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Audi A8 SE Bang & Olufsen

06/21/2006
What do you give to the car that’s got everything? Coming up with a fresh and desirable optional extra for an Audi A8 is like buying a birthday present for a wealthy relative – it’s virtually impossible to find anything that will make an impression.

The shape of the cabin has been precisely mapped and the textures of the materials used throughout noted to ensure Bs sound engineers have all the information they need to create the ideal audio environment. Wind and road noise were also accurately measured at a range of speeds.

Armed with all the data, the team came up with the perfect formula. A total of 14 active speakers have been fitted, delivering more than 1,000W of power. Each one has its own amplifier and is housed in an individual aluminium case. The fit and finish are sublime – for example, two tiny high-frequency speakers slide up out of the top of the dashboard when you turn the hi-fi on. It’s controlled through the same MMI dial as the standard A8’s stereo, but the sound produced by the Bang s easy to forget just how capable the rest of the A8 package is. While the large alloy wheels take the shine off the ride quality, the Audi hides its size with nimble handling and impressive performance.

Our test car was powered by a 4.2-litre V8, but buyers of any model can specify the Bs not cheap. The £4,500 price tag might seem hard to swallow, although adding DAB radio costs an extra £345.

The A8 we drove was fitted with an incredible £22,690-worth of other optional extras, but it’s the sound system that leaves the biggest impression. For the luxury car buyer who demands the best of the best, it’s a must.

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Audi A8 SE Bang & Olufsen
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