Western Europe’s best selling 8-cylinder and 12-cylinder luxury saloon is the Audi A8, which has just become even more distinctive thanks to the range-wide integration of the latest Audi single frame front grille, and even better equipped following a comprehensive package of upgrades for the 2006 model year. The new look A8 range with unique-in-sector quattro four-wheel-drive is now open for UK order for May 2005 deliveries with OTR prices ranging from £47,125 to £77,355.
Previously reserved for 12-cylinder versions of the aluminium-bodied Audi flagship, the new styling treatment is now a common feature of the 10-model line-up, which also boasts an upgraded SE equipment specification as standard for V6 and V8 models and a new Sport pack available at extra cost.
Over and above the already lengthy list of A8 equipment, the new SE specification adds DVD-based satellite navigation, light and rain sensors, the Audi Advanced Key system (enabling keyless access and start-up) and voice control technology for vocal operation of radio, CD player, car telephone and navigation system. Additional aluminium interior trim, an enhanced ambient interior lighting system using LED technology and the latest Audi steering wheel design inspired by the single frame grille also add to the overall refinement of the widely acclaimed cabin.
Sport specification upgrades the wheels from 17-inch 7-spoke to 19-inch 12-spoke, and also adds sports seats, sport adaptive air suspension (20mm lower than the standard set-up in each mode), a sports steering wheel with tiptronic gear change paddles and Grey Birch facia inlays. The standard Valcona leather upholstery is also replaced by leather and Alcantara combination upholstery (full Valcona leather can be retained if required). The Sport option carries a premium of £2,500 for V6 models or £1,900 for V8 versions.
The range of petrol engines available for British A8 models includes a 3.0-litre V6 with 220PS, 3.7-litre and 4.2-litre V8s with 280PS and 335PS and a 6.0-litre W12 with 450PS. Two common rail TDI units - a Piezo-injected 3.0-litre V6 with 233PS and a 4.0-litre V8 with 274PS, maximise economy without any perceptible impact on all-important refinement.
These highly sophisticated engines, combined with the unparalleled lightness of the aluminium Audi Space Frame, contribute to class leading power-to-weight ratios and a feeling of agility rarely achievable in a D-Segment car. This agility is combined with outstanding control thanks to the unique-in-sector quattro four-wheel-drive system, and with great comfort courtesy of the driver adjustable air suspension.
Now in even better shape inside and out, the advanced Audi A8 range is perfectly placed to continue its domination of the European 8-cylinder and 12-cylinder luxury saloon market, in which it accounted for 7,980 sales last year.
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