Luxury in grand style: The new Audi A8 L W12 Quattro

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The new A8 is a concentrated high-tech package that confirms the Audi claim to technical leadership – “Vorsprung durch Technik”. And now the brand is introducing the top version of its flagship model. The A8 L W12 quattro, with a long wheelbase and a twelve-cylinder engine. The Audi A8 L is also to be launched with a same twelve-cylinder engine, but by the end of the year it will have all the engine options on current A8.

With an overall length of 5,267 millimeters (17.28 ft), the new Audi A8 L is 130 mm (0.43 ft) longer than the regular version. The wheelbase has grown to 3,122 mm (10.24 ft). The width remains unchanged with an additional height of 2mm. New model is both longer and wider than its main long-wheelbase competitors.

The body is built from aluminum using the Audi Space Frame (ASF) principle and therefore weighing about 40 percent less than a comparable steel body. The ASF body structure is built up from cast elements, extruded sections and sheet aluminum. This body’s tremendous rigidity is the key to the car’s precise handling, low interior noise levels and high passive safety for the occupants in the event of an accident.
Among the high-end technologies featured on the A8 model line are the optional LED headlight units (standard on the A8 L W12 quattro) with all lighting functions performed by LEDs. With this bright, high-efficiency light, Audi opens a new chapter in the history of automobile lighting technology.

Subtle visual details distinguish the A8 L W12 quattro from the other cars in this model line. The single-frame radiator grille with integral grid structure has a high-gloss black paint finish and special chromed horizontal bars. There are also chromed inserts of new design in the air inlets, and chromed applications on the exterior mirrors. W12 badges are displayed on the single-frame grille and at the rear of the car. The exhaust system has two trapezoidal-pattern tailpipe trims neatly integrated into the rear bumper.

Abundant space: Rear-seat area
The full extra length of this sedan benefits rear-seat passengers. The back doors are longer, giving more convenient entry, and the space available inside can only be described as opulent. Rear passenger comfort can be enhanced even more if two separate power-adjustable seats are ordered. These can be heated, ventilated and adjusted in different ways. There is also a fully adjustable lumbar support. The front passenger’s seat can also be moved from the rear if extra space is needed.

Between the individual rear seats that are standard equipment in the Audi A8 L W12 quattro a full-length console can be ordered as an optional extra; it extends back from the center tunnel to the rear shelf, and can be specified with items such as a folding table or a refrigerator. Separate controls for the rear air conditioning are also standard with a four zone air conditioning system controlled by 25 adjusting motors.

Another high-end feature of the long-wheelbase A8 is the reclining seat behind the front passenger’s seat. The angle of the seat cushion can also be adjusted. The occupant can be massaged by ten air-filled compartments; four programs can be selected at a remote control. The feet rest on a power-adjustable support at the base of the front passenger seat back. Heating, ventilation and the luxury head restraint are integral features of the reclining seat. A folding table, additional wood and leather trim, a refrigerator and a Rear Seat Entertainment system with two 10.2-inch screens are among the additional features.

Fine materials: Interior design
The quality of workmanship in the car is simply first-class – from the restrained ambient lighting through the accurately fitted switches with their precise click action. Fascinating aspects of the car’s interior are the slim, clear outlines and the stylish materials with their modern look.

Valonea leather is tanned exclusively with plant extracts and is especially soft and able to “breathe” actively. Audi also supplies a loose cushion for rear-seat passengers’ use. Like the head restraints and the selector lever it is trimmed with buckskin,an exceptionally soft and hard-wearing material.

Another optional extra is the panoramic glass roof, with two glass panels allowing plenty of light for the car’s interior. Sun blinds are provided for both panels to keep out direct sunlight.

The Quattro: Splendor and efficiency
The 6.3 FSI engine has an output of 368 kW (500 hp) and delivers its peak torque of 625 Nm (460.98 lb-ft) at engine speeds at 3,250 rpm. It gives the long-wheelbase Audi a performance matching with those of sports cars, sprinting from0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in only 4.9 seconds and effortlessly reaches factory limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

Th new engine is highly efficient resulting in a fuel consumption of 12.0 liters per 100 kilometers (19.6 US mpg).Which is 1.6/100 more than the previous engine, A roughly 12% increase.

The engine is known as the W12 because of its unusual layout: it has four rows of three cylinders with a 15-degree included angle between the two offset rows of cylinders in each broad cylinder block. The V angle between the two blocks is 72 degrees. This layout makes the W12 engine exceptionally compact: only just over 50 centimeters long and therefore distinctly shorter than a V8.

Safe and sporty: Transmission
The transmission makes a major contribution to ensuring the high efficiency of the Audi A8 L. The eight-speed tiptronic shifts smoothly and quickly, with the individual gears closely spaced but with a generous overall spread from low to high. Gear shifts are performed electronically (“shift by wire”) from an elegant yacht-style selector lever or at steering wheel paddles.

Providing power in a 60 percent to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front ration for regular driving conditions.

But if the situation changes, up to 60 percent of the torque can be sent to the front, or 80 percent to the rear. An optional sport differential splits the torque input actively between the left and right rear wheels.

Dynamic intelligence: Communication and assistance systems
This large sedan features an exemplary control concept. The list of features include:

Two large monitor screens, one on the instrument panel and one on the center console, acts as control centers and display their information as high-resolution 3D graphics.

The optional MMI navigation plus has a touch-sensitive control panel known as MMI touch.

The high-end navigation system cooperates with the assistance and safety systems in an innovative way. It registers the topography of the road in advance and makes this data available to the control units for the automatic transmission, headlights and adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function.

The adaptive cruise control system operates at any speed up to 250 km/h (155.34 mph)

The Audi side assist system, which helps the driver to change lanes, and Audi lane assist which detects any departure from the chosen lane

The night view assistant uses a thermal imaging camera to identify persons on the road ahead of the car. If it considers the situation to be potentially dangerous, the image of the person on the road is shown in red and a warning signal is heard.

Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with an output rating of more than 1,400 Watts and 19 speakers, and the Rear Seat Entertainment system.

The new Online services in cooperation with Google use the car phone to capture news and current information on the weather or points of interest (POI) from the Internet. Later this year an UMTS module will be available: this fast data link can supply images and information from Google Earth to the monitor screen and combine them with the navigation route.