The new A8 is a concentrated high-tech package that confirms Audi's claim to technical leadership – “Vorsprung durch TechnikVorsprung durch Technik"Vorsprung durch Technik" is Audi's tagline in Germany. Literally translated, it means "advancement through technology"; however, English cannot fully capture the meaning of "Vorsprung" which means "to leap ahead."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, sets new standards of luxury, dynamism and efficiency in the top automobile manufacturing league. The Audi A8 L is being launched with a twelve-cylinder engine, but by the end of the year will be available with all the engines currently offered for the A8.
What’s fascinating about the A8 is its supremely powerful presence; its design is clearly derived from the brand’s genes and yet has undergone further refinement. The long wheelbase does not disturb its taut outlines, which remain as athletic as they are elegant.
The A8 L has a body 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, with integral B-posts made from form-hardened ultra-high strength steel. This body’s tremendous rigidityRigiditySufficiently high static and dynamic body stiffness are prerequisites for many desirable vehicle characteristics.Rigidity is the key to the car’s precise handling, low interior noise levels and high passive safetyPassive SafetyPassive safety refers to all design measures that help protect the car's occupants against injury or help reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident. Passive safety measures include the safety belt system, the airbags*, the rigid occupant cell and the crumple zones at the front of the vehicle. 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, for even 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 a variety of ways: forward and back, seat cushion depth and seat back angle with top section adjustable separately. 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 integral items such as a folding table or a refrigerator. Separate controls for the rear air conditioning are also standard. The luxury four-zone automatic air conditioning is controlled by no fewer than 25 adjusting motors.
Another high-end feature of the long-wheelbase Audi 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 features that promote relaxed travel or alternatively concentrated work in this mobile lounge.
Fine materials: Interior design
The quality of workmanship in the A8 L 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.
Audi design selection brass beige carefully combines well-matched colors with individual materials and comfort-oriented equipment items. The roof-mounted grab handles and rear console have additional fine wood trim.
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 restraintsHead RestraintsBoth in a rear-end impact and during the rebound phase of a frontal crash, the design and position of the head restraints has a substantial influence on occupant head and neck loads.Head Restraints and the selector lever for the eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, it is trimmed with buckskin that is exceptionally soft and supple but also hard-wearing.
Another optional extra, the panoramic glass roof, has two glass panels that allow plenty of light to reach the car’s interior. Both sections can be tilted up and the front one also opened extra-wide. Sun blinds are provided for both panels to keep out direct sunlight.
The Audi A8 L W12 quattro: Splendor and efficiency
Twelve cylinders are the ultimate engine configuration, a tradition that still applies in the large luxury car class. The first-generation A8 was available with an engine of this type from 2001 on, and a developed version could be obtained from 2004 on in the following model. Audi’s engineers have now thoroughly revised the W12. Its displacementDisplacementThe total volume of air displaced by all the pistons within an engine block.Displacement has been increased, and gasoline direct injection boosts its output and its efficiency.
The 6.3 FSI engine has an output of 368 kW (500 hp) and delivers its peak torqueTorqueTorque is what causes rotational speed to change. Just as greater net forces cause greater linear accelerations, greater torques cause greater rotational or angular accelerations.Torque of 625 Nm (460.98 lb-ft) at engine speeds at 3,250 rpm. It gives the long-wheelbase Audi A8 the kind of performance normally expected of a sports car: it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in only 4.9 seconds and effortlessly reaches its governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
A fascinating flow of power is available in every situation, but the fuel consumption too sets new standards: the EU cycle test result is only 12.0 liters per 100 kilometers (19.6 US mpg), a figure well below that of competitors’ cars with V12 engines. The previous 6.0-liter engine, which had a power output of 331 kW (450 hp), recorded a fuel consumption of 13.6 l/100 km (17.3 US mpg) – the difference of 1.6 l/100 km is equivalent to a 12 percent improvement.
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 (19.69 in) long and therefore distinctly shorter than a V8. Height and width are both in the region of 70 centimeters (27.56 in).
The W12, in its latest form with a displacement of 6,299 cc, is an undersquare design. Its boreBoreThe inside diameter of a hollow, cylindrical object.Bore and strokeStrokeThe distance a piston moves in its travel from top dead center to bottom dead center. Stroke are 86.0 and 90.4 millimeters (3.39 x 3.56 in) respectively. Compared with the previous version the engineers have enlarged the cylinder bore. The forged crankshaft has a 12-degree angle of crankpin offset, so that the mixture in the 12 cylinders is ignited at the ideal interval of 60 degrees. The engine therefore runs exceptionally smoothly, and the car’s occupants are unlikely to sense any of this supreme power at work unless it is at high engine speeds and severe loads.
The W12 engine weighs only 247 kilograms (545 lb), an impressive value to which the crankcase makes a major contribution. This is a lightweight, high-strength aluminum-silicon alloy casting with a gray cast iron lower cross-member into which the bearing pedestals are embedded. The pistons are forged from a high-strength light alloy and have angled crowns because of their V position in the cylinder blocks.
Each of the W12 engine’s aluminum cylinder heads contains two camshafts; these can be repositioned hydraulically by an amount equivalent to 52 degrees of crankshaft rotation. Altogether, the four camshafts operate 48 valves by way of low-friction roller cam followers, and are themselves driven by chains from an intermediate shaft.
For use in the long-wheelbase A8, Audi’s engineers have converted the W12 engine to FSI gasoline direct injection. This involved considerable modifications to the cylinder heads. Fuel is injected into the combustion chambers at a pressure of up to 130 bar. A high 11.8:1 compression ratioCompression RatioThe ratio of the cylinder and combustion chamber volume when the piston is all the way at the bottom (bottom dead center) to when the piston is all the way up in the cylinder (top dead center).Compression Ratio boosts power output and efficiency. The inlet ports are specially shaped to impart swirl to the incoming airflow and make combustion more efficient.
The W12 engine’s low fuel consumption compared with its competitors is to a large extent due to Audi’s modular efficiency platform. These are used in the entire A8 model line. The crankshaft and timing chains have been intensively optimized to reduce friction, and a recuperation system recovers energy that would otherwise be wasted when the car is braked. The innovative thermal management system shuts down the coolant circuit for a time after the cold engine has been started. This warms up the engine oil more rapidly and shortens the operating period in which friction is still high.