While the S8 was actually faster than the last Shelby GT500 I tested, this A8L is just barely faster than a Mustang GT 5.0 -- more specifically, a tenth of a second faster to 60 mph. Keep in mind, the Mustang 5.0 is a freaking fast sports car, and this is a limo. This A8L did 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and kept going to get through the quarter mile in 12.6 seconds at 110 mph. We recently tested a Mercedes S550 powered by a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8 rated at 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. It was a little off the Audi's mark, hitting 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and running a 13.3-second quarter mile at 108 mph. The 2013 Lexus LS 600h L powered by a 5.0-liter 389 hp V-8 supplemented with a 221-hp electric motor fared even worse, taking 5.9 seconds to get to 60 mph and 14.3 seconds to get through the quarter mile. The super-cool LS F-Sport LS was quicker than the hybrid, but still well behind the A8, needing 5.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 14.1 seconds to finish the quarter mile.

We can spend another 500 words talking about how the Audi stacks up against all these cars in handling and braking as well, but why? The A8L did our figure eight in 26.3 seconds with an average of 0.71 g while exhibiting mild understeer and putting down power with ease through all four corners. It put in a faster time than the Mercedes and either Lexus. Unless your last name is Statham, or you happen to be an automotive journalist, you aren't going to drive one of these monsters like that anyway.

As someone who flies back and forth to Europe an average of once a month or more, I feel qualified to use this analogy, especially here. This is the first car that truly feels like sinking into a Lufthansa Business Class Seat. Let me clarify, for an additional $11,250 (a number I have seen printed on the face of a business class ticket from LAX to Munich), you get the Executive Rear Seat Comfort Package. For the price of renting a seat on a 747, you get upgraded leather, a small refrigerator, a power footrest that deploys from the back of the front passenger seat, and rear seats with heat, cooling and massage functions. Obviously, this is intended for a car that will be shuttling executives around -- or someone who really loves their kid -- because this is one the best seats in the entire automotive world to ride in.

The real hurdle keeping me from owning one of these is the $115,195 price tag. If I could get a 20-year mortgage, I just might be able to swing it, but that doesn't seem to be an option. In fairness, a comparably equipped LS 600h L will set you back $134,860, or, for a mere $118,225, you could have the Mercedes S550, neither of which have the automotive throne in the rear. Suddenly, the Audi really is looking like the value here. A good number of A8s sold are bought through Audi Individual, which provides owners with bespoke paint and interior options, so consider window stickers more of a guideline. But if you can afford one of these, you likely are accustomed to living outside a mere mortal's constraints.

Read Article

Motor Trend: 2013 Audi A8L 4.0 Is the King of Value and Performance Against the Competition

About the Author