2009 Audi A8.
The A8 – the flagship of the Audi brand – is a supremely powerful, highly cultivated top-class sedan. A sporty driving experience, assured comfort and striking elegance of design and interior fittings underscore its exceptional qualities. The A8 is not only the sportiest sedan in the luxury class, it is also one of the most efficient: The 2.8 FSI e model emits just 199 grams of CO2 per kilometer (320.26 g/mile) – by far the lowest of any gasoline engine in the segment.
Body and interior.
The clearly defined, progressive design language of the Audi A8 is characterized by strong proportions and timeless quality. The body weighs just 215 kilograms (473.99 lb) – a sensational figure in the luxury class. It is made of aluminum, employing the Audi Space Frame (ASF) technique. That saves more than 110 kilograms (242.51 lb) compared to sheet steel. The Audi Space Frame is made up of aluminum castings and extruded sections into which the aluminum panels are integrated as load-sharing elements.
The construction of the A8 provides outstanding torsional rigidity and optimum passive safety. The interior is supremely quiet, thanks to the body’s excellent vibration-proofing and the sophisticated acoustic design of the vehicle as a whole. The A8 is 5.06 meters (16.60 ft) long, or 5.19 meters (17.03 ft) in its stretched version.
The interior embodies the Audi philosophy of offering the highest quality and style. A wide range of exclusive colors and materials are available for surface finishes, decorative inlays, seats, door trims and the roof lining. The Audi exclusive program enables customers to personalize the interior precisely to their individual wishes.
The opulent and spacious interior and the comfortable seats provide the ultimate in relaxation and wellbeing. High-end versions of the electrically adjustable front seats also come with ventilation and massage features. For the rear too, Audi offers luxuriously comfortable single seats. The office packages, featuring folding tables and cool boxes, add even more luxury to the A8.
Equipment and trim.
With its extensive equipment, the Audi A8 sets a benchmark, even in the luxury car class. The standard equipment list includes an audio system with five-channel amplifier and nine speakers, deluxe automatic air conditioning with separate controls for the left and right sides of the car, an anti-theft alarm system, electrically adjustable seats, xenon plus headlamps, an easy-close servo mechanism for the trunk and the MMI operating and communication system.
Because the ability to customize is one of the key demands of luxury car buyers, Audi also provides a wide array of extras. Highlights are the adaptive light headlamp system that follows the course of the road, front and rear seats with climatic and massage functions and four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning.
The A8 also offers the brand’s entire program of hi-tech assistance systems: Audi side assist warns if a lane change would be hazardous, Audi lane assist helps to keep the car in the chosen lane, and the Audi parking system advanced includes a rearview camera to monitor reversing movements. Then there is adaptive cruise control, which allows the driver to specify a desired distance from the vehicle in front and then opens and closes the throttle or applies the brakes slightly to maintain that distance.
The list of optional extras in the communication and entertainment area is also a long one. It includes a navigation system with its own hard disk and innovative map displays, a Bluetooth car phone and Rear Seat Entertainment with two integral monitor screens. A very special item is the high-end sound system from Bang & Olufsen: with an output of more than 1,000 watts and 14 high-quality speakers, it delivers overwhelming concert-hall sound quality.
To drive the A8 is to experience two notable characteristics: its agile, dynamic handling and the high level of journey comfort it offers. Both of these strong points benefit greatly from the use of aluminum in the five-link front suspension and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension, and of course from the adaptive air suspension which is standard equipment, and which can be adjusted to four different settings.
The rack-and-pinion steering with variable steering ratio and servotronic speed-dependent power assistance has a direct response. The shock absorbers, valves, bearings and fine-tuning of the adaptive air suspension system have been modified. The A8 reacts spontaneously to steering-wheel movement, follows the chosen line with precision on twisting main roads, rolls smoothly over a variety of surfaces and exhibits supremely relaxed straight-line stability.
The Audi A8 runs on 17-inch wheels, but wheels of up to 20 inches in diameter are available as optional extras. In all cases, these wheels conceal high-performance brakes with aluminum calipers; an electromechanical parking brake is another standard feature. The adaptive air suspension sport, with firmer settings, is also available upon request.
The Audi A8 embodies sportiness in the luxury segment in a highly intelligent way. Its powerful FSI and TDI engines employ direct fuel injection. The 2.8 liter V6 gasoline unit features the Audi valvelift system, which varies the lift of the valves. Despite developing 154 kW (210 bp) of power and 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) of torque, the A8 2.8 FSI e consumes just 8.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (28.34 US mpg). The 4.2 TDI is fascinating in a different way: Its 240 kW (326 bp) power output and 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) of torque deliver sports car levels of dynamic performance.
The engine range:
2.8 FSI e developing 154 kW (210 bp)
3.2 FSI and 3.2 FSI quattro developing 191 kW (260 bp)
4.2 FSI quattro developing 257 kW (350 bp)
3.0 TDI quattro developing 171 kW (233 bp)
4.2 TDI quattro developing 240 kW (326 bp)
Most variants of the A8 employ a six-speed tiptronic transmission system to distribute the power to the four driven wheels. For the 3.2 FSI front-wheel drive and the multitronic continuously variable transmission are also available; for the 2.8 FSI e they are the only available transmission option.
Two attributes characterize the driving experience in the A8: the dynamic, light-footed handling and the high level of ride comfort. Both those strengths are founded on the aluminum chassis with its five-link front suspension and self-tracking trapezoidal link rear suspension. The four-stage adaptive air suspension is fitted as standard. Audi also offers it with a tighter setup as an option. The Audi A8 can optionally be fitted with up to 20-inch wheels. Behind them sits a set of powerful brakes with aluminum calipers.
Assistance and communications systems.
With its wealth of features and fittings, the Audi A8 sets the benchmark in the luxury class. Audi also offers a wide range of optional extras for the model, including state-of-the-art assistance systems. Audi side assist warns if a lane change would be hazardous, Audi lane assist helps to keep the car in the chosen lane, and the Audi parking system advanced includes a rearview camera to monitor reversing movements. Then there is adaptive cruise control, which allows the driver to specify a desired distance from the vehicle in front and then opens and closes the throttle or applies the brakes slightly to maintain that distance.
The list of optional extras in the communication and entertainment field is also a long one. It extends from Rear Seat Entertainment, incorporating two monitors, to a Bang & Olufsen high-end sound system, delivering 1,000 watts of output in magnificent concert hall quality through 14 speakers. The top-of-the-range version of the MMI multimedia interface features a large hard disk, a DVD drive, a high-resolution seven-inch monitor with three-dimensional navigation mapping, and full-word voice control.
Audi A8 W12 quattro.
The top-of-the-range A8 model is the exceptional Audi A8 W12. Its gasoline engine, with its 12 cylinders arranged in a W configuration, develops 331 kW (450 bp) of power from a 6.0 liter capacity. Its torque curve peaks at 580 Nm (427.79 lb-ft). The W12 engine is silky smooth and almost totally free from vibration. Even at full load, it has a truly musical sound.
The long-wheelbase A8 W12 sprints to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.2 seconds. The standard version is a tenth of a second faster off the blocks, thanks to its shorter final drive ratio among other reasons. While the stretched A8 W12 comes with adaptive air suspension and 18-inch wheels as standard, Audi fits the standard version with 19-inch wheels and the tighter air suspension setup. An ultra-light and strong brake system with ceramic disks is available for both body variants.
The interior of the top-of-the-range model features more aluminum and leather applications, a Bose sound system, heat-insulated windows, a hard disk navigation system and sports seats. The stretched version has even more luxury features onboard.
The A8 model line at a glance.
Audi A8 2.8 FSI e:
Engine: displacement 2,773 cc, output 154 kW (210 hp) between 5,500 and 6,800 rpm, max. torque 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) between 3,000 and 5,000 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption (standard body): 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 8.0 s, top speed 238 km/h (147.89 mph), fuel consumption (combined) 8.3 liters/100 km (28.34 US mpg) of premium gasoline. Drivetrain combination: front-wheel drive with multitronic.
Audi A8 3.2 FSI:
Engine: displacement 3,123 cc, output 191 kW (260 hp) at 6,500 rpm, max. torque 330 Nm (243.40 lb-ft) at 3,250 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption (standard body and front-wheel drive): 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 7.7 s, top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph), governed, fuel consumption (combined) 9.9 liters/100 km (23.76 US mpg) of premium gasoline. Drivetrain combinations: front-wheel drive with multitronic, quattro with six-speed tiptronic.
Audi A8 4.2 FSI quattro:
Engine: displacement 4,163 cc, output 257 kW (350 hp) at 6,800 rpm, max. torque 440 Nm (324.53 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption (standard body): 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 6.1 s, top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph), governed, fuel consumption (combined) 10.9 liters/100 km (21.58 US mpg) of Super Plus gasoline. Drivetrain combination: quattro with six-speed tiptronic.
Audi A8 3.0 TDI quattro:
Engine: displacement 2,967 cc, output 171 kW (233 hp) at 4,000 rpm, max. torque 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) between 1,400 and 3,250 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption (standard body): 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 7.8 s, top speed 243 km/h (150.99 mph), fuel consumption (combined) 8.4 l/100 km (28.00 US mpg) of diesel fuel. Drivetrain combination: quattro with six-speed tiptronic.
Audi A8 4.2 TDI quattro:
Engine: displacement 4,134 cc, output 240 kW (326 hp) at 3,750 rpm, max. torque 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) between 1,600 and 3,500 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption (standard body): 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 5.9 s, top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph), governed, fuel consumption (combined) 9.4 liters/100 km (25.02 US mpg) of diesel fuel. Drivetrain combination: quattro with six-speed tiptronic.
Audi A8 W 12 quattro:
Engine: displacement 5,998 cc, output 331 kW (450 hp) at 6,200 rpm, max. torque 580 Nm (427.79 lb-ft) between 4,000 and 4,700 rpm. Performance and fuel consumption (long-wheelbase body): 0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 5.2 s, top speed 250 km/h (155.34 mph), governed, fuel consumption (combined) 13.6 liters/100 km (17.30 US mpg) of Super Plus gasoline. Drivetrain combination: quattro with six-speed tiptronic.
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