Driving the 2015 Audi A8 L TDI Quattro Tiptronic
Monterey Car Week in August is a destination for automobile collectors, vintage racers, enthusiasts, and luxury carmakers from around the world. It is also a free-for-all in the best—and worst—sense of the term: Multiple auctions, rallies, races and concours gatherings, topped by Sunday’s granddaddy of car shows, Pebble Beach, all conspire to make the Monterey Peninsula a circus best navigated by a lion tamer with a whip and side chair. What should be simple journeys, like getting from points A to B, are more often a matter of ricocheting from A to G to M to D to Z and finally back to B. So onerous are the traffic congestion, road closures, and incompetent parking-cops-in-training that I always ask myself why I keep coming back.
Living in Los Angeles, I find that the decision is never whether one drives or flies, but rather what one drives. The solitude afforded by the five-hour road trip is always anticipated, a welcome respite from the traffic chaos to come once I reach Ground Zero in Monterey. This year, I opted for luxury in preference to hard-driving sport, knowing well how quiet comportment in a spacious, well-appointed cabin would inure me to the tedium of the bumper-to-bumper traffic that waited. The chariot of choice for this journey: the 2015 Audi A8 L TDI Quattro Tiptronic, a mouthful of a model designation for Audi’s long, luxurious—and parsimonious—diesel flagship.
(Continues on next page…)