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Preview to a thrill

The Audi A8 L W12 has just been released. Here we reveal all

By David Light (

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Published: Sat 24 Sep 2011, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:18 AM

WITH THE TWELVE-cylinder A8 L W12 quattro Audi is now introducing an interesting engine configuration for its flagship model. The new A8 W12 is a concentrated high-tech package that screams Audi’s “Vorsprung durch Technik” philosophy.

Like the A8 L 3.0 TFSI and 4.2 FSI the new Audi A8 L W12 is 13 cm longer than the regular version, which fully benefits the passengers in the rear.

The 6.3 FSI engine has an output of 500hp. It gives the A8 the kind of performance normally expected of a sports car: sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds reaching a top speed of 250 km/h. The eight-speed tiptronic shifts smoothly and quickly and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive train divides the torque flow from the engine in a sporty manner.

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 engine runs smoothly and the car’s occupants are unlikely to sense any of this power at work unless it is at high engine speeds and contains severe loads.

What’s fascinating about the A8 L is its 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.

Among the high-end technologies featured on the A8 W12 are the LED headlights (standard) 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.

Inside 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 is enhanced even more by two separate power-adjustable seats. 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.

Another high-end feature of the long-wheelbase Audi A8 W12 is the reclining seat behind the front passenger’s seat.

The rear seat entertainment system with two 10.2-inch screens and 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.

The A8 W12 has a pioneering innovation on board: the MMI navigation plus, which comes as a standard and 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. This is now also possible in Arabic. Acoustic feedback makes this possible without taking one’s eyes of the road. All in all, this is a car to look out for.

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