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It’s almost hard to believe now, but there was a time before the A8’s acceptance as one of the heavy hitters in the full-size luxury segment. Back before the Transporter and before Audi’s ascendancy in America, reviewers like Jeremy Clarkson in this 1994 Top Gear review, were shocked by how luxurious and refined the A8 was.
Equally charming and quaint are Clarkson’s surprise at the “F1 style” Tiptronic transmission and 7 second 0-60 time. Now just 20 years later we’re talking about cars that communicate with infrastructure and an A8 that can drive itself.
Still, though, as the French say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite the new tech, the Audi fundamental appeals remain. As quiet as sorrow, as well made as a Swiss watch, and quicker than it has any business being all apply as much to the ’94 A8 as they do to today’s.