Taking a Backseat - 2012 Audi A8 Long-Term Road Test

2012 Audi A8 Long Term Road Test

2012 Audi A8L: Taking a Backseat

February 06, 2012

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I had our buxom A8 for the weekend because my in-laws were in town and the two coupes in our household were not going to be roomy enough for squiring the Texas Tornados around town, particularly to a festive dinner and brunch to celebrate their 28th anniversary.

On the night that we went to Sky Room, a deco-style rooftop restaurant in Long Beach, we rolled in what I've always heard called Jersey Style, meaning guys in front, girls in back. It cemented for me the fact that the A8L is really meant to be a chauffeur-driven vehicle.

It goes without saying that it's not nearly as much fun to ride in the A8 as it is to drive it, but it is a pretty luxurious perch back there. There are untold amounts of legroom, seat heaters, reading lights, nicely placed speakers, power rear privacy shades that let you "keep out natural and social elements" as the Audi brochure so delicately puts it. There's also some nice horseshoe-shaped burl wood trim on the back of the front seats upon which to meditate while James or Jane or whoever your driver is takes you to your destination. My mother-in-law and I were tempted to practice our QEII wave to the hoi polloi as we purred by.

As discussed in our intro, we didn't even spring for the full backseat package. You can see some of its elements below, as described in an Audi brochure: 10" viewing screens, worktables -- everything you need to be a mobile captain of industry.

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But the car's visual appeal transcends the usual class/cost/country-of-origin boundaries. One of my neighbors, the owner of a slick new orange-as-a-supernova Dodge Charger flagged us down when we were parking the A8.

"Man," he said, shaking his head and smiling. "That is a gorgeous car."

And so it is.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @9,426 miles.

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