2009 Audi A8L – Click above for high-res gallery We come not to bury the A8L, but to praise it. Next week the newest generation of Audi's aluminum spaceframe panzer will greet the world in Miami, and we expect it to be a leap through a wormhole compared to today's car. After a week with the current model at the end of its six-year run, we walked away from a saloon that still has us smitten. What we didn't expect was that, even though we didn't come to bury the thing, we would end up throwing quite a bit of dirt on it. That might make the Audi A8 the Megan Fox of automobiles. A funny thing happened on the way to reviewing the 2009 Audi A8L: we discovered ourselves writing compromising things about the four-ringed flagship. This is a sedan that we adore mightily, and having thought it over, we might even say unreasonably. It became the girl you're dating that you first describe as "She's great!" just before divulging a list of mildly unseemly behaviors that you'd never considered all at once, ending with, "Wow... I really do like her, but come to think of it... she's a little kooky." That might make the Audi A8 the Megan Fox of automobiles. We drove the A8L W12 a couple of years ago, and it was possessed of so much battleship-gray girth we wanted to call it the Bismarck Tirpitz and park it in a Norwegian fjord for safety. Yet and still, it was glorious: an exterior awash in pulchritude, an interior so beautiful we wish we had gotten its autograph, and it gulped miles, and gas, like cognac. Since we didn't write about it, we didn't give it the philosopher's thought, and we walked away from it with only roses, no thorns. But now... %Gallery-78905% Photos copyright ©2009 Jonathon Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc. First, let's lay out the scenery: the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S Class and Audi A8 are fabulous cars. There isn't a loser among them. The S Class has been The Business since Elvis Presley was a teenager -- and Elvis died at age 42, almost 33 years ago. The S Class is like driving Gibraltar. Quickly. The 7 Series, born the same year Elvis left the building for good, owns dynamic; to sit in one is to discover a steering wheel that feels half the size of a 5 Series tiller, after which it's crystal clear what game the 7 is playing. The latter two Transporter films notwithstanding, the Audi is trumps in neither gravitas nor go. Which is only right. The A8 is but 15 years old -- it's just getting out of middle school. Sure, there was the Audi V8 before it, but when that car came out in 1989 it wasn't even close to the top Merc or BMW in almost any category; Audi was selling a barely dressed up VW only a few years before as the Fox (some things hardly …
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