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Audi unveils a long wheelbase version of the A8

The new Audi A8 will be offered with a long wheelbase options that offers 130mm of extra length incorporated at the rear.

The 130mm increase takes the length of the new A8 L to 5,267 millimeters, and the wheelbase has grown by the same amount to 3,122mm. Lightweight aluminium employed for all elements bar the safety boosting high strength steel B pillars ensures that the extended Audi Space Frame (ASF) body, like its standard wheelbase counterpart, weighs around 40 per cent less than an all-steel equivalent.

Power will come courtesy of four engines - the 3.0-litre TDI (250PS), the 4.2-litre TDI (350PS), the 4.2-litre FSI (372PS) and, exclusively for the long wheelbase model, the W12, which in its latest application has been bored out from 6.0-litres to 6.3-litres, and incorporates FSI direct petrol injection in the interest of optimum economy and emissions control. Maximum power has increased by 50PS over the previous version to 500PS, and the 45Nm higher torque peak of 625 Nm arrives at 3,250 rpm.

The full extra length of the A8 L benefits rear-seat passengers, who are able to enter even more easily through wider doors which, in the W12 version, feature power assisted closure. Rear passenger comfort is also further improved by standard seat heating, an upgraded climate control system which enables precise temperature modulation in the two rear ‘zones' and electrically operated rear window and side window blinds. In the W12, comfort is taken to even greater extremes by replacing the standard rear seat arrangement with two individual sculpted rear seats which can be heated and ventilated and feature fore/aft adjustable bases and angle adjustable backrests.

Travel is made even more effortless and pleasurable in the A8 L W12 by double glazing, even more extensive use of Fine Nappa leather taking in everything from the glove compartment lid to the area surrounding the MMI controls, a CD changer playable through a BOSE audio system and a sophisticated Bluetooth mobile phone connection system that enables occupants to access selected content from the internet. All-LED headlights, 19-inch 15-spoke alloy wheels and a powered sunroof are also features that set the top flight model apart from other A8 L versions.

As expected of an Audi, the A8 L also has pioneering innovation on board: the standard MMI navigation plus system, which operates with the aid of a high-capacity hard disk, has a touch-sensitive control panel known as MMI touch. The driver inputs his or her navigation destination or a telephone number simply by writing the letters or numerals on the pad with a finger. Acoustic feedback makes this possible without taking one's eyes of the road.

The navigation system cooperates with the assistance and safety systems in an innovative way. It registers the topography of the road in advance and makes this data available to the control units for the automatic transmission, headlights and adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function. Thanks to their advanced intelligence, these systems can identify complex scenarios and offer the driver support in good time.

The Audi side assist system, which helps the driver to change lanes, and Audi lane assist which detects any departure from the chosen lane, also have new and additional performance features.

The night view assistant uses a thermal imaging camera to identify pedestrians on the road ahead of the car. If it considers the situation to be potentially dangerous, the image of the person on the road is shown in red and a warning signal is heard. The Audi pre sense safety system is also closely linked to the assistance systems. It is available in several stages: the full version brakes the car automatically in order to minimise the consequences of a nose-to-tail collision.

For more information on the new A8, click here.

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