A new and more overtly sporting version of the potent 6.0-litre Audi A8 is destined to arrive in Britain within weeks. At £72,375 on the road, the new ‘standard wheel- base’ A8 6.0 quattro combines performance-enhancing transmission revisions with dynamics and equipment aimed at keen drivers. Orders for the car that stops 130mm short of its 'long' counterpart start in Britain on April 5.
From behind the flagship-identifying single-frame grille, the unique 6.0-litre, 48-valve W12 engine provides 450PS at 6,200rpm, giving the comparatively light aluminium-bodied A8 6.0 quattro an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 229PS per tonne. Combined with an exceptional torque output of 580Nm from 4,000rpm, 95 per cent of which is also available at just 2,300rpm, this makes for deceptively strong performance. The mighty output makes itself felt even more emphatically thanks to a modified final drive ratio for the six-speed tiptronic transmission which further quickens mid-range acceleration compared with the Long Wheel Base model, especially in the 50mph to 70mph overtaking increment.
The sprint from 0-62mph can be covered in just 5.1 seconds, and with an Autobahn to hand 124mph from rest can be achieved in 16.9 seconds. The electronically limited top speed of 155mph can be reached from a standing start in a little under 29 seconds.
This latest Audi super saloon features the usual A8 trademarks of aluminium space frame construction for exceptional rigidity and lightness and unique-in-class quattro permanent four-wheel-drive for unparalleled control. Unlike its long wheel base counterpart, though, it also features sport settings for its four-mode adaptive air suspension, giving a ride height that is always 20mm lower and damper characteristics that are noticeably firmer than the standard car, even when in its ‘Dynamic’ mode. The result is even more assured, precise and composed handling.
In keeping with this more sporting stance, the A8 6.0 quattro also features changes to its equipment specification compared with its 130mm longer equivalent. Externally it adds larger 19-inch, ‘12-spoke design’ alloy wheels with lower profile 225/40 R19Y tyres, and in the cabin figure-hugging electrically adjustable heated front sports seats and a three-spoke sports-style multifunction steering wheel housing gear change paddles.
Other equipment highlights include Valcona leather upholstery and Fine Nappa leather covering centre console and door trims, adaptive headlights with Xenon plus and LED daytime running lights and a DVD-based navigation system incorporated within the acclaimed Multi Media Interface (MMI).
The A8 6.0 quattro completes a highly competitive A8 range that now offers an extremely strong contender on every tier in the luxury segment. The line-up includes benchmark setters such as the ‘entry-level’ A8 3.0 with its performance and economy-conscious multitronic CVT transmission, the A8 3.0 TDI quattro - the world’s first luxury diesel saloon to achieve EU4 emissions compliance and the A8 4.0 TDI quattro, Britain’s first and only V8 diesel luxury saloon.
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