2004 All-Star: Luxury car over $40,000

0402 Audi 01 S

Photographed by Juergen Skarwan

The long-wheelbase A8L may rate slightly below one or another of its rivals under certain headings, such as sheer performance, but it outscores them all when everything is taken into account. Assets range from the aluminum structure to a turbine-smooth powertrain whose V-8 is complemented by the sweetest of six-speed automatics and by all-wheel drive. Big cars are not the most agile, but this one can be hustled along challenging roads at remarkably high speeds without losing its composure. The clincher is motoring's finest interior, regardless of price. The cabin is just about impossible to fault for space, materials and how they are used, fit and finish, overall layout, attention to detail, and how sci-fi equipment blends with a traditional luxury car's ambience. The A8L is the world's most complete sedan.

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