Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

In the Lap of Luxury

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

In the Lap of Luxury

Article excerpt

Byline: ENDA MULLEN

MY only disappointment during my possession of an Audi A8 was that I didn't have my own chauffeur - so I could spend my time sat in the back taking it easy rather than in the front.

The reason was simple in that the rear seats looked just too inviting and far too comfortable - the sort of place where you could easily while away a whole day engrossed in a good book while someone else took on the responsibility of getting you from A to B. The plush and palatial comfort zone that is the rear of the A8's cabin was enhanced somewhat by the fact this was a long-wheelbase model and therefore more of a mini limousine than a mere executive saloon.

Needless to say, every passenger I transported got to soak up the space and wallow in the kind of luxury enjoyed by a VIP. In fact, I reminded them that some of their favourite celebrities might well have sat in the very same seats, bearing in mind the model tested was from Audi's VIP and press relations department, part of a fleet of extended A8s that often transport the likes of Cheryl Cole and Hugh Grant to and from film premieres and events.

In fairness the A8 is actually pretty pleasant to drive too, its outstanding strength being the fact it doesn't feel at all like a big, bulky and awkward limo. This took me by surprise and I expect it was in large part down to the A8's aluminium construction, which gives it a remarkably nimble and light feel.

The latest A8 is something of a technological tour de force and boasts the kind of kit that not too long ago you might have expected to encounter on television's Tomorrow's World rather than in the real world.

Highlights include a satellite navigation system that communicates with the Tiptronic automatic gearbox to plan gear changes according to the twists and turns of your route and a guidance system that allows you to enter a postcode destination by writing it with your finger.

There's also a night vision system that recognises pedestrians and warns you of their presence. …

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