The flagship 12-cylinder A8 at the International Motor Show Frankfurt will also feature another major new development, this time in the field of safety. It will be equipped with new ceramic brakes that not only offer up to four times the operating life of conventional steel discs, but also vastly improved temperature tolerance for the best possible resistance to brake fade even under hard driving.
The innovative brake discs are manufactured from carbon-fibre reinforced ceramic, a material which has proved itself time and again in aviation and space travel. The high-tech material is not only corrosion-proof for maximum longevity, but also brings a weight reduction of five kilograms - or around 50 per cent - per wheel, enabling an even higher standard of ride comfort and improved driving dynamics.
The high abrasion resistance of ceramic discs means that they will last for up to 300,000 kilometres in everyday use - four times the lifespan of a steel disc. Over this distance they will wear by a mere 0.5 millimetres.
The advantages of ceramic brakes also extend to the pedal itself, which with their benefit transmits much-improved feel to the driver’s right foot. Brake judder also becomes a thing of the past, whatever the discs are subjected to.
The new ceramic brake is expected to become available as an optional extra for UK A8 W12 and A8L W12 quattro models in the first quarter of 2006.
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