Audi A8 This full sized Audi A8 sedan offers interior luxury and spaciousness comparable to any car in the full sized luxury sedan class

Why did you buy Audi???

Old 07-16-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Why did you buy Audi???

This question is for people who once drove a MB or a BMW. What made you guys switch brands? Was it performance, style or what? Would you consider going back to MB or BMW? Did Audi have something the the others did not? Please don't hold anything back?
Old 07-17-2010, 11:11 AM
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Before the A8 I had a C220. The C220 was a great solid car, handled well, performed great for a 4-banger, but sadly it was rear wheel drive and I commute many miles in the snowy mid-west.
When I found my A8 my criteria were: all wheel drive, sedan, reasonably economical for use as a commuter car. I might have gotten something a little more economical, but not as much fun to drive.

I love my Audi, but have nothing against my old Benz, so I'm pretty sure my next car will be a choice between a Quattro and a 4Matic.
Old 07-17-2010, 02:58 PM
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Default When I was in the market

I was looking for either a 7 series or the A8 in the 2003 to 2006 model year range. I drove both. Mercedes wasn't an option for me. I have not been impressed with their quality for the last 8-10 years. The BMW was a really nice, well thought out car. The A8 just seemed to "wrap around me" better though.

I also noticed in my (3 month) search that there were far fewer A8's for sale. That lead me to take a serious look around while I was driving to work and back. I noticed that there were almost no A8's on the road. There were plenty of 4's and 6's though. And Lots of 5 and 7 series BMW's.

That settled it. The A8 not only wrapped around my butt better, it was a rarer car to boot!

I've had my 2005 A8 for several months now and I enjoy driving it every day. I'm sure I would have been happy with a 7 series too, but I don't regret my decision one bit. And, on that rare occasion when I see another A8 on the road, I usually get a wave from the other driver, and I wave back. Apparently I'm not alone...
Old 07-17-2010, 05:55 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Never owned a Benz or a Beemer, but have driven a bunch of em. When I bought my A8, it was the only time I'd considered other German cars outside the VW-Porsche-Audi family.

I've lost count of the VW's I've owned, from air-cooled's up to a super modified street racer 16V Scirocco that I built to the point of out-handling anything I've ever driven...not out-run, but definitely out-handle. But it rode like a buckboard, would rattle your kidneys lose and occasionally slam your head into the roof, if you weren't tied down.
The I moved on to Porsche's. Many "purists" say that 928's aren't real Porsche's. They are a completely different animal than 911's, but every inch a Porsche. 911's are cramped, stark interiors and harder to work on (in my opinion). I found 928's to be luxurious (even twin AC's), very roomy (travel with luggage, golf clubs, etc..), easier to control and best of all, a sweet-runnin (and soundin) V8 up front. I learned 2 things here: "I coulda had a V8" and "Life begins at 300hp". I owned three 928's in a row.

I've helped a lot of friends test drive and repair a lotta German (sometimes others) cars and also had a friend who repo'ed a lot of nice cars for a big, I've had the privilege of driving a huge variety of cars.

Evolution moves on and it was time for something a little different...I knew it had to be big, silver, German and a V8 under the hood. NEVER considered Japanese...never liked the feel or the building philosophy.
I found Benz's to fall short in quality, really stingy warranties (this says a lot about what they think of themselves) and didn't feel a bit at home in one. Beemers (mostly 7 series) drive nice, good quality (and warranties) and power...BUT the interiors are a little "hard" and the cars just didn't feel like me.
Had never owned an Audi but had driven a lot of em, but never an A8 until I started my multi-month shopping project. I always liked the feel of A4's...A6's not as much...the 6's ARE nice, but (to me) always felt a little heavy, floaty and V6 models just too underpowered.
When I test drove an A8 for the first time, I was in heaven....the easiest car to drive I'd ever been in. The only thing that came close to this feel were a couple of RR Silver Spur's I got to drive, except the A8 was more responsive and handled better...the AWD was a huge bonus, too and couldn't live without it now.

As FlyTyinFool said, A8's are rare and unique cars...Beemer 7's are as common as Camry's around here. My local Audi dealer has NEVER even had an A8 in their showroom...NEVER. It was tough to find em to test drive but with a little travel, I managed to find a few. When I made my decision, I went on a nationwide search for a CPO. This was in 2004 and I was lookin for an '01 w/low miles, silver w/black interior and very important, (and harder to find at the time) an SWB (standard wheelbase) model. The L's were everywhere, but I personally like the handling of the SWB better....didn't want the extra room or wheelbase length of an L .... I drive mostly mountain roads. Ruled out the S8's because of extra cost, ground clearance, mpg and the extra hp didn't feel significant enough to me.
Anyway, found a silver w/black '01 A8 SWB with low miles, lots a warranty left and had it shipped to me. Still got it. After puttin 65K miles on it, the few maintenance quirks (every car has it's own) are FAR outweighed by the pleasure of drivin this car. As with my past 928's, I also love the uniqueness (aluminum space frame, etc..) and it's rarity...I almost never see other ones around here. Plus I stayed in the same "family" of German cars, so it instantly felt familiar and comfortable to drive AND work on.

Sorry about the "novel", but I love cars and I really love this one.

Last edited by silverd2; 07-18-2010 at 08:08 AM.
Old 07-17-2010, 07:35 PM
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WOW... Great read I hope more people go into such details. Guys keep it coming!
Old 07-19-2010, 06:59 PM
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Location: Chicago, IL
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I've owned a few luxury cars, here's a quick skinny on 'em:

- '88 BMW 735i - best road trip car I've ever owned. I could drive this car, quite literally, for 20 hours and not get tired. Not very sporty, but super nice. One of my favorites of all time. Unfortunately snowy roads + RWD + tired driver = wrecked into a tree.

- '92 Infinity Q45 - what a beast of a car. To date the only car I've driven that gives me a bigger rush is my current Evo. Super nice interior, too. Probably my favorite interior, although not quite as comfy as the 735i was. Also RWD, and almost impossible to drive in snow. Ultimately had to get rid of it due to financial difficulties

- '00 BMW 740iL - not my car, but a friend of mine's. Great looking car, but I did not like the way it drove and therefore never considered for a purchase.

- '97 A8 (D2) - Got a great deal on this car and bought it on the spot. AWD and all aluminum construction were what initially got me interested in the car as it meant good manners in the winter and almost no worries about rust.

- '04 A8 (D3) - My current luxo barge. I was sold on the D3 A8 after I had a chance to rent one for a couple of days in SF (Hertz used to have them). I was absolutely amazed at how well the car handled. I had driven the newer gen A6 before, and the A8 actually felt lighter and easier to drive. In back-to-back runs down Hwy. 1, first with a Miata, then the A8, I was again impressed with how little the A8 gave up to the Miata in the handling department. Finally got a great deal on my '04 last year, and I haven't regretted a second of it. This car is the only automatic transmission car that I can honestly say that I can tolerate, the sport mode programming fits my driving style almost perfectly.

Old 07-19-2010, 07:41 PM
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Location: Las Vegas
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I have driven both BMW's and MB's but never own any. I was first introduced to a the Audi A6 2.8 when I was searching for a daily driver that was an AWD. My in-laws moved to Oregon so I needed a vehicle that I could drive in snow but also handle the Vegas Heat. MB's are known to have some heating problems for daily driving. The BMW's were a choice I was going to make but they were too expensive even if used. Audi's and BMW's still had a high repair price.

I ended up selling my A6 to my sister who needed to upgrade from a civic coupe. She has two kids now. I was already searching for a A8 and went to the dealership that does not keep used A8 long. I loved the handling and ride.

The really good question would be is would we re-buy another A8? My answer would be yes.
Old 07-19-2010, 09:32 PM
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^ I'm trying to talk my wife into ditching her R32 for another A8.

Old 07-20-2010, 05:41 PM
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Ooooo i wanna play!

I can give a lot of insight here because i have been under the bonnet of all of the high end manufactures, american, japanese, and german. (no i haven't worked on the huydais but they are growing on me, genesis etc.)

Im about to send my second audi to one of my good friends because he wanted a great car, meanwhile i have been dreaming of a D3 A8 just about every week, i mean, just look at it!
Ok all B.S. aside BMW's X drive and Mercedes's 4matic have one flaw that the audi does not, (at least not the A8) there are electronics in the Benz and BMW. Which means they aren't AWD until **** hits the fan, like the crap bag Haldex system used in the TT's and A3's....The 4 matic system has a 4-matic control unit which reads data from several other systems to ensure maximum grip at all times. The controller regulates the transfer case and locks through a hydraulic controller, and shares the hydraulic oil with your self leveling system. It always starts in a 35/65 ratio mode, and will switch automatically between mode 0 and mode 3. Mumbo jumbo that can have issues, requires more maintenace to get it to work correctly, and when you need it the most you don't want a failure here. Same goes for BMW which is primarilly rear wheel drive until wheel slippage occurs. Don't get me wrong these are great platforms and well designed, but doesn't hold a candle to the quattro (torsen) differential, which is 100% mechanical. The torsen differential is what has been driving quattro cars since the 80's and winning countless rally tournaments all around the world, and if you can believe it, the design was originally for tractors LOL. On top of that, since they were desgined for tractors, YOU CANNOT DESTROY IT! I would stake my life on that comment, i and many others have tried, some folks are putting over 1,000 horsepower thru them on biturbo S4's and all they do is spin all four tires all day long. Drive shaft/s might snap though.......
Here is some reading on the torsen if you like to learn that kind of stuff. That picture of the differential was taken at the audi academy by a little asian dude who's name completely eludes me years after the fact. Still cool he (or someone else) got thier piece of history and posted it on wiki.

Anyways, the electronics on the A8 are also much easier to use. Try to use the Idrive system on the 7 series, to this day i get confused using that stupid machine. The mercedes is better designed, but behind the times, kind of like thier racing pedigree....OHHHHH im gonna catch **** for that one.
The MMI system in the A8 is a pure pleasure to use, and the first to use fiber optic technology. Meaning it has a fiber optic loop for all the infotanment control units, its basically a plastic tube that sends colored signals to other control units instead of electrical signals. This in turn takes out a TON of wiring, like 200lbs of wiring, or more. If one thing in the loop goes haywire, the whole system shuts down. Its amazingly smart as the tech doesn't have to do anything but scan the data loop to know exactly whats wrong, the only thing missing would be the computer speaking whats wrong with it in german.

There are a million reasons why i would choose the audi over many others, however the audi (along with other german luxury cars) will suck your wallet dry in maintenance, so i don't recommend the car to anyone that makes under 75k per year, thats really the only downside to it, but hey if you only make 30k a year you should be slapped over the noggin for buying such an advanced car. I'm currently scrounging up for my first D3 A8 that i hope to pick up sometime next year, and i can hardly stand it..
Old 07-20-2010, 10:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 624

Good stuff man! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

The Torsen IS an amazing thing. Before my Audi, the only experience I had that was anything similar to the Torsen "principle" was a Quaife torque biasing differential I put in the front of my aforementioned modified Scirocco 16V.
Back then, it was tough to get a lot of power to the street in a front wheel drive without a bunch of unpleasant torque steer. Other LSD's used locking clutches that didn't know the difference between a straight run and a corner. The Quaife is all gearwork like the Torsen and will split torque to the front wheels 50/50 in straight line acceleration and then throw more power to the outside wheel in corners.
You'd never know it was there, except for incredible power transfer to the ground and almost no wheel spin on dry pavement...and NO detectable torque steer. Another huge bonus was the amazing traction in snow, when the car was almost undriveable in snow before.

The people I bought the Quaife from (BIG $$ as I recall) said that no one actually knows how they work..."They're made by extraterrestrials and shipped to us."

Last edited by silverd2; 07-20-2010 at 10:18 PM.

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