First Look: 2011 Audi A8 L

#Audi, #A8

You can think of the new 2011 Audi A8 L as something of a road-bound Gulfstream jet for the jet set. No, the lengthy new Audi -- which is set to land in Beijing next week as a star of the 2010 Beijing auto show - won't go 500 mph, but this is one car that will no doubt fly on the interstate (especially with the W-12 underhood) and get you there in style and comfort while doing so.

The "L" of course stands for Long Wheel Base, and Audi means it. Both the wheelbase and the overall length of the stylish new A8 grow by 5.1 inches, nearly all of which presents itself in the rear seats. Not only is it larger than the new A8 (which is also bigger than the outgoing car), but it's also 2.9 inches longer in both wheelbase and overall length than the last A8 L, stretching 207.3 inches from bumper to bumper.

Audi naturally makes good use of all the extra space. While you could order two ordinary rear buckets, most hedge fund managers we know will sell a few extra shares and pop for the top-shelf power rear seats. When we say power, we mean power everything -- recline, headrest, cushion depth, fore and aft adjustment, heating and cooling, lumbar adjustment and even a massage system with four settings. The rear passenger side seat even gets an adjustable foot rest that flips down from the back of the front passenger seat, which can itself be adjusted from the rear seats to make more room. Most of us don't have recliners this nice in our living rooms.

While you're lounging in around, you'll be equally equipped for work or play. Order the optional center console and you'll get controls for the rear dual-zone climate control, Audi's MMI touch control system, an optional fold-out table and even an optional mini-fridge. Ante up for the Rear Seat Entertainment System and you'll get dual 10.2-inch screens on the front seat backs with controls on the center console as well. Said entertainment will of course be best enjoyed with the optional 1400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. If movie and music playback doesn't keep you entertained, you can always connect to the internet using your cell phone connection.

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