The Long Wheelbase version (LWB) 2011 Audi A8L has been unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show and Ingolstadt’s flagship car is now around 2 inches longer than its main rivals, the Mercedes S Class LWB and the BMW 7 Series LWB.
The 2011 Audi A8L Long Wheelbase has an overall length of 17.5 feet and its powertrain includes the W12 engine producing 500 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque. This massive engine enables the 2011 Audi A8L LWB to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds while maximum speed has been limited to 155 mph (255 Km/h).
Besides the extra leg room at the back, some of the goodies inside the 2011 Audi A8L Long Wheelbase include four-zone automatic climate control that uses 25 adjustable motors, a refrigerator, a small folding table, two 10.2 inch LCD displays and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The 2011 Audi A8L price was not announced but the automaker did mention that sales in US will start in Fall 2010.
Audi press release :
All-new 2011 A8 Normal Wheel Base (NWB) and A8L Long Wheel Base (LWB) – Key Summary Points:
• The new generation of the Audi brand’s flagship, introducing a new
era in progressive excellence. Combining dynamic exterior and luxurious
interior design with sporty driving characteristics, while providing
the highest level of comfort and convenience equipment in the segment.
• The D4 (fourth generation flagship sedan) stands for a unique
combination of aluminum space frame, MMI user interface, interior
craftsmanship, quattro all-wheel-drive and adaptive air suspension.
• The Audi brand icon with the perfect execution of sporty, progressive, and sophisticated character.
• Differentiators from competition are sportiness, superior quality and
progressiveness. Progressiveness is expressed by the A8 through
technological innovation expertise and forward looking design.
• Showcases Audi design, innovation, craftsmanship, and excellence.
• Audi Space Frame (aluminum) weighs 40% less than a comparable steel
frame and offers 25% more torsional rigidity than its predecessor.
US-Market specific information:
• Key competitors are the Mercedes-Benz S Class and BMW 7 Series.
• NWB shown in Detroit. LWB is the core model in the D Segment in the
U.S., and will be revealed at the Beijing Motor Show in late April,
2010. Differentiation: The NWB A8 is positioned more of the ‘driver’s
car’, with sportiness and driving dynamics in focus, while the LWB
balances prestige, sportiness and comfort.
• Segment sales and pricing will be announced in Fall 2010, shortly
prior to both NWB and LWB launching simultaneously at U.S. dealers.
Compelling Differentiators for the new Audi A8 in the D Segment fall into 3 main categories:
1. Exceptional Technology: Audi engineers developed cutting edge, innovative, and progressive technologies for the D4:
• Audi Space Frame (latest generation all-aluminum chassis innovation).
The 1997-2003 D2 A8 was the first series production car with an
aluminum space frame, and the 2011 D4 continues Audi’s leadership in
aluminum design and manufacturing:
o 25% increased static torsional
rigidity and new welding technologies which lead to better fuel
consumption and better handling coupled with benchmark-levels of
passive safety (all in comparison to the 2004-2010 D3 A8), 40% less
chassis weight than a comparable steel structure.
• Bang & Olufsen Advanced sound system (optional, BOSE Surround Sound is standard)
o 19 speakers, 19 channels and more
than 1400 watts of B&O-patented ICE-Power output for a theater –
like sound experience (previous 2004-2010 D3 A8 had 1000 watts in the
o The system was designed and developed as part of the design process
of the D4 to ensure organic integration. Audi and B&O: two great
design brands working together for an exceptional experience.
• Industry-first full-LED front headlamps with high and low beam,
daytime running lights, cornering lights and turn signals in LED.
o Audi’s leadership in lighting
technology has turned the headlights into a true design element. With
the full-LED headlights, the light modules can be arranged as part of
the design of the car, and do not require the traditional round look of
• quattro (standard) with sports differential (optional). Continuously variable torque distribution on the rear axle.
o Noticeably reduces understeer and increases driving agility and traction.
o The A8 is the only car in segment with all-wheel-drive standard, and
the only car with the torque-vectoring differential available.
• Driver Assistance Systems:
o Latest-generation driver assistance
systems; Adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, Night
vision assistant with pedestrian detection highlighting, Audi lane
assist, Audi side assist.
o New generation of ESP stability control with electronic
all-wheel-drive torque vectoring. Integrated with Dynamic steering and
quattro Sport differential when equipped. Cleans the brake discs and
pre-fills the brake system pressure when accelerator released abruptly,
improving brake reaction times.
o Audi braking guard (in combination with ACC) warns the driver of critical situations with warning sound and then braking jolt.
o Automatic emergency braking (in combination with ACC and side assist)
is autonomously carried out in the case of an unavoidable collision to
minimize the impact.
• Audi pre sense:
o Various vehicle systems can
categorize different driving situations and, where necessary, implement
actions for preventive occupant protection or for collision reduction.
o Reversible belt tensioners; if instability is detected, holds passengers in the optimal seating position.
o Adjustment of seats to optimal seating position.
o Closing sunroof and side windows to help shield the passenger compartment.
o Air suspension shock absorbers adjusted to improve braking and performance.
o Two-stage activation of partial braking
o Hazard warning lights activated
2. The Search for Perfection – in developing the D4, Audi spared no
expense or effort to make the perfect luxury-performance sedan:
• Fit and finish, interior and exterior. Audi engineers are always
challenged to find the optimized solution to design challenges.
o One example of this design focus and effort on the D4 is the
so-called “Koenigsfuge,” or “King’s Joint,” where the door and the
• 4 different materials and design lines meet at this joint (wood
inlay, aluminum inlay, leather dash, and plastics) and must line up on
the door and the dashboard for the interior design to flow around the
passengers. A compromised solution could have been to change the design
to simplify manufacturing, but Audi showcases its quality in the A8 in
many such ways.
• Next-generation MMI 3G+ Multi Media Interface with innovative ‘MMI touch’.
o The industry-first MMI touch
recognizes handwriting for entering letters and numbers for Navigation
destinations, and is backlit to allow it to change to a pointer for map
functions, a number pad for radio functions and can be used to scroll
lists in the MMI. This system recognizes a wide spectrum of languages,
including Cyrillic (Russia), Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean
• These language capabilities will only be offered for each respective
country, but nevertheless the system is a sign of the Audi
international approach toward luxury vehicle development.
o Audi’s ‘joy of use’ concept for the MMI touch provides the optimal solution for driver-car interaction.
• Night vision assistant (optional) with thermal-imaging camera (infrared).
o Shown in the driver information
display, the pedestrian detection software highlights people and
animals and determines if a critical situation is imminent.
o While Audi was not the first to
market with this feature, the A8 brings the optimal solution with
intelligent pedestrian detection and dynamic range adjustment based on
3. A New Dimension in Look and Feel – the style, design and driving
experience of the A8 and A8L takes the driver and passengers to a level
never before experienced in a luxury car:
• Exterior design is clear and logical Audi design, with focus on dynamics, generous proportions and elegance.
• Interior design focus was to give the sense of spaciousness,
intuitive control, comfort and luxury. Elements within the interior
were designed to take up as little room as possible, e.g. the MMI
screen which folds away. The wrap-around ‘skyliner’ design gives a
sense of roominess while connecting the driver and passengers, and the
ambient lighting gives a feeling of ‘lightness’ to the interior and a
‘floating’ center console.
• New shift-by-wire gearshift lever in the style of a yacht throttle
lever serves as an ergonomic hand rest for operating the MMI and gives
the feeling of the ‘center of power and control’ at the driver’s
• Audi drive select (standard) allows the driver to change the
character of the car to their desires, and means that there is no
compromise between a sporty and comfortable car.
o Adjustments include suspension,
steering, accelerator, transmission, sport differential, adaptive light
and seat belt tensioner. Modes: Dynamic / Comfort / Auto / Individual.
Drivetrain Highlights for the USA:
• Optimized 4.2 FSI V8 specifications:
o FSI direct injection
o Audi Valvelift System (AVS) variable intake valve lift
o 8-speed automatic transmission for improved fuel economy, responsiveness and driving comfort
o 372 hp (D3 A8 had 350 hp)
o 328 lb-ft (D3 A8 had 325 lb-ft torque)
o 0-100km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds (est.)
o 15% improvement in fuel consumption estimated vs. current A8 (EPA figures TBD)
o quattro® AWD – latest generation with asymmetric rear-biased torque split (40/60)
• W12 FSI specifications (this twelve cylinder engine is available late Spring 2011 at U.S. dealers, pricing TBD)
o FSI direct injection technology added
• Audi is the only car company in the USA who sells 100% of its
gasoline engines with direct injection, meaning more power and fuel
economy at the same time, without performance compromise
o 500 hp (previous W12 had 450 hp)
o 460 lb-ft (previous W12 had 428 lb-ft)
o 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds (est.)
o 12% improvement in fuel consumption estimated vs. current A9 (EPA figures TBD)
A8L W12 was not for sale in the USA after model year 2009. 2010 is the
final model year for the outgoing generation, but only with the 4.2 V8
FSI engine with 350 hp / 325 lb-ft). S8 (normal wheelbase only) was
also discontinued after model year 2009, and no word yet on timing of a
|2011 all-new Audi A8 (NWB)||202.0||76.7||57.5||117.8|
|2011 all-new Audi A8 (LWB)||207.4||76.7||57.6||122.9|
|2004-2010 Audi A8/S8 (NWB)||199.3||74.6||56.9||115.9|
|2004-2010 Audi A8 (LWB)||204.4||74.6||57.3||81.7|
|BMW 7 Series (NWB)||199.7||74.9||58.2||120.9|
|BMW 7 Series (LWB)||205.2||74.9||58.3||126.4|
|Lexus LS (NWB)||199.2||73.8||58.1||116.9|
|Lexus LS (LWB)||203.9||73.8||58.1||121.7|
|Mercedes-Benz S Class (LWB only in USA)||205.1||73.7||58.0||124.6|
Frequently Asked Questions for the U.S. market:
Where will the A8 be manufactured?
It will be built in Neckarsulm, Baden Wuertemberg, Germany, home of
Audi’s Lightweight Construction Center. This is the same location where
the R8, A6, and A5 / S5 Cabriolet are manufactured.
When will the A8 go on sale in the U.S.? The all-new 2011 model year A8 and A8L will go on sale in the U.S. in Fall 2010.
How much does the A8 cost? While
we are not prepared to discuss the price of the new A8 at this early
stage, it can be expected that it will maintain its relative position
in the market, with even more product substance and technology.
How many A8’s does Audi plan to sell in the U.S. per year? The
D3 A8 reached almost 6,000 units (5,943 in 2004) and just under 7%
segment share. However, the premium luxury segment is under tremendous
pressure now (-39% at the end of 2009). Even so, Audi plans to increase
market share relative to the D3 with this exciting new flagship.
Besides the A8 NWB shown in Detroit, what other A8 models are planned for the United States?
Today we are introducing the new A8, and its first model will be the V8
NWB model. Other models will follow to create a full A8 model line
including performance, prestige and alternate-fuel variants. The A8L
being shown in Beijing for the first time in late April 2010 is one of
those additional models.
How much does the A8 weigh?
Official figures/specifications, including EPA fuel economy estimates
for the A8, are not yet available, however, the new A8 will weigh about
the same as the current A8, even though the car is bigger (3 in.
longer, 2 in. wider) and has more standard equipment (8-speed auto
transmission, pre sense basic, keyless go, power trunk, etc.) Versus
normal wheelbase competitors: ~50lbs less than S Class RWD, and
>200lbs less than S Class AWD; >200lbs less than 7 Series RWD and
>400lbs less than 7 Series AWD. The Audi Space Frame is 40% lighter
than the comparable steel frame of the segment competition.
Who are the A8 customers? A8
customers are highly affluent consumers with a median income close to
$500,000, and are most likely worth over $1,000,000. Median age is
around 58, which is similar to the BMW 7 Series, and younger than the S
Class and Lexus LS. They are highly educated, with almost half having a
post-graduate level degree, and are mostly married with few children
still in the household. They enjoy traveling, both domestic (e.g.
skiing/spa) and international (e.g. Italy/France). Typical publications
that they enjoy include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times,
The Economist and Barron’s.