January 4, 2004
Text and pictures courtesy of Audi AG
Audi proudly presents its new flagship model: the 12-cylinder A8. The brand with the four-ring badge yet again defines the benchmark for dynamic performance in the absolute top automotive bracket. Because the launching of the A8 L 6.0 quattro marks the appearance of a vehicle full of superlatives – the sportiest luxury saloon car in the world. Twelve cylinders, 450 bhp and 580 Newton-metres of torque make this a supremely excellent car.
The A8 6.0 L quattro sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, and it accelerates from 0 to 200 in a mere 17.4 seconds. The twelve-cylinder model reaches its electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h after scarcely 30 seconds. The most impressive thing about it is just how spontaneously the six-litre engine translates every adjustment of the throttle into acceleration, and just how smoothly it can rev right up to the rated speed of 6,200 rpm if desired.
At the same time more than 95 percent of the engine’s peak torque is available between 2,300 and 5,300 rpm; the ideal basis for supreme pulling power in every velocity range. The torque characteristic of this large-capacity naturally aspirated engine is utterly unequalled.
The six-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic function makes sure that exactly the right amount of power is always available. And it additionally offers the driver the chance to intervene actively in the tiptronic gearshift gate. The automatic transmission’s Sport program waits for higher engine speeds before shifting up, and shifts down sooner, allowing the full revving ability of the twelve-cylinder engine to be utilised.
In conjunction with the low weight of the aluminium body built using the Audi Space Frame ASF principle, the engine and transmission turn in an excellent performance coupled with exemplary economy.
quattro permanent four-wheel drive remains unequalled in the luxury segment. It translates engine performance with superb efficiency into propulsion and lateral support. The aluminium chassis with air suspension as standard is a feature found only on the new A8 L 6.0 quattro, a system that delivers the right characteristic for every situation: by means of the continuously variable damper settings, the adaptive air suspension reduces body movements, while optimising roadholding and ride comfort.
The driver can choose between four predefined settings, for a suspension characteristic ranging from overtly sporty to ultra-comfortable.
The interior presents an atmosphere of superb luxury. The top quality of the materials and finish, visible and palpable down to the smallest detail, perfectly complements the spaciousness and perfected ergonomic layout. The driver and passengers alike can savour an ambience, the style, exclusivity and functionality of which are remarkable, even in the luxury car bracket.
All these characteristics highlight the sheer technological calibre of this luxury saloon and – in conjunction with the superlative drive train and suspension – create a unique vehicle: the Audi A8 L 6.0 quattro.