Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.
Uniting Luxury and Sport: The All-New A8 L

The design of the all-new A8 L is marked by flowing lines and incredibly precise surfaces—all striving to underscore the car's dual missions of luxury and sport. Viewed from the side, the eye is pulled from rear to front, making the car appear to be leaping forward even at rest. Its overall geometry, in fact, is more reminiscent of a sports car than a luxury sedan. Its gently arched, coupe-like roof projects an air of timeless elegance and obvious grace. But it's more than just the big picture that counts. It's every detail.

Design is part art, part science. As much intuition as intellect. It's knowing when to add a flourish here and there. And knowing when subtraction is the ideal course of action. At Audi, design responsibilities rest with every individual who touches the car. The success of our recent offerings is as much a result of production excellence as it is of tasteful, Bauhaus-influenced design. From the award-winning A4 and TT, to the A6, A8 and allroad quattro, all of our cars demand extraordinarily narrow tolerances between body panels to be their absolute best. Design excellence also has to be defined in terms of timelessness. Will the car you buy look out of date in a few years? Not if it's crafted by a company that refuses to follow fads. Not if it's made by a company whose ideals never waver. Not if it's an Audi.

Audi was among the first manufacturers to look everywhere Ÿ even beyond the automotive landscape — in search of innovative approaches to aerodynamics as well as design. Beginning in the 1920s, Audi sought outside assistance from design studios in streamlining the bodywork of its cars. To our way of thinking, improved aerodynamics offers an opportunity at strikingly new design, and vice-versa. The hallmarks of today's Audi designs are clearly defined outlines, high beltlines, tautly pulled roof lines and bold semi-circular wheel arches. Where does form stop and function take over? When does function rule and form occupy a secondary role? These are just some of the questions that inform and guide our every decision. More and more, people recognize that it's Audi's rigorous attention to balancing form and function that makes our cars so pleasingly whole, so fully realized.

Imagine a world where every place you went — the office, the corner store, a hotel room — was as well thought out and designed as the interior of an Audi. Everywhere you look, absolute precision as close to perfect as man and machine can make it. When you sit behind the wheel of an Audi, you sense an overall commitment to perfection, as well as a wealth of telling details. Note the gorgeous aluminum trim in the TT, or the thoughtfully designed control panels with fiber optic ambient lighting in our other models. Run your hand across the supple, organically tanned leather. Everything just so.

An all-consuming preoccupation with detail results in additional refinements like a folding ignition key with remote locking. The heated front seats and sound system controls on the steering wheel that you'll find on some Audi models. Ideas not typically considered by others, like storage trays under the seats in the A4 Cabriolet and dual-level loading cargo floor in the A4 Avant. Attention to touches that are not readily apparent, like our meticulous exterior paint process — a 30-step journey through our state-of-the-art facilities. Or something simple yet thoughtful, like a third sun visor just above the rearview mirror. Even our polished wood trim is designed not to splinter in the event of an accident. Visionary design, an obsession for precision, and attention to even the smallest of details — these are at the heart of what makes an Audi.

List Price: $95,000

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

• Engine:
• Warranty:
• Safety:

• Top Speed: est 160 mph
• Acceleration:
• Braking:
• Fuel Economy:
• Handling:
For more information visit

  (Updated 07/22/08 HC)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!