The Chinese love everything long, when it comes to cars that is. China’s nouveau riche lust after German premium cars, but find them too constricting, which is why there’s a “L” version of every luxury car, from the Audi A4 to the Volvo S80, designed for China. Now Audi, which is the premium segment leader there, will debut the Audi A8L at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show, with long wheelbase and a 6.3-litre W12 engine.
This VW Group engine is called W12 because of its unusual layout: four rows of three cylinders with a 15-degree included angle between the two offset rows of cylinders in each broad cylinder block. The W12, in its latest 6,299 cc form, is an undersquare design. Engineers have enlarged the cylinder bore and added FSI direct injection; the latter needing considerable mods to the cylinder heads. Fuel is injected at a pressure of up to 130 bar. Compression ratio is a high 11.8:1.
Vital stats are 500 bhp and 625 Nm at 3,250 rpm. It gives the A8L a 0-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h. Audi says that the engine runs “exceptionally smoothly” and the A8L’s occupants are “unlikely to sense any of this supreme power at work unless it is at high engine speeds and severe loads”.
With an overall length of 5,267 mm, the A8L is 130 mm longer than the regular version. The wheelbase has grown by the same amount to 3,122 mm, and as you can see from the picture below, the extra room has been put to very good use. It shows a multi adjustable reclining seat where the boss is massaged by ten air-filled compartments; four programs can be selected via remote control. Feet can rest on a power-adjustable support at the base of the front passenger seat back. Between the seats is a full-length console that can be specified with things like a folding table or a refrigerator.
Other luxuries include roof-mounted grab handles and rear console in fine wood, Valonea leather tanned exclusively with plant extracts which is especially soft and able to “breathe” actively, panoramic glass roof and a Rear Seat Entertainment system with two 10.2-inch screens.
Gallery after the jump.
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