Britain's First V8 Diesel Luxury Saloon Will Be An Audi A8

New Audi A8 4.0 TDI Quattro
New version of acclaimed Audi flagship saloon will combine famed TDI frugality with first class refinement and V8 punch World-renowned Audi TDI diesel technology will enter an important new phase in Britain this year when a new eight-cylinder, 32-valve TDI engine creates the country’s first ever V8 diesel luxury saloon – the new Audi A8 4.0 TDI quattro. Due in the UK in the autumn of 2003, just a few months after the May arrival of the V8 petrol A8 models, the new Audi A8 4.0 TDI quattro will prove beyond doubt that diesel power has a place in the rarefied world of luxury saloons. Featuring common rail fuel injection technology and two intercooled turbo chargers, the new compact engine will combine 275PS with an exceptional 650Nm of torque – the highest output produced by any Audi model, and any V8 diesel engine, available today.

The relatively light 270kg engine, combined with the equally weight-conscious Audi Space Frame aluminium body shell, also contributes to a low overall kerb weight of 1,940kg, giving a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of 144PS per tonne. The fact that the A8 is unique in its class in offering four-wheel-drive makes this figure all the more impressive.

Delivered via six-speed tiptronic automatic transmission, this remarkable output will be reflected in the performance of the new A8 4.0 TDI quattro, which will be capable of dispatching the 0-62mph sprint in just 6.7 seconds, and where permitted reaching a maximum speed electronically limited to 155mph. Fuel economy figures will be more becoming of a traditional diesel saloon, with up to 29.4mpg achievable on the combined cycle, giving a potential range of over 580 miles on a single tank of diesel.

As impressive as the sheer pace available will be the uncompromising refinement that accompanies it throughout the rev range, thanks in part to newly developed injection technology for the common rail system, which results in far smoother combustion.

The surprising performance of the new A8 4.0 TDI quattro will be partly attributable to the most sophisticated body shell in the sector - the aluminium Audi Space Frame (ASF), on to which aluminium panels are mounted, giving a 60 per cent reduction in weight compared to an equivalent steel shell. Aluminium running gear will also ensure that it feels light and agile on the move, helped by quattro permanent four-wheel-drive and air suspension with variable damper settings capable of adapting to suit the prevailing road conditions.

Like its petrol-powered counterparts, the A8 4.0 TDI quattro will be available with virtually every conceivable luxury, including an array of innovative options such as DVD satellite navigation, fingerprint recognition technology, adaptive cornering lighting and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing for the new Audi A8 4.0 TDI quattro has yet to be finalised and will be announced nearer to launch in autumn 2003.

Published : 01/05/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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