Is the new Audi A8 the ultimate night-driving car?
Driving in central London is never fun.
the congested traffic makes progress slow and tempers can run high.
but drive those same roads at night and the pressure is slightly off.
the city comes alive to a new kind of rhythm and to take advantage of it you need the right kind of car.
and for tonight I've picked something that I think is just right for the occasion.
What's your earliest memory of being in a car?
For me it's driving at night in the back of my dad's car.
I'd have been too small to look out of the window directly but looking up I'd be able to see the Sodium street lights streaming by, casting everything in a orange hue.
Maybe the old building here and there.
And I was separated from the driving itself.
I would have had no concept of what that would have been and all I would have known was that the soft engine roar, the road noise, the lights swishing by together which form a rhythm that would lull me off to sleep.
When manufacturers get it just right, they can help you recapture that feeling.
That feeling of comfort and security, give you an ease of driving that's a facsimile of that safety and security that I felt as a child there on the backseat.
This is the Audi A8 and it goes an awfully long way of getting very near that feeling.
Audi's new A8 really does do a great job in creating a nice space to be in while you're driving.
It's got plenty of tort to move it's considerable weight around but the best thing the A8 can do Has make moving you around feel effortless is the chasy and the suspension where the car really shines.
A new optional trick suspension can raise and lower individual wheels to make bumps in the road simply disappear by looking ahead and predicting what the car needs to do.
As not to disturb you from your relaxing drive.
Everything about this car is aimed at making the driver's seat as relaxing as possible and although it works at anytime of day where it really shines is at night.
There's something about driving at night that already takes me back to those memories of being a child, being in the back of the car, and that night time feeling of the Bright lights contrasted against the dark background is echoed in these interior lighting, not just the bright entertainment screen and the virtual **** pit up front.
But these light accents that run all the way around the capping, everything that's great about this car is here day and night.
But something about driving it, When it's dark outside, just elevates it that little bit.
As much as this car does remind me of those early experiences of being driven around, cars have come on considerably in the last 30 years.
And nowhere is that more noticeable than in the infotainment system.
Which comes laden with every bell and whistle you could possibly desire.
Audi is sometimes a little bit behind, a little bit ahead, depending on what year you buy your car.
But right now, Audi is absolutely leading its class with its new entertainment set up.
We have these great two touch screens here which are bright and vivid With crisp graphics.
They give you easy access to variety of features you have.
Everything from setting the radio station to adjusting your seat.
They have this wonderful haptic feedbacks.
So when you press things, you feel vibration come back to the screen to let you know that you actually press the button.
It's real while being virtual at the same time.
That married with the virtual cockpit the instrument cluster which you can adapt to however you want to see your instruments.
It becomes, a technological heathen you can configure to your own desire and make use of all these wonderful gadgets however you want.
And some of those features still feel like witchcraft to me.
The camera setting that looks like you're being filmed from outside the car may have cropped up on a few cars already, but it still really weirds me out.
The cameras will even work up to 20 miles an hour so when you pull away you can make it look like you're playing GTA.
The car's been fitted with some serious acoustic dampening.
And although it's not the world's most loud engine to start with, the extra thick glass in the side here, as well as everything else that's been put in the car to deaden sound really separates you from the world around you.
We're in one of the busiest cities on the planet, and yet I'm able to create this quiet Calm serene space just for me.
Add to that comfortable seats, air conditioning that does it's job, heated seats I can make this more comfortable then my front room.
That launch there is a long wheel base version of A8 available as well.
The A8L And I was lucky enough to have a drive in that recently.
I was picked up as a passenger from the airport and driven home in it.
And sitting in the back of that car getting driven home.
If I'd been a couple of feet smaller I could have felt exactly like I did when I first rode in the back of my dad's car.
Now any time a car can awaken in your memory of a time gone by, happier time, something from your childhood that puts a smile on your face.
Then that's as valid an experience that you could ever get from a car.
It can be as thrilling as being pin back in your seat and the heavy acceleration or Cornering at high speed or breaking your lap record.
That's another great part of loving cars, the ability to tap into memories passed and it's not that this car can't give that performance thrill, as well.
This might be the entry-level petrol engine, but it can still go.
So, as much as I could put my foot down and disappear off into the horizon, right now the smile on my face is brought on by a different part of the brain, that part that's responsible for memory.
Now this car is infinitely nicer than anything my dad would have driven back in the 80s But we see things through rose tinted spectacles when we look back.
And as far as I was concerned, maybe back in 1984, dad's car was this nice.
Tell you what though, I wouldn't swap it for this thing right now.
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