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The 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI Quattro

This 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI is one of luxury sedan with 4 doors.

Luxury does not imitate. It is, instead, imitated. It sets standards. It usually is the first to innovate, or to apply innovations deemed by others to be too expensive, too risky or simply unnecessary.

Luxury has a feel all its own. It even smells rich.

Luxury is superior without apology. But because it is blessed with genuine self-confidence, it usually does not embrace arrogance, which is inherently flawed by the germ of self-doubt.

Luxury on wheels is the 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI Quattro sedan, the subject of this week’s review, and arguably the standard by which all other luxury cars should be judged.

What immediately catches the eye and offends the aesthetic sensibilities of some observers is the A8 4.2’s egregiously wide-mouthed grille, which prompts thoughts of the gaping mouth in Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” Love it or hate it, you will neither ignore nor forget it, nor will you mistake it for anything else.

That grille is a bold statement that the A8 4.2 is different. It’s a valid statement, too. Consider the car’s body.

The A8 4.2 is an all-wheel-drive full-size sedan that feels as tight and light as a much smaller rear-wheel-drive sports car. Credit here goes to patented Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology, which uses aluminum and strategic applications of lightweight, high-strength steel to increase vehicle-body stiffness while reducing overall body weight.

The use of ASF technology in the 2011 A8 4.2 yields a 25 percent improvement in body rigidity and a 20 percent reduction in weight in comparison with the 2010 model. Increased stiffness improves vehicle handling. Lighter weight improves fuel economy. Continue reading The 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI Quattro