.5 tonner with a 0-100 dash in 6.1 seconds flat! What astonishes us more is the refinement of the engine whether it’s idling or spinning merrily at 2000 rpm while on a motorway.
Audi has also employed Active Noise cancellation which improves the overall experience; the refinement of a gasoline motor is hardly missed. The double acoustic glazed windows drastically cut down on the wind noise and other worldly sounds.
It’s a well known fact that diesels are all about torque they wring out, thus when you have 580Nm at a tap of your feet, the in gear acceleration redefines the word effortless. Max torque coming in at low and usable rev band coupled with 8 tightly stacked cogs give little work out to the engine. The ratios are swapped swiftly without a hint of jerkiness, the V6 tugs the A8 without hesitation or drama. While the V6 red lines at 5000rpm, it has enough juice to stay under 3000rpm in normal driving conditions. That says, it’s still displays eagerness to revs, if that’s the need of the hour.
The yacht style gear shifter still remains a bit difficult to master while selecting the desired drive mode as before, but feels great to operate. Once slot in perfectly, the A8L will whisk you away to an electronically limited 250kmph with the clinical precision of a hitman. In case you are in a mood to test its handling, this 5.2 metre long yacht on wheels will oblige as long as you are mindful of its proportions. The feedback from the electro-mechanical steering is good and not artificial.
The A8L rides on air springs equipped with adaptive suspension which automatically regulates the ride height as well as infinitely variable adaptive damper control. The ride quality remains near velvety thanks to the assistance from 235/55 profile rubber and seldom gets bone jarring. The A8’s high speed manners are impeccable though it prefers minimum sudden changes in direction.
As before, the A8L exists with the top motive of travel in luxury. The rear seats with zillion options/settings and gadgets to play with are aimed purely at maximizing comfort, and the A8L accomplishes that perfectly. While the interiors remain more or less the same (read opulent), externally the A8L has received fine upgrades to make it more desirable than ever. Equipped with cutting edge technology like the Matrix LED headlights as well as incorporation of lifestyle class brand, Bang & Olufsen, the Audi parking system, Audi’s 2014 A8L leaves little to complain about.
Price as tested: Rs 1.1 crore