Audi Reveals New Long Version Of Its Revolutionary A8

Audi A8 L

Audi A8

    Geneva Show European debut for the new aluminium A8L
  • New long wheel-base version of Audi A8 makes its first European public appearance at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show
  • Wheel-base extended by 130mm for even greater occupant comfort
  • Lengthened bodyshell adds only 8kg to exceptionally low body weight
  • Advanced Audi Space Frame aluminium construction ensures that A8 is 60 per cent more rigid than any other car in the sector
A new long wheel-base version of the World’s most advanced luxury sports saloon, the all new Audi A8, is set to make its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. This new, even more comfort-oriented model will join the flagship Audi A8 range - which goes on sale in Britain from May 1st - in the autumn of 2003. True to its ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’ philosophy, Audi has engineered the new A8 using the most advanced body shell design of any car in the sector as a foundation, bringing an exceptional combination of rigidity and lightness thanks to unique aluminium space frame construction. The all-new A8 is also unique in being the only car of its size to feature the advantage of quattro four-wheel-drive.

With a wheel-base extended by 130 millimetres to 3,074 millimetres, the comfort and versatility of the A8 interior is dramatically increased. The exterior has been lengthened to 5,181mm, and with the overall extension incorporated into the design between the B and D pillars, the doors on the larger car are now also 130mm longer than their equivalents in the standard model.

Thanks to Audi’s unrivalled and pioneering expertise in aluminium space frame body design and construction, the standard A8 shell weighs a class-leading 218 kilograms, enabling an all-up weight of just 1,780 kilograms – an exceptional achievement for a four-wheel-drive luxury saloon. Equally exceptional is the fact that the extended wheel-base adds just 8kg to the weight of the bodyshell. In spite of this low weight, the Audi A8 has a torsional rigidity of 36,000Nm per degree, making it 60 per cent more rigid than any other car in its segment.

The very latest development of the Audi ASF technology that first went into production in 1993, the new A8 body assembly combines unique castings, extrusions and pressings which are laser welded and riveted together to create an enormously strong chassis frame on which the aluminium body panels are mounted.

Making its public debut in Geneva on March 4th, following its unveiling at The Detroit Motor Show in January, the A8 L will be on display with the 4.2-litre V8 engine producing 335PS, allied to a tiptronic transmission. This advanced, hi-tech transmission features the unique Audi six-speed Dynamic Shift Programme.

Like its shorter sister model, the A8 L offers highly evolved electronically controlled and variable air suspension with a continuously adaptive shock absorber system. This system, incorporating adaptive air springs and continuous shock absorber control, is a first in the luxury car segment.

The suspension can be controlled from the dashboard mounted Multi Media Interface (MMI) which also controls functions such as audio, DVD satellite navigation, television and telephone from one central location, and uses the same operating principles to access them all.

Prices for the A8 L will be announced closer to the UK launch of the car, when it will fit in above the standard V8-engined models to be priced from £51,050 OTR (3.7-litre) to £54,980 OTR (4.2-litre).

Published 3 February 2003 Melanie Carter

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