Sedately styled, save for some fabulous LED details, the Audi A8 stores up its glamour for a knockout cabin.
Showy styling doesn't appear often on cars in the A8's class. BMW, Benz, Audi-they reserve the splashy designs for cars like the CLS, the Gran Coupe, the A7.
The A8 lets details do its talking. The silhouette is classic four-door luxury car, with a long, imposing nose that's big enough to house a 12-cylinder engine. At the same time it lends the plain-spoken A8 some elegance, helps absorb its long rear doors and broad shoulders. LED lighting back and front offer act like the most discreet jewelry. Could Lincoln ever draw something this subtle?
Audi saves up all that effusive design for the cockpit. It knits together wood, leather, suede, and aluminum in a knockout cockpit with awesome attention to detail. The materials would look at home in a Bentley-a fellow VW Group brand, no surprise-and they build up to a restrained but lavish effect that doesn't distract from the driving environment.
The details define this space. The transmission shift lever is modeled on the throttle from high-end powerboats, as is the sculpting of the upper dash. The optional Bang & Olufsen sound system has twin tweeters that rise like Whack-A-Moles out of the dash on power-up. S8 models get carbon-fiber trim and white-on-gray instruments.