The Audi A8 L quattro
Prestige car maker in steep ascent as its range and prices shift upmarket

Britain’s car buyers are migrating in their droves into premium brands with the prestige marques accounting for a *5.5 per cent rise this year in a static overall market. One of the fastest risers in terms of popularity in the UK is Audi, with a range that is ascending dramatically and its top model prices set to break the £100,000 barrier within months.

This month Audi is expanding its largest model range with the new long wheelbase A8 quattro limousine, which is set to increase from two models launched here in May to a ten–strong range in 2004. With optional extra specification costs taken into account, the new A8L quattro is set to break the £100,000 price barrier for Audi in Britain.

The current, all-aluminium bodied, range of V8-engined 3.7 and 4.2 litre A8 quattro models, were joined in July by the unique V8 4.0 TDI quattro at £57,560, and this will expand further. Two 3-litre, V6 powered versions – one 220 PS petrol and a highly advanced all new 233 PS TDI unit which is fully EU4 emissions standard compliant.

Audi has already established a precedent with the legendary RS 6 quattro which, with its 450PS has already found more than 500 British buyers who have paid almost £60,000 for every model sold. This momentum is set to continue as the company sets its sights on a premium-positioned 4x4 sport utility vehicle which already aired as the ‘Pikes Peak’ prototype this year and is confirmed for production. Two other high profile supercar coupé prototypes also went public this year – Nuvolari and Le Mans quattro, clearly indicating a further move up market for Audi in the near future.

"Our centre of gravity is rising sharply as the top-end price point of our range increases", commented Audi UK director Kevin Rose. "Demand for exotic Audi products is becoming markedly stronger among prestige car buyers and these informed and enthusiastic customers are prepared to pay more than ever for the car they want. For us that means a theoretical ’with extras’ price of more than £115,000 for our top model next year" said Mr Rose.

Because Audi attracts a very high level of bespoke equipment ordering, its cars are seldom sold at list price, but with a considerable increase in specification that makes each specimen highly individual.

Other Audi ranges with highly positioned flagship models include the allroad quattro with prices exceeding £40,500, the S6 Avant quattro (£48,655) and the mid-sized S4 Avant quattro (£37,285).

Published : 04/10/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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