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Future models - Audi - A8 - 6.0 L

First look: A8 presents Audi’s new look

Union of ideas: The new front-end is meant to remind us of the Auto Union racecars of the 1930s.

Audi luxury contender reveals the German marque’s styling future

1 Dec 2003

YOU’RE looking at Audi’s new corporate look.

Previewed in various concept cars in recent times, the Audi A8 L 6.0 quattro is the first time it has been presented in a production car.

Meant to evoke memories of the Auto Union racers of the 1930s, the powerful new front-end will gradually spread through the Audi range of vehicles.

Its central element is the single-frame radiator grille, the outer chrome ring of which surrounds the painted grey fins of the grille with horizontal chrome strips.

The new grille also means new headlights and a reshaped bonnet and front guards.

Will we get to examine this new design in this car in Australia? Maybe is the equivocal answer from Audi Australia.

“This absolute hero model is the kind of powerful icon capable of raising the image of Audi locally, and as such its introduction in Australia will be carefully considered,” said local managing director Graham Hardy.

If it comes it won’t be before 2005, and then it will be significantly more expensive than the $206,900 price tag the 4.2-litre V8 A8 commands.

We should get a better indicatio of potential price when the V8 version of the LWB A8 shows up in 2004, albeit with the current face.

The 6.0-litre A8 is powered by the Volkswagen family’s unique W12 6.0-litre engine, producing 331kW and 580Nm of torque.

The car sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, and accelerates from 0 to 200 in 17.4 seconds. The twelve-cylinder model reaches its electronically-governed top speed of 250km/h in about 30 seconds.

Mated to the engine is ZF’s excellent six-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic function, while other tech features include the Audi Space Frame (ASF) aluminium chassis, quattro permanent four-wheel drive and air suspension.

Audi claims the 12-cylinder A8 is the first car in the world to be equipped with the new lighting technology of adaptive light with LED daytime driving lights. The energy consumption of these lights is said to be only a fraction of that of conventional bulbs.

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