Tel: +49 (0)841 89 33869
Luxury in grand style: The new Audi A8 L
• 130 millimeters (0.43 ft) longer than the standard-wheelbase version
• The W12 6.3 FSI unit generates 368 kW (500 hp)
• Opulent spaciousness, reclining seat in rear and panoramic glass roof
Ingolstadt, April 16, 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, 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 L 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.
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 by the same
amount, to 3,122 mm (10.24 ft). The width remains unchanged at 1,949 mm
(6.39 ft); the height has increased by 2 mm (0.08 in) to 1,462 mm (4.8 ft). Audi’s
new top model is both longer and wider than its main long-wheelbase competitors.
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 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
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
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 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
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
displacement has been increased, and gasoline direct injection boosts its output and
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 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 bore and 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
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
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 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.
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.
The center differential, the main component in the quattro permanent all-wheel
drive train, divides the torque flow from the engine in a sporty manner, with
60 percent to the rear axle and 40 percent to the front in 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.
Maximum precision: Chassis
Thanks to its advanced chassis design, the long-wheelbase Audi A8 brings together
the silky, refined smoothness of a true luxury car and the handling of a sport sedan.
The wheel control arms are made of aluminum. The front suspension uses five
locating arms at each wheel; the controlled-track wishbone rear suspension ensures
a supremely comfortable ride. The servotronic power steering system has a direct
operating ratio and operates at high efficiency.
The adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is standard equipment and is
integrated into the Audi drive select dynamics system. With this system the driver
can choose between four different operating settings of the engine, the eight-speed
tiptronic transmission, the servotronic power steering, the optional sport
differential and the Audi pre sense basic safety system. An additional module is the
dynamic steering system, which varies its gear ratio steplessly according to road
The A8 L W12 quattro runs on 19-inch alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design reserved
for this model, and size 255/45 tires. As an optional extra 20-inch wheels can be
chosen, and even 21-inch wheels can be obtained from quattro GmbH.
The A8 L W12 quattro, the new top model, naturally has a high-performance brake
system, with ventilated disks at all four wheels. The front disks are 400 mm
(15.75 in) in diameter, with 356 mm (14.02 in) disks at the rear. To dissipate heat
and reduce weight, stainless steel pins connect the steel friction rings with the
aluminum disk centers. The calipers have a matt black paint finish.
Dynamic intelligence: Communication and assistance systems
This large sedan features an exemplary control concept. Although there are so many
functions available, they can be selected in an easily understood, ergonomically
correct way. 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 A8 has a pioneering innovation on board: the optional MMI navigation plus,
which operates with the aid of a high-capacity hard disk, has a touch-sensitive
control panel known as MMI touch. The driver inputs his or her navigation
destination or a telephone number simply by writing the letters or numerals on the
pad with a finger. Acoustic feedback makes this possible without taking one’s eyes
of the road.
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. Thanks to their advanced
intelligence, these systems can identify complex scenarios and offer the driver
support in good time.
The adaptive cruise control system operates at any speed up to 250 km/h
(155.34 mph) and responds even more flexibly and smoothly than before.
The Audi side assist system, which helps the driver to change lanes, and Audi lane
assist which detects any departure from the chosen lane, also have new and
additional performance features.
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. The
Audi pre sense safety system is also closely linked to the assistance systems. It is
available in several stages: the full version brakes the car automatically in order to
minimize the consequences of a nose-to-tail collision.
In the multimedia area, Audi can also supply many attractive modules. These
include a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with an output rating of more
than 1,400 Watts and 19 speakers, and the Rear Seat Entertainment system. This
has an MMI control panel on the console between the rear seats and provides access
to all the infotainment functions on board this large luxury sedan.
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. The driver can use all these services with
his or her cell-phone contract.
The Audi Group sold around 950,000 cars of the Audi brand in 2009. The Company posted revenue of
€29.8 billion and an operating profit of €1.6 billion. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm
(Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the start
of CKD production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007 and of the Audi A4 in early October 2008. The
Company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include
AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy) and
quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 58,000 people worldwide, including
45,500 in Germany. Between 2010 and 2012 the Audi Group is planning to invest around €5.5 billion,
mainly in new products, in order to sustain the Company’s technological lead embodied in its “Vorsprung
durch Technik” slogan. By 2015, Audi plans to increase the number of models in its portfolio to 42.
Audi has long been fulfilling its social responsibility on many levels – with the aim of making the future
worth living for generations to come. The basis for Audi’s lasting success is therefore formed by
environmental protection, the conservation of resources, international competitiveness and a forward-
looking human resources policy. One example of AUDI AG’s commitment to environmental issues is the
newly established Audi Environmental Foundation.