In a world where specialized cars and demanding drivers collide, one car dared to take a stand. A car capable hitting 60 mph in under 5 seconds and getting almost 30 mpg on the highway. “It simply cannot be done.” A car with launch control and a trunk that can hold a stroller. “Sure, kid. We’ve all heard the stories.” A car with a torque vectoring rear differential and a sumptuous leather interior with seating for four. “You’re insane I tell ya. Insane!” A car with a dual-clutch paddle shifting transmission and a premium audio system. [Beat.] “My god! It’s been under our noses this whole time.” [Tires squeal, cut to car speeding off into the night.] The Chimera. Rated PG-13.
Handling. The Quattro all-wheel drive system lets you throw the B8 around in the bends without breaking a sweat. And the beautifully bolstered buckets keep you firmly and comfortably planted behind one of the best flat-bottomed, grippy steering wheels of all time. Like those who yell “Play Freebird!” at every rock concert or “Get in the hole!” on every tee shot, there is a reader screaming, “Understeer!” at this very moment. That is because Audis, with their forward-positioned engines and lack of rear-wheel drive, are notorious understeerers. That accusation may ring true for Audi’s lesser front-wheel drive CVT A4s, but not for the B8. Why? Because the B8’s Quattro all-wheel drive system is rear-biased, with a 40:60 front-to-back power distribution ratio. And, as Kim Kardashian can tell you, having more in the back has certain advantages. Indeed, with the (optional) torque-vectoring rear differential, the B8 can apply more power to the outside rear wheel to propel the car around the bends. It is truly one of the most fun features on the B8 as your push it towards the limits.
Looks. Understated aggression. As you know, the Gentleman Motorist loves a sleeper. Like the BMW E39 M5, simplicity and athleticism radiate from the B8. Not surprising, given that they share similar dimensions. And the Legendary E39 weighed more, cost more ($73,874 in 2002!), and needed a V8 to produce comparable performance numbers. Granted, the B8 has a decade of engineering advancements at its disposal, but the two cars compare nicely. And, like the E39, every line on the B8 is clean and fuss free. The silver mirrors, S4 badges (front grille, back fender, and brake calipers), and quad exhaust are just about the only styling elements that will set you apart from the lesser A4 brethren. This may disappoint some potential buyers who would favor the snorting grills, flared fenders, and colored brake calipers of other super sedans to demand attention. But a gentleman motorist would rather walk softly and carry a big stick to sneak up on fellow motorists and blow them away off the line.
Comfort. The B8 has just about every gadget one would ever need in a car. Nav? Check. iPod connectivity? Check. Bang & Olufsen sound system? Check. Wi-Fi hotspot? Check. And it is all run through Audi’s intuitive MMI system. Despite all of this kit, the cabin remains relatively uncluttered. This can largely be attributed to the brilliant piano black interior, which really comes to life at night when the illuminated bits appear to float in space like so many stars in the night sky. There is plenty of room for four and the seats are quite comfortable even for long drives. The front sport seats also keep you in place while you throw the B8 all over the road. One could go on, but it is fairly common knowledge that Audi interiors are among the best when it comes to fit and finish. The B8 is no exception to the rule.
Practicality. Great performance, good fuel economy, sophisticated looks, and comfortable accommodations for four is a lot of car. But it is an insane amount of car for the money. The MSRP on a nicely equipped B8 today is less than $60,000.00 (barely). Yes, that is still a lot of money. But at that MSRP, nothing else offers so much for so little.
In conclusion, nothing is perfect. And one car cannot be all things to all gentleman motorists. So we continue to chase after the chimera. But consider this. Don Quixote could have tilted at more windmills much faster and in greater comfort if he had ditched Rocinante for a B8. And you know Sancho Panza would have loved riding shotgun.
 The Gentleman Motorist recently observed a B8 trounce a bunch of cars at an open drag race event. Also, Texas recently opened a toll road with a speed limit of 85 mph. To quote John McClain, “Yippee-ki-yay, Motherfucker!”
 Which, Audi, are terrible loaner cars for your S badge owners. Knock it off.
 The B8 design was changed for the better on 2013 models going forward. Earlier B8s retain too much of the B7’s clumsy lines.
 The skillful application of the art of negotiation can diminish that sum by at least 6%.
 Do not waste money on the Driver Assist Package, the Adaptive Damping Suspension, the manual rear window share or the rear-passenger thorax side airbags. Though props to Audi for using the word thorax in an option.
 That said, the Gentleman Motorist would love for you to prove him wrong in the comments section.
 Well, Suntory’s Yamazaki 18-year old single-malt Japanese whisky comes pretty close.
 In a completely unrelated aside, does anyone remember a cartoon series called The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda? One wonders if the planet’s rotation has been affected by Cervantes’s movements in the grave.
Photo(s) from Wikipedia.