When it was all over, we debated long and hard about crowning a winner?.
?.?.?and decided there wasn’t one. Why? Because the $113,395 Audi S8 is not really that much more desirable than a 420-hp A8L 4.0T ($88,495) or even the 333-hp A8L 3.0T ($79,695). Because the $116,895 XJR makes the 470-hp XJ Supercharged ($91,495), not to mention the 340-hp XJ AWD ($78,595), look like conspicuously smart buys. Because the $140,425 S63 AMG doesn’t cast a sufficiently tall shadow to blot out the 449-hp S550 4Matic ($96,825). What we have here is, therefore, a rare case of less is more, of three oversexed and underdesirable flagship sedans, of half-kept promises and transitory illusions.
Even though the Audi has the best fit and finish, the classiest instruments, the most tasteful interior, and the brightest headlights, the four rings don’t signify perfection in every respect.