November 25, 2003

12-cylinder Audi A8 L
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 very top automotive bracket. Because the launching of the A8 L 6.0 quattro marks the appearance of a vehicle full of superlatives - the most sporty luxury saloon car in the world. Twelve cylinders, 331 kW (450 bhp) and 580 Newton-metres of torque - a gain of 30 bhp and 20 Nm on the predecessor model - 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 without comparison.

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 into superbly effective 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 via the MMI, for a suspension characteristic spanning the full range from overtly sporty to ultra-comfortable.

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