New Audi A8 Models Set New Precedents in Frankfurt

By -

August 22, 2003


Text and photos courtesy of Audi UK

V6 petrol and EU4 TDI engines, multitronic CVT
transmission and front-wheel-drive are new departures for
the latest A8

  • New A8 models featuring 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol
    and TDI engines make their international débuts at the
    2003 Frankfurt Show
  • Common rail 3.0-litre TDI creates the first ever
    EU4-compliant D-segment diesel
  • 3.0-litre petrol model is the world’s first luxury
    saloon to feature Continuously Variable Transmission
    (CVT), maximizing performance and fuel economy
  • 3.0-litre petrol: 220PS @ 6,300rpm, 300Nm @ 3,200rpm,
    0-62mph in 7.9 secs, max speed 150mph, combined mpg 29.4
  • 3.0-litre TDI: 233PS @ 4,000rpm, 450Nm from 1,400 to
    3,250rpm, 0-62mph in 7.8 secs, max speed 151mph,
    combined mpg 3

Two key advances in the evolution of the luxury car will be
made by Audi at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, where the new
V6-powered A8 3.0 and A8 3.0 TDI quattro models are set to
make their world débuts on September 9th.

The new six-cylinder A8 3.0 TDI quattro will be notable
as the world’s first D-segment diesel saloon to meet the
tougher EU4 emissions regulations applicable from 2005,
reducing running costs for business users by eliminating the
3 per cent diesel tax premium for UK drivers.

Its V6 petrol counterpart will be marked out as the first
ever luxury saloon to reap the benefits of step-less
continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The
unique Audi multitronic transmission operates significantly
more efficiently than conventional automatics, bringing
major gains in performance, fuel economy and emissions and
helping to create an exceptional new lead-in model for the
A8 range.

High-tech TDI

The new A8 3.0 TDI quattro features the first of a new
generation of Audi TDI engines. Unusually compact at just
440mm in length, the new turbocharged and twin-intercooled
24-valve unit employs common rail injection technology for
the first time in an Audi V6 TDI. It develops 233PS at 4,000
rpm and an exceptional maximum torque figure of 450Nm from
just 1,400rpm through to 3,250rpm.

This impressive output enables the A8 3.0 TDI to
outperform all other comparable diesel-powered saloons,
helped by an all-aluminum body shell that is some 50 per
cent lighter than an equivalent steel body, and 60 per cent
more rigid. An impressive

0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 151mph
are achievable without ruling out equally exceptional fuel
economy of up to 31.7mpg.

The A8 3.0 TDI quattro sets a new standard as the first
and only diesel car in the large luxury class to combine
six-speed tiptronic transmission with permanent all-wheel
drive, and also to outperform the tough EU4 exhaust emission
limits that will apply from 2006.

Remarkable new A8 multitronic

Available in standard or long-wheelbase body styles, the new
A8 3.0 multitronic will be powered by a sophisticated
lightweight alloy-block V6 petrol engine offering 220PS at
6,300rpm and a maximum 300Nm of torque at 3,200rpm. It will
be capable of accelerating to 62mph in an impressive 7.9
seconds and, where permissible, reaching a top speed of
150mph.

Uninterrupted by conventional automatic gear changes
thanks to its continuously variable gear ratio, and
unhindered by a power and fuel-sapping torque converter, the
multitronic transmission plays a key role in maximizing the
performance of the responsive V6 engine, and delivering it
with exceptional smoothness. It also ensures that fuel
economy in the A8 3.0 stands out from the crowd, with up to
29.4mpg possible on the combined cycle.

The new V6 engines are the latest in an extensive line-up
of refined petrol and TDI diesel units to be gradually
phased in for British A8 models. The current UK line-up
includes 3.7-litre and 4.2-litre, 40-valve V8s with 280PS
and 335PS and a more recently introduced 32-valve V8 TDI
combining 275PS with an exceptional 650Nm of torque and
29.4mpg economy.

From the front-wheel-drive A8 3.0 to the permanently
four-wheel-driven A8 4.2 quattro, all models feature lightweight aluminum
running gear incorporating air suspension with continuously
variable damper settings capable of adapting to suit the
prevailing road conditions. Four pre-determined spring and
damper settings can also be selected by the driver using the
Multi Media Interface control, which is fitted as standard
across the range.

Prices and introduction dates for UK versions of the A8
3.0 multitronic and

A8 3.0 TDI have yet to be confirmed. On the road prices for
the current UK A8 range start at £51,055 for the 3.7
quattro model, rising to £58,455 for the 4.2 quattro Long
Wheelbase.




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