In early 2016 our paparazzi spotted a longer-than-usual Audi A8 somewhere in snowy Sweden. The limousine had six doors instead of four and looked awfully similar to the vehicle that was delivered to Harald V, the King of Norway, earlier last month, but the German license plate suggested the car in question was a test vehicle. Three months have passed since then and Audi confirmed that it has began producing a six-door variant of its full-size sedan.
Dubbed A8L Extended, the ultra-long, luxury model was conceived as a special one-off for an unnamed “European customer” and development took almost a year. Having received further requests for the custom sedan, Audi is launching the A8L Extended as a bespoke, limited-edition model that will rival offerings from Mercedes-Maybach.
EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;
On the styling front not much has changed, a minor nip and tuck (the facelifted model is 13 cms longer) here and there (read as more appealing hood, bumpers, head and tail lights along with new exhaust pipes with a trapezoidal finishing) keeps the A8L all trim and muscle but the real highlight on the exteriors is the introduction of the new Matrix LED headlights. Audi’s hefty focus on light technology has made the four ringed brand become the centre of attraction on the aesthetics front but its competitors have caught up by offering equally attractive LED lights. Taking a step in an entirely different direction, Audi has opted to go one up with what they like to call Matrix LED headlights. Basically what Matrix LED lights does is, it frees you from the headache and turmoil of operating the headlight’s intensity as everything is done automatically, dimming individually each one of the 25 LEDs as per the need when an obstacle is sensed, using the on-board cameras. It activates at speeds of over 30 km/hr and group of 5 LEDs shine through one reflector. In other words, these lights are superman cool as you never have to worry about blinding oncoming traffic while getting the best possible visibility in dark situations. Think of it as automation of the intelligent kind, only one which gives equal importance to function as much as it does to form, a big thumbs up. However, this is part of optional kit, still cool though.
INTERIORS AND SPACE ;
The Audi A8L is an aesthetically designed car, it looks equally ravishing from inside as it looks from outside. The Audi A8L has the best and most luxuriously appointed cabins. Elegance and Luxury are at their prime and have been implemented on the fullest in here. An array and mix of finest wood inserts, metal inserts and best hand crafted leather is what the dashboard of the Audi A8L is made of. The 4 spoke steering is a joy to grip and comes with wood inserts spread on it as well. The steering is also equipped with all the controls for multimedia and also has paddle shifters.Elegantly laid out Speedo. Console also doubles up when the night assist system is in work to display the road ahead. An analogue clock is placed on the centre of the dash. The AC vents are in typical Audi style with chrome inserts around it. Between the centre AC vent is the 7 inches long LCD screen that can be stacked inside the dash when not needed at just a press of a button. This screen displays all the various settings, parameters showing all the functions and also doubling up as a reverse camera while parking.
The centre console is full of buttons and dials and easily resembles an aircrafts cockpit. There is an engine start stop button, the AC control for the front climate setting, the multimedia interface (MMI) control stack, a scroll pad that uses the black panel technology where you can input an alphabet to search your phone book when you connect it to the Audi A8L and gear shifter that is shaped like an aircrafts throttle joystick. Wood inserts is used in abundance all around the centre console and on the gear shifter.Passengers at the rear can also access the music system via the MMI controls that are also placed at the rear. The Audi A8L is equipped with the latest Bose music system, which comes standard; this system is able to deliver about 600 watts from the 14 speakers that are spread across the cabin. The buyer can also opt for the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 19 speakers utilizing 1400 watts.
Our review car came with the Bang & Olufsen system which also features a auto closing tweeter on the dashboard that goes in or come out motorized when we switch on or off the player and boy it is one hell of a music system that can put some of the home component Hi-Fi players to shame. The front seats are fully electrically adjustable to 22 settings that include height and lumber settings. Needless to say the seats are very comfortable and very well appointed.You get more comfort at the rear of the Audi A8L in this segment and more than 80% of the people who buy cars from this segment are seen mostly on the rear seat. Audi has incorporated the best of the best in terms of comfort for the rear passenger. Rear seats are super comfortable with electrical adjust on them to heighten the comfort levels. Audi is also offering a special rear seat package that includes seat ventilation, massage seats and a refrigerator that is neatly stacked inside the back of the seat.
At a press of a button the left rear seat adjusts to the best comfortable position while the front left seat moves ahead increasing the leg room and folds downwards, a power adjustable footrest folds out on which the rear passenger can keep his feet and stretch fully attaining the best comfortable posture easily replicating the first class on a first-class airplane. You can also customize the available feature set to suit you better according to the desired comfort level or height.The centre console on the rear between the 2 seats is again styled like an aircrafts cockpit with the climate control buttons, electric seat setting and the MMI control dials. The Audi A8L comes with twin sun/moon roof while the older A8 had just a single opening on the roof. Cubby holes and charging as well as electric output points are all spread out around the cabin. Audi has got rid of regular bulbs in the cabin and used the latest LED instead. Reading lights, cabin lights etc are all in white LEDs. The boot of the Audi A8L has a total volume of 510 litre and can store all your luggage for the long trips. Leg room head room and loads of space all around the Audi A8 L is needless to say looking at the sheer size and the wheelbase of this Luxury sedan. The fit finish on the materials used to build the cabin of the Audi A8L is exemplary and belong to the highest standards of craftsmanship.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
The Audi A8L is powered by four engines, a 4.0 litre petrol, a 3.0 litre diesel, a 4.0 litre diesel and a 6.3 litre W12 petrol. The 4.0 litre petrol produces 429 hp of power from 5,100 rpm to 6,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 5,000 rpm. The 3.0 litre diesel generates 247 hp of power from 4,000 rpm to 4,250 rpm and 580 Nm of torque between 1,750 rpm to 3,000 rpm. The 4.0 litre diesel churns out 379 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 850 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm to 2,750 rpm. The 6.3 litre W12 petrol generates 493 hp of power at 6,200 rpm and 625 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm.
Transmission available for all versions of the Audi A8L sedan is an 8 speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. All versions of the Audi A8L luxury sedan are available with the company’s exclusive all wheel drive Quattro system along with traction control which improves handling over all road surfaces.In terms of safety, the Audi A8L sedan is offered with 8 airbags, ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), hill hold assist, traction control, Audi Multimedia Interface, run flat tyres with tyre pressure monitoring system and Night Vision Assistant.The Audi A8L 60 TFSI petrol has a claimed fuel efficiency of 7.4 kmpl, A8L 50 TDI has 16.77 kmpl, 60 TDI has 7.5 kmpl and the W12 6.3 FSI version has 11.3 kmpl which are reasonable for its segment. The company recommends sulphur free super unleaded RON 95 fuel for best performance and mileage from the Audi A6.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The A8L comes with the adaptive air-suspension, which can be altered for stiffness levels. The driver can choose between comfort and dynamic modes or let the computers adjust the ride height and damping as per the speed and road conditions. The suspension setup works amazingly well on our roads and ride quality is comfortable throughout. The tyres aren’t too low in profile either. The deeper potholes and tall speed humps need to be dealt with care though as scraping the corners of the car or its underbody is quite easy – thanks to the long overhangs and relatively low ground clearance.The mechanicals are mated to the quattro all-wheel-drive system, which not only aids in high speed stability, it also makes sure that this 5.1-metre long limo can tackle and shoot out of a corner with complete composure and a wide grin on its face. While doing so though, the cabin remains as silent as you would expect from luxury car in this segment.
This high end saloon from Audi is the safest vehicle ever designed by the German auto major. This version of A8 comes integrated with highly resilient special aluminum alloys, aramide fabric and a hot formed steel armor that offers highest level of protection. This luxury saloon comes with top safety standards that meet the VR 9 ballistic norms. Manufactured at a top-secret facility, this vehicle is built under the company’s own supervision. The saloon also comes with a few standard safety features including a communication box in the boot, an intercom, an emergency escape system and fire extinguishing system.
It is a fact that Audi A8L is a premium luxury sedan that has long wheelbase and powerful make. This car incorporates a 3.0 L solid turbo diesel engine and comes with a mighty price tag. The supportive safety and handling features bring in a great amount of pleasure and comfort to the car owners. This is a lavish car that represents a stunning beauty with intelligence of technology.