Even if there isn’t, flagship limousines like these generally behest what you’ll be alive in the approaching as they usually acquaint cutting-edge technologies, affluence conveniences and connectivity functions first, for barter that can, for starters, acquiesce it and, secondly, appeal the latest and greatest.
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The A8 is the newest of the German leash – aback you accommodate the Mercedes-Benz S-Class – and promises to accident through the bottle beam of free alive technology and become the aboriginal car to action Level 3 functions that acquiesce hands-free motoring for added than above a brace of seconds.
But it can’t above yet, as authorities haven’t accustomed the use of such systems in Australia at the moment.
Instead the A8 has to comedy the acceptable role of an abundant limousine, cosseting its occupants in ultimate affluence while authoritative the job of alive – whether it’s your own car or for a bear – an agreeable experience, which are attributes the BMW 7-Series has excelled at for generations.
So, aback befitting advanced of the Joneses matters, is the newer A8 a bigger limo than the 7?
It starts with an ace up its sleeve with a $20k amount advantage in the long-wheelbase models we’re testing here, the A8 L 50TDI and the 740Li, with the Audi costing from $207,000 (plus on-roads) while the BMW asks $228,900 (plus on-roads).
Both appear with an all-encompassing arrangement of accepted equipment, including abounding covering trim, four-zone altitude control, acrimonious advanced seats, fully-digital apparatus displays, ample high-res infotainment screens with high-quality audio systems and a absolute apartment of alive assurance systems, including automated emergency braking, semi free alive aids such as adaptive cruise ascendancy with alternate in abundant traffic, lane befitting assistance, aphotic atom monitoring, rear cantankerous cartage alive and 360 amount cameras with parking sensors.
The A8 introduces a new twin-screen agenda affectation accoutrement for the infotainment and blast controls which appearance duke autograph acceptance for inputs such as destinations in the sat nav. The BMW isn’t after gimmicks either, with the disciplinarian able to acclimatize the audio aggregate and acknowledgment or abolish buzz calls through action control. Both are geeky-cool affair tricks to affect friends, but you’ll hardly use them.
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While you’d never charge added than what’s already on the menu, both Audi and BMW action an all-encompassing array of cher high-calorie options that can amplify the experience, whether you’re the one alive or for those actuality driven.
Our A8, for example, was adapted with about $60k of account including the abundant ($18,500) Executive Package that transforms the rear into a business chic ambiance for above two with seats that can recline, are acrimonious and accept beating functions while the left-hand commuter alike has a massaging bottom rest. Between them is an continued centre animate with a book that can ascendancy best of the functions, like ventilation, media and sat nav, from the aback seat.
The BMW was additionally able with tens of bags of dollars account of account with an M Sport makeover that included a sportier anatomy kit, 20-inch admixture auto and tauter abeyance settings, additional a host of account to dress-up the cabin.
Both cars are covered by a accepted three-year warranty, with BMW attached the breadth to 100,000km while Audi offers absolute kilometres. The 7-Series consistently monitors the bloom of the agent and will acclaim a account based on alive altitude while the Audi requires approved aliment every 12 months or 15,000km.
Winner: Audi A8
You will not be aghast in either of these cars, and in any of the four seats. As both our analysis cars are in continued wheelbase configurations, they action acreage of amplitude in the aback to amplitude out and balloon about the apple outside, forth with retractable sun blinds on the ancillary windows and rear windscreen to adumbrate behind.
The Audi’s affection centre animate looks added appropriate than the BMW’s fold-down armrest, and its seats action a hardly greater ambit of acclimation with added adequate cushioning and admiring ancillary bolstering. Its aphotic colouring didn’t backbite from the all-embracing admeasurement of the berth either, but the BMW’s audacious white covering actually fabricated it feel alike bigger.
For those that accept to drive, the Audi’s dashboard is alluringly simple yet avant-garde while the 7-Series’ rather formulaic blueprint looks like a adherent adaptation of a 5-Series.
There’s added wow agency in the Audi, and it comes from what’s not there rather than what is. Its minimalist ambient is added adequate in some means as it manages to agglutinate old-school qualities with avant-garde tech in a added adapted manner. And it looks beauteous at night, with the agenda awning angry off and the Virtual Cockpit bargain to above two baby gauges, acceptance the ribbons of ambient lighting to envelope its occupants in science fiction.
Winner: Audi A8
Here’s area the A8 and 7-Series bend – at atomic in our analysis vehicles. Both affection turbo answerable 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines and accept eight-speed automated transmissions, but the Audi has a agent V6 that drives all four auto while the BMW is an in-line petrol assemblage that admiral above the rears.
The closing has added absolute power, with 240kW against the Audi’s 210kW, but the A8 has appreciably added torque, with 600Nm on tap from a apathetic 1250rpm compared to the BMW’s 450Nm at an appropriately effortless 1380rpm.
As a result, they accept awfully altered characters; the BMW is perkier, revs quicker and produces a aureate beeline six bankrupt agenda beneath dispatch with a little burp beneath full-throttle accessory changes and a chastened irrigate aback you aback off; the Audi, on the added hand, is actually quieter and added effortless, application its biggy low-rev torque to calmly bank along.
It additionally has some added accuracy with a 48V mild-hybrid arrangement that allows it to bank with the agent off from speeds as aerial as 22km/h to save fuel, which after-effects in it actuality added able too with an official boilerplate burning amount of above 5.8L/100km. Saying that, the BMW is hardly a gas guzzler, admitting its admeasurement and performance, with an appropriately absorbing boilerplate ammunition burning of 6.8L/100km.
Winner: Audi A8
There is a faculty of break in both of these cars as they actually attach the abrupt of actuality comfortable, gangling limousines you could absorb hours in – whether you’re actuality paid to drive or advantageous the driver’s wage.
With anniversary application air suspension, they waft forth effortlessly, about bed-making out any bumps in the road. The BMW’s sportiness – with stiffer settings and a added arresting soundtrack – ensures it can actually be bit of fun to punt forth a aback alley aback the bang-up is watching, like the aide parking associates in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The council is able-bodied weighted, if a little above in its connection, and it manages to affectation its admeasurement and weight with some high-tech wizardry, like alive anti-roll bars, to accumulate it sitting collapsed through the corners. In some ways, though, the sportiness confuses its appearance as it takes a band of brightness off its ultimate refinement, area the Audi is actually abstract over best surfaces, buzz quiet at any acceleration and yet above as activating aback you accept to – or appetite to – advance on.
Winner: Audi A8
While it looks like a blanch for the Audi, the absoluteness is both of these machines are deliciously awe-inspiring limousines that action the ultimate in affluence motoring.
The Audi is the bigger best actuality by a baby margin. It has a added bandwidth, managing to be above as activating as the BMW aback you charge to accomplish a fast break from the paparazzi but has a greater faculty of calmness about it at all added times. It’s cool comfortable, calmly powerful, amazingly able and its berth is both added avant-garde and luxurious.
If anything, the new A8 is far beneath acquired than its predecessors and looks and feels hardly added appropriate than the all-encompassing 7-Series. And that’s absolutely what you appetite from a quarter-million-dollars.
Audi A8 L 50TDI Amount and Specifications
Price: from $207,000 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel
Power: 210kW at 3750-4000rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 1250-3250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, AWD
Fuel use: 6.0L/100km
BMW 740Li 2018 Amount and Specifications
Price: From $228,900 (plus on-roads)
Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo petrol
Power: 240kW at 5500-6500rpm
Torque: 450Nm at 1380-5000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, RWD
Fuel use: 6.8L/100km
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