Audi A8L

Published On  By for Audi A8 at CarDekho.com

Audi A8L 4.2 FSI
Elegance Personified

We got our hands on the 2011 Audi A8 that has been just recently launched here in India. First things first, the Audi A8 is the biggest and the most luxurious sedan made by Audi in its lineup. The first A8 was introduced in 1994 which replaced its predecessor model the Audi V8. Previous generations of the A8 employed the Volkswagen Group D platform while the current generation A8 is built using the D4 platform. India gets the Long wheelbase version of Audis' flagship A8 hence the alphabet L after the A8. The A8 is loaded with many innovative features which we will speak of later in our review of the Audi A8 L so read on to know what the A8 L has to offer in its latest avatar.

Audi A8L Exteriors

The Audi A8L is a unification of aesthetics, performance and technology. The A8 is Audis' largest sedan and Audi has made the exteriors very beautiful and elegant. The A8L is huge when viewed from any angle. Large proportions and size is the order of the day. Dimension wise the new A8L is 5267mm long and 1,949mm which makes the new A8 about 75mm longer than the earlier one.

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Upfront the Audi A8L gets a uni-frame front grille that has a kind of 3d look to it giving it a very futuristic look and adding loads of value to its proportions and luxury. The headlights get the latest Audi signature LED strip light that looks ravishing when illuminated during day as running lamps or at night. The LED also acts as turn lights. The front of the A8L has the Audi chrome stripped V face that gives it the classy yet muscular look. Large front bumpers with neatly integrated slats give the perfect amount of sportiness to the face.

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The Audi A8L has a very coupe like roofline that symbolizes Audi’s sporty characteristic. The glass area is large neatly surrounded with chrome strip linings that highlight the shape of the windows and in return making the side profile look real sturdy. Large side fenders have some sculpted curves and lines on them which flows all along the waistline. The wing mirrors have a touch of elegant shape and fold in a very different angle while parking. The rear end of the Audi A8L is typical Audi style and to some extent looks very much like the A4 which in itself is also a very beautiful car from Audi.

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The A8L has chrome strip that runs parallel to the bumper that highlights the breadth of the Audi A8L when viewed from the rear. A neat little lip spoiler is integrated. The rear bumper is low slung and houses the twin round exhaust pipes that make the A8L rear real sporty. The A8L drives on 18 inches 235/55 tyres mounted on the 7 spoke alloys.

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Not forgetting the biggest innovation on the Audi A8L is the car being built on aluminum space frame also known as Audi Space Frame (ASF), which Audi has been using since 1994. What basically the ASF frame does is that it lowers the overall weight by about 40% and boosts strength as compared to the conventional frame. The engineers at Ingolstadt have made the new A8 lighter while paying close attention to rigidity and the torsion stiffness which has been increased by 15%. The other major engineering innovations are the hot-shaped steel used for the B-pillar to improve the crash safety and the usage of a special aluminum alloy called ‘fusion alloy’ to reduce flab.

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The Audi A8 L has very impressive and large dimensions that of 5267mm in length, 1949mm of width and height of 1471mm.

Overall build quality is super high while the fit finish and paint quality on the A8L puts it in the league of the best in this segment.

Audi A8L Interiors

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Audi A8L Engine - Drive – Suspension

Audi has launched the A8L with the 4.2 Litre V8 FSI engine while in other countries there is also an option of the 3 Litre Tdi 6 cylinders and the amazing 6litre W12 engine which has 12 cylinders. Both of which would be soon launched on the A8 soon for India by Audi.

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The Audi A8L gets its power from the 4163cc V8 FSI engine that makes 372 hp @ 6800rpm and 445 Nm of torque @ 3500 rpm. This eight cylinder engine has 4 valves per cylinder that is at 90 degrees angle. The FSI engines have become a benchmark in direct injection technology with Audi incorporating it across the entire lineup. This 4.2 FSI engine has gone six kilograms lighter as the crankcase is now made up of high-strength cast iron alloy thus benefiting in weight reduction.

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The monstrous V8 is mated to an 8 speed automatic gearbox that has tiptronic with DSP and sports programme . The gear ratios spread out nicely all across the power band. The Audi A8L is Audis' flagship model and comes with the renowned quattro technology. The A8's quattro distributes power in ratio of 40:60 to the front and rear wheels. On detection of slip, majority of the power gets transferred to the other axle automatically. You can leave the Audi A8 to automatically shift gears or take the shifting controls in your hands using the paddle shifter behind the steering. The eight gears are very well spaced and you can actually drive on the 8th gear at as low as 80kmph.

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The Audi A8L feels responsive in any gear. Audi claims that this new ZF transmission gets the best efficiency from the engine and also helps in lower frictional losses. Rev the engine and you can hear the grunt it makes. You immediately think of the movie Transporter in which the Audi A8 played an important role. The engine is very rev friendly and the peak torque is experienced somewhere after the 6k rpm. Driving around in the Audi A8L is super fun with so many settings and gadgets at your service to play with. You can set the adaptive air suspension according to your liking and terrain and also raise or lower the car. The default setting raises the Audi A8L after it crosses the 80kmph speed automatically. The ride quality is well composed when the suspension is set in Comfort or Auto mode; at cruising speeds though the ride is suppler and smoother on Auto.

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The Drive quality is something to be experienced and you always are in the lap of luxury especially if you are seated on the business class like comfort seat at the rear. Never the less if you decide to drive the car its no less fun as well. Behind the steering you feel like a pilot seated in the cockpit and ready for takeoff. Adaptive steering hardens or softens according to the drive and speed making it real easy to maneuver the car around busy roads or on highways alike.

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Adaptive braking with a host of safety features are standard and work harmoniously bringing the big boys to stop. The Audi A8L has superb grip and is able to handle real well at all situations and terrain. The meaty rubber helps things drastically combined with advanced suspension settings that are controlled and monitored by the onboard computer. We can t wait to get our hands on the W12 version of the A8 as it launches.

Verdict

The Audi A8 till now was somewhat sober and composed model as compared to the Mercedes S Class and the BMW 7 series now with the latest generation Audi A8 in the long wheel base form gives Audi the perfect chance to hit back at its rivals and get a firm foothold in the Luxury sedan segment. Best in class rear seat comfort and a never ending list of goodies and gadgets combined with the unique business class like rear seat makes the Audi A8 L 4.2 FSI the new contender for the title in the segment.


Prices for the Audi A8 L 4.2FSI start at Rs. 89 Lakhs Ex Showroom Delhi.

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