The Audi A8 is a full-size luxury saloon car that combines Quattro four-wheel drive, the light but sturdy Audi Space Frame ASF aluminium body and adaptive air suspension. On top of this, there are numerous high-torque, powerful engines to choose from. Built by Audi to replace the V8 model as its flagship offering, two generations of the A8 have been produced in both short and long wheelbase form. The long wheelbase Audi A8 "L" combines performance with power, making it the most luxurious sports saloon in its class.
Other executive cars from Audi range includes the Audi A4 and the Audi A6
The A8 has been produced in two generations: from 1994-2003 and 2003-date. The first A8 used Audi's D2 platform, an all-aluminium space frame to reduce weight without losing rigidity. The saloon included the A8L long-wheelbase version, adding five inches rear legroom. In 1997, six interior airbags were added, making it the first vehicle to be so equipped. The second generation was built on the D3 platform, with the main notable change being the unique single frame grille, now the signature style for the entire line of Audi automobiles.
The current generation of A8s is available in a range of powerful diesel and petrol engine options including 2.8 V6, 3.2 V6, 4.2 V8, 3.0 TDI V6 and 4.2 litre TDI V8 with standard or long-wheelbase versions. The diesel versions all include semi-automatic Tiptronic gearboxes whilst Multitronic semi-automatic options are available for petrol engines. The 4.2 litre diesel V8 is the most powerful diesel engine Audi has ever produced in a car. It uses two turbochargers and two intercoolers, with each turbo functioning exclusively for one bank of four cylinders.
Audi A8 Facts
The top of the range Audi A8 SE 4.2 FSI Quattro has a (limited) top speed of 155 mph and accelerates from 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds, whilst the A8 SE 4.2 TDI Quattro - a diesel - has the same top speed but gets from 0-62 mph in just 5.9 seconds!
Adaptive air suspension is available as an option in the A8. It is the first Audi sports suspension system to be based on the principle of air suspension which allows the driver to change the suspension as individually preferred. Both the damping characteristics and ride height can be adjusted in a single process via the MMI "CAR" menu system.