Through the 1980s, Audi was known for doing things a bit differently than everyone else. In the 90s, they struggled to redefine their imagine into a new, progressive lineup with the aluminum heavy A8 while still appealing to their target market with cars like the S4 and S6. But in the 2000s Audi underwent a major change; the acquisition of luxury brands into the VAG fold meant Audi moved in a new direction. Increasingly, it was the interiors of Audis that were making headlines. First, the TT did a retro-modern take on a sports coupe. But the real money was in the luxury car market, and with the D3 and C6, Audi narrowed the gap between the newcomers and the established luxury brands like Bentley and Mercedes-Benz. The cabin layouts grew increasingly tech-heavy, but also filled with supple leather and the dash had beautiful inlays of warm woods. Like a Scandinavian ski resort, they pampered their guests with modern designs in slick packaging. Move on to the D4 Audi, and the change in engine lineups in addition to the further revised cockpit meant you now had the setting and motivation to shock your Wall Street business partners. Today’s 4.0T, for example, comes stock with 414 horsepower and 443 lb.ft of torque – good enough to launch the Audi from 0-60 in under 5 seconds. Yes, you read that right. The massive bank vault-esque A8L will hustle from a standstill in 4.6 seconds. What’s perhaps more amazing about that is that within the A8 lineup, that’s actually third from the fastest model, with the massive W12 and S8 models both being a few ticks quicker. What an insane world we live in. Speaking of outrageous, massive luxury and speed cost, and when you consider this Audi Exclusive model, you’ve racked up charges close to $160,000 by the time you’ve signed on the dotted line….
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