The Audi A8’s subtle looks lack visual appeal in the executive car park

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Don’t expect to wow your neighbours with the A8 – a pumped up version of the A4. There’s nothing remarkable about the styling, even on our hugely expensive test car.

At least the big Audi is beautifully put together. Advanced, refined and technologically superior, it should be the benchmark limo for all others to aspire to.

However, shouldn’t an exec get as excited about their set of wheels as the rest of us? The A8 misses out here – it’s a big saloon for men in grey suits. The type of chap who would scorn a BMW, Jaguar or a terribly provocative Maserati.

So, while they enjoy effortless performance which allows them to serve up dinner party chat about the A8’s remarkable fuel economy, the subtle looks won’t appeal to everyone.

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The Audi A8 – where would you rather sit, up front or in the back?

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Audi operates a fleet of chauffeur-driven A8s in the UK for high profile media events – film premieres, fashions shows and that kind of thing.

The questions is where would you rather sit – in the driver’s seat or in the back?

Thanks to all that lightweight bodywork, even our 3.0-litre is pretty swift in a straight line. It’s ‘modestly’ dynamic but doesn’t feel like a driver’s car in TDI form at least.

There’s no getting away from the fact that this a very large car. Just like the brilliant Range Rover, it is super comfortable and refined but not a vehicle for launching around a corner.

So I’m going to sit this one out and take the back seat…

Looking to make a massive understatement? The Audi 8 is your car…

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Looking to make a massive understatement? The latest Audi A8 – like previous models – is the least talked about limo you could wish to hope for.

But while the aluminium exterior is not known for turning heads, the cabin is something of a peach. Whether you are a BMW or Mercedes follower, both German rivals are knocked into the shade by the A8 cockpit.

It’s simply a class act. A subtle blend of wood, metal and sumptuous leather that would please any chauffeur, or the person sat behind him.

While the navigation system takes a little getting used to, everything else about the big Audi is how a cabin should be. There are tons of options too but even the standard car has more than enough to please…

The Audi A8 looks like an A6 on steroids…

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After a week in the R8 it almost seems unfair to step into the A8. The two cars are like chalk and cheese – although both share quattro four-wheel drive.

On a wet drive to Kenilworth Castle yesterday, I’m glad the huge A8 had some extra grip though– it really was one of those days to come unstuck big time on the Fosse Way strip.

First impressions? Well, I’m just not sure the big Audi feels special enough. It looks like an A6 on steroids, or a bloated A4. What I’m trying to say is, the A8 just doesn’t feel that different.

Sure, it’s loaded with technology but I want a bit more than that for my £76k. I can’t help feeling a Jag or a Range Rover would move me in just as much comfort.

But critically, they would also set my pulse racing every time I saw it on the driveway…