Haute Auto : Audi & Bentley


2013 Audi S8
German Purveyor of Evolution


Once you reach your destination and look back at the vehicle then you know you have arrived properly.

Audi aficionados knew exactly what was expected when the German purveyor of finely tuned luxury cars announced their new line of “S” performance vehicles including the S6, S7 and S8, which is the company’s 4-door bread winner in terms of power output and performance. But how could that be with the fierce and mighty V10 being supplanted for a smaller more efficient twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8? However, the 2013 S8 welcomes a new topic of conversation and euphoria to the discussion. It’s called German evolution.

The twin-turbo 4-liter V8 produces 520 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque at just 1,700 rpm allowing the aluminum space frame to scoot 0 mph to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Elation and instant gratification was achieved when I pressured the aluminum sport accelerator pedal on the highway. It’s always mind-boggling when a vehicle so pure, so seductive, and so stately is able to grapple the asphalt and gracefully leap itself forward like rabbits dodging foxes. Mate the powerplant with Audi’s 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with manual shift mode, and the vehicle achieves 15 city mpg and 26 hwy mpg.

Inside I felt special to say the least as the 22-way, diamond cross-stitched sport seats massaged me pleasantly. My mocha leather cabin was infused with a plethora of carbon fiber to intensify the level of craftsmanship of this German touring sedan including the gear selector, the seatbacks, the dash, and center console. As I gripped the thick 3-spoke leather wheel and ignited the red Start/Stop button, the needles on the gauges rotated, the LCD screen rose from its embedded position, and the acoustic lenses from Bang & Olufsen’s big-ticket, concert themed sound system emerged out of the dash. As well, LED lights brighten up the cabin when needed.


Audi Connect, launched in the “A” cars uses an array of various multi-media technologies along with Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) for driver convenience. MMI is one of the most advanced telematics systems in the auto industry. When inputting the address in the Google Earth navigation system which displays from the 8” LCD screen, superior visual computing takes over and guidance is considerably enhanced by displaying satellite imagery along with 3D images of buildings and places of interest. And now the system adds “Street View.” Online searches also come from Google just as on your smartphone or laptop. Of course you receive weather, gas prices, RSS news feeds, and sports scores. And speaking of your smartphone, up to eight devices can connect wirelessly and search the Web by way of the S8’s T-Mobile provided hotspot.

Once you reach your destination and look back at the vehicle then you know you have arrived properly. Its massive grille which dominates the fascia and front air intakes, the larger 21” 5-star bladed rims and matching aluminum optic side view mirrors, and quad exhaust announces that this is not a typical A8, yet an “S” driven by the very best. And that is all that is needed to justify your $110,000 purchase.


2013 Lexus LS 460 F Sport
Prevailing Ethos of Resilience

Lexus has always been the darling and most compelling of the Japanese luxury brands since its introduction. Their knack for quality engineered and technology savvy vehicles has kept them atop wealthy buyer’s radars for years. After all, it was Lexus and their stately LS which first introduced partial, self-parking systems that eventually caught onto the rest of the auto industry. Another boost will emanate from the launch of an athletic variant of the 2013 LS dubbed the F Sport.


First and foremost, the front end of a vehicle represents its true identity and is essential to the overall message it conveys to potential owners. It dictates whether its distinctiveness becomes sporty or more illustrious. Considering the new “spindle grille,” we say it’s a bit of both. The F Sport, essentially an appearance and minor mechanical package to enhance the spirit of the LS, can be compared to BMW’s M Sport Package. For perpetuating preferences, the LS build is either a standard wheelbase called the LS 460 or the long wheelbase form entitled LS 460L. All platforms are available as Rear-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive vehicles.

The interior highlights no lack of specificity either. For example, the LS 460L is applicable for the Ottoman Seating Package consisting of Shiatsu Massage chairs and can be ordered with the Blu-ray DVD player Rear Seat Entertainment System. Ivory, Light Gray, Black, Black and Saddle Tan, and T opaz Brown are your hue schemes and optional Walnut, Shimamoku Espresso and Matte Brown Bird’s Eye Maple are your timber veneer choices. The bespoke Shimamoku Espresso is all new and transitions through 67 processes before a 38-day completion. It stems from the EDO era in Japan and is found in high-class Japanese households. Another LS technology, Climate Concierge, warms up or cools the steering wheel and seats automatically to adjust to passenger’s comfort temperature.

In its entirety, the F Sport offers 19” forged alloy wheels, aluminum pedals, Brembo brakes, a lowered sport tuned air suspension and sport seats which have more bolstering and are extremely comfortable. Configurable modes from the Drive Mode Select alters the characteristics of the vehicle depending on a Comfort, Eco, Normal Sport or Sport + preference. The F Sport performs from a 4.6-liter V8 outputting 386 horsepower for the RWD version. However, the AW D sees horsepower decreases to 360 even though its weight is increased. An 8-speed automatic transmission sequential shift transmission with shift paddles is partnered with the efficient V8.

Pricing for the RWD F Sport begins at $81,990 and $84,885 for the AWD.