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  #1  
Old 06-20-2005, 02:03 AM
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Audi A8l

been a while since i have been on this site. or any other. apple trying to repair my imac for 3 months. this weekend, i finally got it back.

examined this audi this weekend. seems pretty fab. couldn't drive it because it was on the showroom floor. but, it had more interior room, trunk room than the current sonderklasse benz.

also had a level of leather fit and finish that blew current m-b stuff away.

being a libra, i was enamored of the total blue interior. which m-b abandoned some years ago.

i am renting one of these for a week. to see if it is as long-term as it would appear to be. if it is, this will be a real sonderklasse killer.

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  #2  
Old 06-20-2005, 11:42 AM
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I agree - just to sit in inside a showroom, it feels very special.

Those familiar with Audi cabins will know they can be nice, but the new A8 makes an A4 feel like a portable toilet in comparison.

Very nice - I hope the new S-class will acheive some decent luxury and quality.

Russell
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2005, 09:39 PM
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i went to another audi dealer today. they had an a8lw12 on the floor.

pulling up in my '97 c140, they were willing to take it out and let me give it a spin.

astonishing vehicle.

i have always considered my 1986 560sel as the watershed sedan of the post ww2 era. and until encountering these current production A8L audis, i had never thought the 126's equalled or bettered.

until this current audi. more lebensraum. front and back. more trunkroom. and fit and finish, superior to the current sonderklasse.

i am going to spend a week driving one in LA, socal, starting manana. a full road test will be forthcoming.

as of today, if i was to be acquiring a new sedan, it would be goodbye daimler chrysler, hello audi.
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2005, 12:43 AM
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I've found Audi interiors to be the most comfortable, best-designed, and best-fit interiors that I've seen on cars in the past 4 years or so. Exterior fit and finish are also great. I just don't know anyone who has owned a one recent one to ask about mechanical quality and overall reliability.
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2005, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albert champion
i am going to spend a week driving one in LA, socal, starting manana. a full road test will be forthcoming.

as of today, if i was to be acquiring a new sedan, it would be goodbye daimler chrysler, hello audi.
I too have looked long and hard at the Audi A8, especially at the used car market, with their higher than average depreciation.

I'm looking forward to your road test review.
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2005, 02:14 AM
Orkrist
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Interesting, I love the last S4 interior's shapes, textures and the dark wood inlays. I also love what I've read about them and what other people say about them. I'm not in the market segment for a new A8/S8, really not even a used S4 for that matter, but I keep an eye on them, very sharp cars. With the cost of VW's rising, used S4's and other Audi's look very tempting.
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2005, 01:06 AM
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well, this will not be a long-term review. i found the audi a8l quattro to be just another bit of teutonic junk. too many gewgaws. the car cannot be operated at all without spending an hour studying the manual. so, first hour of the rental was spent in the hertz lot.

most obnoxious aspect of the car is that with the engine running, which it must be if you are to operate the goddam computer system, required even for tuning the radio. even with the car in park, you must be strapped in. if you aren't - ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. and it is a loud and obnoxious ding.

and it does it if you release your belt before turning off the ignition in a parking lot. if i had been packing heat, there would have been a round in the dash.

driver's seat...broke my back. seemed comfortable for a short dealer demo. but from lax to bevhills in rush hour traffic, could not find a way to make it comfortable.

the absolutely ultimate nonsense was the locking system. either broken or inherently defective. annunciated a successful locking, NOT. had i not checked the doors, good chance that i would have left the car with all my belongings and returned to find everything GONE.

OK, another 45 minutes studying manual. no published methodology for locking this car would work.

call to hertz roadside assistance. no one there knew anything about the locking system, but she said that she would study the manual and get back to me. when she did, we did all that i had done previously. to no avail.

because i had a sensation that teutonic computerization of autos had the potential for disaster, i had backstopped the audi rez with a rez for my normal booking in LA, a jaguar J8. as simple to operate as all my old benzes[1986 560sel, 1987 560sec, 1995 e320cab, 1997 c140, 1979 6.9].

so hertz sent out the jag[and did me the favor of making it a J8L] and picked up the audi.

just returned from my sister's place in brentwood to my hotel off of sunset. i must say that the jag has a more linear throttle response and the jag slap tranny is better. of course, i am rentally familiar with this vehicle.

dear lord, hear my prayer, please tell these people who design and build these cars to live with them. and to all of you out there who think you might want to own one, find a way to live with one for more than 15 minutes. i am finding that familiarity with this current crop of vehicles breeds nothing but contempt.
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2005, 02:09 AM
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"and to all of you out there who think you might want to own one, find a way to live with one for more than 15 minutes."

I am continuously amazed at how the car buying process has deteriorated over the last 40 years. Bad enough loosing the old style phone book sized options catalog of "what heads, fuel system, and radiator should I order with which v8, and what rear axle ratio do I want to choose, and which seats and fabric". That has turned into "Here is the car. If you want these headlights, you have to take the rain sensing wipers and ultrasonic cleaner sun glass storage package".

But what I miss most was the salesman handing you the keys, and saying "see you in a couple hours - if you can't make up your mind, call me if you need to keep it overnight". (This was the norm when my dad bought his cars, and when I bought my 67 Malibu ss). But it has been replaced by a 5 minute spin with the salesman driving you to THEIR chosen route - and reluctance to let you drive on roads you know will show you the strengths and weaknesses of the car.

And after 15 minutes, they stand there with the paperwork in their hand, and ask you how much you want to put down! Renting a prospective purchase seems to be the only way to determine if it is what you want.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2005, 02:13 AM
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I've driven a (prev gen) A8 and it had crappy visibility. Made me feel claustraphobic. Monster B pillars. Steering was WAY to light too.

As far as I'm concerned, MB could have put the DOHC motors in the 126, grafted on the multilink rear and been set till the year 2020.

I hope no one shows Albert the w221 S class.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2005, 03:08 AM
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boy, do i agree with that comment. my 560sel, even with 250,000+ miles remains my favorite more than 2 person hauler. i maintain it impeccably. interior still appears as if almost new. exterior is in pretty good shape except for the stone dings in the front. bought it new in december of 1986 and it remains an old and faithful friend. has never really let me down. this is the car that caused me to refer to it as a high-speed refrigerator. so sad that benz abandoned its virtues for the w140's.

all the 126's needed was some more acoustic insulation, an improved power steering system, and the 140's v8. i line my fleet up for design analysis, the 126's continue to appear to be the best appearing design. but the little cab is also coherent.

i enjoy the c140. it is quieter. it has more romp and stomp. goes around twisty bits faster. but i wish that the package was within the envelope of the c126. the c140 is just too big and has blind spots. an autobahn cruiser. can be scary on twisty bit narrow roads.

as to the audi, yes, it does have its blind spots. rear view mirrors are too small for instance. outward visibility is worse than my c140.

now, why else would i hate to own one? i have some familiarity now with the electronics. i can see lots of entitlement to garage queening, here.

and i saw the 2000 sonderklasse benz and ml benzes the same way. i had both on order. a 500sel[sic] and an ml55. when i saw the command dash, i refused to accept either one. best decision i ever made.

a previous poster wanted a catalog of options. i want a system of deleting options.

sorry, but beyond engine management[ignition, a:f ratios, etc] there is no reason for computers in vehicles.

and what is so odd is that the folks at ford who manage the design and engineering of the j8 jaguar get it so right. simple. easy to operate controls.

my only complaint is that the pre-aluminum cat had a quieter, more compliant suspension. i am still puzzled as to why some product manager thought that noisier, harsher was an advance.

must have been a trend, toyota did the same thing to the lexus.

do these designers ever drive the cars?

as i see it, if they keep it up, we shall be rushing to find flivvers for our driving satisfaction.

oh, colin, could you please find a way to become resurrected?
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2005, 10:21 AM
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The catalog of options was useful - not because you got more options, but because you didn't need to buy an entire bundle of fragile goodies in order to get the one or two options you wanted. Most of the packs on new cars today leave me cold as a package (and don't contain much that wasn't available on the old catalog system), but usually each of them contains one or two items I might consider if they were available seperately. For that matter, much of the standard equipment in new MBs is stuff I can easily live without - my 87 300E has everything I need, and then some.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2005, 11:42 AM
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Thanks for the review.

I have read rave reviews of the Jaguar XJ8 from the editors who test drive them.

In fact, at least two editors of two car magazines that I subscribe to (Car and Driver and Automobile) own Jag XJ8's as their personal vehicles: Brock Yates and David E. Davis.

Albert,

Why not do an M119 install in your 560SEC?

There is a guy who has done this before. He posts under the name Satish on this site, and has a website memorializing the process of the conversion: mbcoupes.com

I believe he is now doing a V12 conversion in his SEC....
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Last edited by suginami; 06-22-2005 at 06:58 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2005, 02:41 AM
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I LIKE TO KEEP MY BENZES AS NATIVE AS POSSIBLE. i am a collector of art. would you alter a picasso? at the moment, i want to maintain them as they were originally manufactured.

yes, i have replaced becker radios with pioneer and sony kit. but that is the extent of my mods. beyond that i am reluctant to go with these vehicles. their original status was so fine, not perfect in today's light, of course, but light year jump vehicles when introduced.

and to a large extent, still unsurpassed.

the long wheelbase xj8 jaguar is a very fine auto. linear throttle response. predictable handling. not as easy to get in and out of as my benzes, but it is a car that deals with me as an old friend[as a rental]. as do my benzes. the controls are intuitive, especially the a/c controls and the sound system controls. and it has comfortable seats. the pedal positioning, driver legroom lengthening feature is the best thing that ever happened. to this car.

still, i wish that the rear axle bump stop harshness had been restored to the predecessor's smoothness and silence.

that this existed for the first 6 months of this models intro, OK. but 2 years later i consider inexcusable.

still, a better high performance vehicle than any of the current teutonic offerings.

if i needed a new vehicle, i would own one. but i don't. and it still isn't better than any of my older benzes. better than new ones, of course. better than well-maintained old ones, no.
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  #14  
Old 06-23-2005, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albert champion
if i needed a new vehicle, i would own one. but i don't. and it still isn't better than any of my older benzes. better than new ones, of course. better than well-maintained old ones, no.
Excellent comment, Albert.

I couldn't have said it better myself, and I can't think of anyone else on this forum whose opionins on cars are as analogous as mine.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2005, 03:03 AM
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you should test the Audi out like this guy tests this mustang:

http://media.ebaumsworld.com/index.php?e=testdrive.wmv

some people have serious ba!!s.

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