"2009 Audi S8 Quattro"
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Roadshow Video Reviews
Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Audi S8 Quattro
>> Take Audi's flagship A8 and put a little more starch in that flag. That's an S8. It makes a statement, yes. But is it the right one? Let's check the tech.
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>> Too much of the technology in this car is just stale. Look at the navigation screen. First you see it, then you don't. Unfortunately when you get to the display, I don't like it. It's just kind of simplistic and not terribly well rendered and a bunch of other annoyances. When you want to move around the map and browse you have to go over here to this menu thingy, click down to that double cross. Now, you're in the left right mode, you can move around like this, then click again to get the north south mode. It's like playing with an extra sketch. There is no live traffic on here, so good luck, you got to listen the radio to find out where the problems are. And of course this is all controlled by Audi's old stale MMI, which is this turn and clicky thing here. The four corner buttons, those correspond to the four corner menus in the screen, but what kind of a wacky interface is that? Do you know anything else in consumer electronics that has menus tucked off in the corners and buttons that correspond with them? Neither do I. There's a reason for that. Base, it's going to have a Bose five channel surround audio system with 10 speakers. I'd love to try it because unfortunately we have what I think maybe the most overrated upgrade in the industry, the $6,300 B and O audio system. It puts 14 speakers around the cabin. You got the two pop-up -- what did they call them, dispersal lenses or something up there. I think that just means twitter in $6,000 language. And 1100 watts with discreet amps for every driver, but it doesn't sound good. At least not with compress signals like Sirius Satellite radio or any of the MP3 should play on your iPod or what have you. It does sound very good with CD's, but not $6,000 good. No HD radio yet available in this car, that's also kind of stale. You do have this Audi Music interface, so you've got a cable here. This one is the iPod connector, but I've got a whole bunch of adaptors here and you can plug these in to get either -- what's this? Aux, USB, let's see, here's a mini USB, look at that 6-disc CD changer over there in a different zip code, that's really old design too. Can't that live up here where I can get to it? And even when I do get there I can't put a DVD in there because it doesn't read those, so I can't watch a movie while I'm parked. More importantly there's no rear seat entertainment system in this big lux-so barge. Another reason they got to refresh the tech in this car, when I'm on the map, let say, I don't see anything in there like my music information. I've got to go look over here on the driver information center which is fine, but only the driver can see it. Everything is push button in this car. The engine starter is a push button. The engine stop is a separate push button. I even got one hidden over here which I couldn't read, but I pushed it and the steering wheel got hot. So, I assume that's the steering wheel heater or a short. Now, an S8 is distinguished by its 5.2 liter V 10, 450 horse power, 398 foot pounds. Big numbers, but more impressive is this engine's absolute joule-like quality and its eagerness to both rev and pull three stamps out of a ground. Sixty happens at under five seconds, but I have to say I sometimes found it hard to apply this car's power in that nice middle ground in between head snapping and sedate. Gas mileage is a silly these days, 13/19 and we only did around 12 miles per gallon in the real world. Your only transmission is a 6-speed automatic Tiptronic with a gait and paddles. Nice gear box, but it doesn't live in the same neighborhood as the engine in terms of exoticness. S8s have a sport version of Audi's adaptive suspension that can go almost an inch lower than Audi's basic adaptive under carriage. Our car has a package that includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning lights in the mirror housings and what Audi calls Lane Assists. The steering wheel vibrates like you're running over lane dots if you drift out of your lane without a turn signal in that direction, very effective. Let's price this big silky bummer shall we? Your S8 base is going to run about 92,500, but that's a little misleading because you've got to add in the destination charge and a walloping gas guzzler tax of $2100. Now, you're closer to 95,500. The big options are tech-wise, the B and O audio system, $6300. I just wouldn't go there and 3500 for the tech package that gives you the adaptive cruise control, the blind spot warnings here in the mirrors and that vibrating wheel that tells you when you're drifting.
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