2022 Audi A8 L 55 TFSI quattro: Chasing Inspiration

The exquisite, sporty lines of the latest 2022 Audi A8 creates an imaginative flair, especially when the vehicle is in motion. Its long and energizing S-line physique presents owners with formidable artistry and the comfort required for long distant journeys.

My 2022 A8 L 55 TFSI quattro test model was delivered in a Firmament Blue Metallic hue with 21” 10-spoke design wheels, black Audi rings and logo, black brake calipers, and high-gloss black exterior elements as part of the $2,750 Black Optic Plus Package. Yes, the German 4-door touring sedan looks phenomenal, yet, it competes against a field that includes the all-mighty Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Porsche Panamera, and to a lesser degree the Lexus LS. Hands down, the S-Class runs away from the pack in every category, from innovation to the revolutionary MBUX infotainment system.

I’ve always been a fan of Audi and the A8 because it was unique and mysterious, and quattro AWD set the tone early regarding performance handling. Furthermore, the vehicle’s MMI nucleus was at the epicenter of multimedia and navigation features which initially set it apart from competitors. However, everyone has caught up or superseded the brand, especially since the latest dual-screen MMI touch response operation is small in an era where manufacturers have gone large. Have you seen the Cadillac Escalade’s impressive curved 38” OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display or the full-length screen in the Mercedes-EQS that extends from door to door? It’s incredible! On the contrary, the A8’s top screen is just 10.1″ and the lower portion is only 8.6.” The system is also “touch capacitive” which feels unnatural and strange. With the vast amount of cabin space in the A8, the latest MMI does not do its part to offer extended experiences behind the wheel.

However, driving is what an Audi does best. A high-tech and efficient 335-horsepower 6-cylinder 3.0-liter TFSI engine allows the A8 to fly with the wind when needed. For ultra-enthusiasts, a 563-horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine comes packed in the S8. Both units pair with Audi’s 8-speed Tiptronic transmission. A standard adaptive air suspension, dynamic all-wheel steering, and Goodyear Eagle Sport 285/35 P21 all-season tires wrapped around the black Audi Sport spider rims provide exceptional handling characteristics. The A8 sits low, and its single-frame blacked-out grille exudes confidence for that typical, menacing Audi aggression. More importantly, the A8 L stops abruptly when deceleration is called upon. Even though the vehicle is powerful, it never feels out of control or too forceful, which can leave many exasperated when commuting. In fact, with Audi Drive Select (comfort, auto, dynamic, individual), you can intensify the vehicle for aggression or tame it for everyday driving. Drivers can also set the Driver Assistance tab to Max, Individual, or Basic to dictate how much the car engages. I like the most reduced interaction so I can control the vehicle myself. For example, Audi Side Assist is super aggressive, therefore, I always turn it off in an Audi.

Back inside the cabin, my rear passengers enjoyed the ample leg room, vanity mirrors, control center, and window shades. At the same time, I relished the classy 4-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles, dark glass panels, and aluminum trimming. We all were fans of the Dark Brown Walnut natural wood inlays – especially on the seat backs — ambient LED lighting, the impressive Bang & Olufsen 3D premium sound system, a subscription-based Integrated Toll Module, and massaging seats with lumbar support.

For an MSRP of $86,500, my loaner also came with the $3,250 Comfort Plus Package, $2,750 Black Optic Plus Package, and the $3,400 Executive Package, which included Audi Adaptive Cruise Assist, Audi Side Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, and  Intersection Assist. The latest 2022 A8 refresher is a solid choice in its class with impeccable styling and dynamics but requires more interior attention and amenities.

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