Audi A8

Although Audi’s flagship sedan has experienced remarkable success in Europe, its stateside sales tally has not kept pace. But Audi hopes to change all of that with the all-new 2011 Audi A8. The all-wheel-drive aluminum-bodied A8 is a now strong competitor and a refreshing alternative to the ubiquitous saloons from BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. With an optimized 4.2-liter V-8 engine, the big sedan is capable of reaching 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and has 372 hp and 328 ft-lbs of torque on tap. More importantly, however, the A8 now has an elegantly sleek exterior design to match its smooth performance. Audi’s signature LED lights are immediately recognizable and the new design language is more sporty, following suit to the smaller A4. Unfortunately, the 2011 A8 does not hit U.S. showrooms until early fall and the range-topping W12 engine is not available, at least for the car’s first year. But those who prefer to be driven can rest assured that the long-wheelbase version will meet all of their desires. Pros: Audi’s designers really kicked it up a notch. Cons: Big performance numbers are not on the table—yet.

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