If you're looking for a full-size luxury car brimming with power, odds are you'll look at an automaker's range-topping performance model like the Mercedes-AMG S63 or the. But if you don't like all the panache that comes with one of those cars, you're often left to sacrifice most of that power, as well. That's where Audi's A8 L 4.0T Sport comes in -- it's the just-right bowl of porridge in this story.
New for this year (replacing a non-Sport 4.0T), the Sport's main attraction is its 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged eight-cylinder engine, which is up 15 horsepower over last year to a total output of 450 horsepower. There are several aesthetic upgrades to let you know that this is a performance-oriented model -- but the whole package is a bit more subdued than the S8's look-at-me getup.
Despite aiming for sportier drivers, there's no sacrifice of luxury inside. Standard equipment abounds, including 22-way ventilated, massaging, diamond-stitched leather seats and a panoramic sunroof. Fans of new-car tech will be happy to find a head-up display and almost all of Audi's latest safety technology, too.
A blind-spot monitor will help prevent you from changing lanes into traffic, while Pre-Sense Rear can detect an imminent rear-end collision, tightening the seat belts and adjusting the seat and windows to better protect occupants. Buyers can also opt for adaptive cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic.
Bear in mind, a flagship luxury car is never cheap, and the 4.0T Sport is no exception. Its starting price is $90,500 (directly converted, about £58,900 or AU$125,000) -- as of this writing, no UK or Australian models have been announced. Considering that's approximately $25,000 (£16,275, AU$34,487) cheaper than the S8, and it's down just 70 hp, the price is relatively decent for what you get.