Luxury on a lavish scale
Audi has stretched the comfort zones of its latest A8 long-wheelbase limousine. The Bavarian marque has given its top-of-the-range luxury saloon an extra 130mm on its 3.122-metre wheelbase to extend legroom inside.
With a high-strength, lightweight aluminium body and the marque's characteristic LED daytime running lights, the A8 L range has five engines, from the 3.0-litre TDI to the 6.3-litre, W12 flagship model.
The A8 L has always impressed in southern China but the latest model is imposingly large. at 5.267 metres long, 1.471 metres high and 2.111 metres wide between the tips of its mirrors.
Local dealer Premium Motors stocks two practical variants: the six-cylinder A8 L 3.0 TFSI quattro (HK$1,354,100) for owners who rarely venture beyond airport runs and the larger 4.2-litre version that is just right for long stretches to factories and golf trips across the border.
The plush A8 L 3.0 TFSI quattro has 290 horsepower, can hit 100km/h in 6.1 seconds on 18-inch wheels via its 8-speed Tiptronic with Dynamic Shift and consumes 9.1 litres per 100km of petrol on combined runs.
The marque says it can accelerate via 420Nm of torque to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, is EU5 emissions standard and emits 213 grams of carbon dioxide.
The latest model's optional panoramic roof comes in two glass sections, both of which can be elevated and covered with blinds.
The 371hp 4.2-litre V8 version (HK$1,769,050) is 0.4 of a second faster in the sprint, consumes 9.7 litres of fuel per 100 km for 224 g/km of CO2 and produces 445Nm of torque to accelerate the 1,960kg stretch to the 'ton' in 'just 5.7 seconds', the dealer says, attributing the model's fuel-efficiencies to a thermal management system that enables the engine to reach its operating temperature more quickly.
The luxurious interior has a massage seat and the marque's latest rear seat entertainment, air conditioning and multimedia services.
Audi also unveiled a 'small-series version' of the 500hp 6.3-litre A8 L W12 'aimed at an exclusive group of connoisseurs' at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Its production run has been limited to 50 serial-numbered models with power-assisted door closure, improved seats and climate control systems, with exclusive leatherwork interior and olive ash inlays ready made for southern China, at about HK$2.73 million.
It is fast too, with the promise of 100km/h sprints in 4.7 seconds, 12.4l/100km and 290g/km of CO2. The marque also plans a 2012 launch of the Audi A8 hybrid, which will merge a four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor to achieve 6.4l/100km-plus economy and all-electric, emissions-free running at speeds of up to 100km/h.