For years Audi's A8 has been chasing its German rivals.

Sales dominance by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series kept the Audi from gaining much ground, and even with a barrage of commercials telling buyers that the A8 was every bit the competitor, it's been a tough road. The 2012 Audi A8L was an all-new sedan that once again tried to be different. It still have subdued styling, but the cabin bristled with beautiful materials and the latest electronic gadgets. Seemed like as good a time as any to see if Audi had finally cracked the code.

Our order started with a long-wheelbase A8L as it's the volume seller. The standard engine is a healthy 372-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8. The monstrous W12 was tempting, but we had visions of 500-mile fuel range that the large displacement engine could not deliver.

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Can You Finally Put To Rest The Fear That Audi's A8 Won't Measure Up?

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