We come not to bury the A8L, but to praise it. Next week the newest generation of Audi’s aluminum space frame panzer will greet the world in Miami, and we expect it to be a leap through a wormhole compared to the today’s car. After a week with the current model at the end of its six-year run, we walked away from a saloon that still has us smitten. What we didn’t expect was that, even though we didn’t come to bury the thing, we would end up throwing quite a bit of dirt on it.
A funny thing happened on the way to reviewing the 2009 Audi A8L: we discovered ourselves writing compromising things about the four-ringed flagship. This is a sedan that we adore mightily, and having thought it over, we might even say unreasonably. It became the girl you’re dating that you first describe as “She’s great!” just before divulging a list of mildly unseemly behaviors that you’d never considered all at once, ending with, “Wow… I really do like her, but come to think of it… she’s a little kooky.” That might make the Audi A8 the Megan Fox of automobiles.
We drove the A8L W12 a couple of years ago, and it was possessed of so much battleship-gray girth we wanted to call it the Bismarck and park it in a Norwegian fjord for safety. Yet and still, it was glorious: an exterior awash in pulchritude, an interior so beautiful we wish we had gotten its autograph, and it gulped miles, and gas, like cognac. Since we didn’t write about it, we didn’t give it the philosopher’s thought, and we walked away from it with only roses, no thorns.