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Press Pass 2004

A Long, Fast, Supple Aluminum Luxury Sedan; the New Audi A8L
By Audi of America
Aug 31, 2003, 01:23 PST
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Audi A8L 4.2 quattro – the long-wheel base version

In addition to dynamic performance,

generous space and luxury quality the A8 L 4.2 quattro is the ideal luxury

sedan for long-distance travel. Its wheelbase –compared with the standard

version – has been increased by 5 inches. The resulting gain in space benefits

the rear passengers entirely.

With this third version Audi extends the new A8 range just a few months

after this model’s initial European launch.

In the future, owners of the Audi A8 L 4.2 quattro will find it hard to choose

where to take their seats when entering their car: Behind the wheel they can enjoy

driving the most sporty of luxury sedans, with its advanced aluminum suspension

with air springs and adaptive shock absorber control, quattro permanent all-wheel

drive and powerful 4.2-liter V8 engine.



Those who leave the steering wheel to be driven and take a seat in the rear will be

welcomed by generous space and seating comfort that sets new standards. On

request, passengers can relax on electrically adjustable front seats, which are also

available – depending on the owner’s personal preferences – as highly ergonomic,

extra-comfortable seats with massage function, seat heating and ventilation. Rear

passengers will enjoy a pleasant riding experience: The Audi A8 L is currently the

most dynamic way to be driven rather than to drive.

The optional four-zone comfort automatic air conditioning also provides a high

level of comfort and well-being. The system permits rear passengers to set the

required temperature and air distribution individually by means of separate

controls on the center console. Rear seat-area ventilation is through air outlets in

the B posts, at the rear of the center console and in the rear footwells. There is a

draft-free, indirect air supply to all seats. The air conditioning’s acoustics also set

new standards of refinement.




Even a first glance at the flowing outlines of the new Audi A8 L clearly reveals

the personality of this 16.99 feet long, 6.20 feet wide and 4.72 feet high sedan: a

harmonious combination of clarity and sporting character, grace and elegance.

A low front with an unusually short overhang, a high, powerful tail and the

distinct wedge-shaped body of the new A8 L are features of its dynamic styling.

For the Audi A8 L, as for the standard version, the crouched silhouette and the

shoulder line clearly rising to the rear underline the sporty effect. The prestigious

size of this large luxury sedan only becomes evident on a closer look.



The well-proportioned but powerful styling of the Audi A8 L radiates elegance in

the long version too, the body of which now has an overall length of 16.99 ft.

With its clear, drawn-out lines, it communicates the impression of dynamism and

agility that is typical of the Audi A8.

The wheelbase of the Audi A8 L has been extended by 5 inches over the A8, and

is now 121 inches. The increase in the car’s overall length has been neatly

incorporated between the B- and D- posts. The rear doors, which have also grown

in length by 5 inches, blend into the dynamic side contour harmoniously and

permit passengers to enter and leave the car with particular ease.

Even more convenience awaits the passenger inside the A8 L, at all seats and in all

dimensions: Headroom in the rear– compared with the previous model – has been

increased by five millimeters; there are seven millimeters more width at shoulder

height and the elbow room has grown by 10 mm.



The Aluminum Body

The innovative aluminum body uses a further developed form of the Audi Space

Frame (ASF) and is the basis for the new Audi A8 L’s ride comfort, excellent road

behavior and handling characteristics.

Compared to the previous A8 generation, the number of body elements has been

significantly reduced by using more functional large castings and extruded

sections. The new A8 L has a completely closed space frame. The most important

result: static torsional rigidity, a decisive yardstick for dynamic driving and

freedom from vibration, has gone up by more than 60 percent compared with the

previous model.

As for the A8 with standard wheelbase, the front and rear ends of the long version

too are linked through the roof frame, body sills, B-cross member, B-posts and

floor panels to form a closed space frame.



The B-post is a large multifunctional casting which, in addition to carrying the

door hinges and lock strikers, is a central element in satisfying the side impact

crash requirements. Last but not least, the B-post is essential to ensure the A8 L

body excellent freedom from vibration.

The new A8 L 4.2 quattro’s single-piece side sections run from the A-post to the

rear end of the body. Like the roof, the side section too –the largest aluminum

sheet element used in car manufacturing worldwide – is laser-welded to the loadbearing


Compared with the standard version’s 480.60 lbs body structure, the A8 L weighs

only 17.63 lbs more. The fact that the A8 maintains its high level of rigidity in the

long-wheelbase version can also be ascribed to the use of extruded sections in the

door sills and roof frame.

The Audi A8 L’s freedom from vibration and handling characteristics set new

standards in the luxury sedan segment. The relationship between high rigidity and

low weight represents an absolute world record among all long-wheel base sedan




Engine and Driveline

At its series launch the Audi A8 L will be available with a 330 horsepower 4.2-

liter V8 five-valve engine and permanent quattro all-wheel drive. The standard 6-

speed Tiptronic invites the driver to choose freely between the sporting character

of a manual-shift gearbox and the convenience of automatic transmission.

The engine has gained significantly in terms of output and performance – plus

20 hp and 15 lbs. ft. of torque: values that guarantee supreme drive-off

performance and vivid acceleration in all speed ranges.



The A8 L 4.2 quattro sprints from 0 - 100 km/h in only 6.3 seconds and has a top

speed of 250 km/h (governed).

An absolute first at Audi: the new 6-speed tiptronic with Dynamic Shift Program

(DSP) and an additional Sport program. Thanks to the additional ratio, power

output and torque are always available in such accurately controlled amounts that

there are no further conflicts between spontaneous power flow, high performance

on the road and perfect refinement.

Those who prefer their gears to be selected automatically will appreciate the

outstanding convenience of the adaptive electronics. A version of the Dynamic

Shift Program (DSP) specially developed for the 6-speed tiptronic helps to reduce

the number of gear shifts, despite the additional ratio compared with the previous

five-speed unit. In addition, manual gear-shifting is possible when the selector

lever is moved to the tiptronic gate plane.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive, through which the A8 L 4.2 transfers its

power to the road, remains an advanced feature in the luxury car class. It ensures

excellent traction and stable cornering, and minimizes any self-steering tendency

caused by the influence of tractive force through the driveline. This is a

precondition for high cornering speeds and a high level of dynamic stability. Or to

put it another way: maximum driving pleasure and active safety.



The Suspension

The new A8 L has aluminum suspension with a four-link front axle layout and a

controlled toe-angle trapezoidal-link rear axle – both concepts that gave the

A8 L’s predecessor its typical responsiveness and steering precision. Audi’s

suspension engineers have now purposefully further developed its strengths. The

braking system and the steering system with variable transmission ratio and

servotronic were newly designed.

The adaptive air suspension – 4-corner air springs and continuous shock absorber

control – is an air suspension concept used for the first time in the luxury car class,

which eliminates the classic conflicting target of satisfactory handling properties

and the appropriately high level of suspension comfort. Lowering the ride height

at high speeds improves the new Audi A8 L’s aerodynamic properties and

therefore reduces its fuel consumption.

Air suspension with the electronically controlled, continuously adaptive shock

absorber system provides perfect driving comfort. The system responds to

numerous sensor signals: body acceleration, vertical movement of the four wheels

and also various other parameters such as steering angle or the position of

accelerator and brake pedals, before determining the optimum damping force for

the relevant driving situation.



As long as there is no necessity for increased damping – for example travel in a

straight line on a good-quality road – the shock absorbers remain comfortably soft.

Controlled changes to the damping force at individual wheels help to eliminate

body movements at any time which could reduce occupant comfort.

Not only comfort but driving dynamics too benefit from this concept. The new

Audi A8 L’s adaptive damping automatically reduces rolling or pitching

movements when cornering, braking or driving off.

The A8 L 4.2 quattro is fitted with sporty, elegant 7-spoke, 8 J x 17” alloy wheels

fitted with 235/55 R17 tires as standard equipment. This combination ensures

excellent handling and ride comfort and sets high standards in terms of good wetroad

grip and low rolling resistance.



Standard Equipment

Undeniably, it’s not the quantity alone but in particular the special quality of the

new Audi A8 L’s standard equipment that sets a new benchmark in the luxury car


The A8’s steering uses the speed-sensitive servotronic system, which now has

steering-angle sensing as well, thus ensuring a suitable amount of effort at the

steering wheel to match the car’s speed and steering-wheel angle.

The new 6-speed Tiptronic and the new multifunctional steering wheel of 4-spoke

design ensure a high level of handling convenience.

The standard luxury automatic air conditioning offers a very high level of comfort.

Compared with the previous model’s system, Audi’s development engineers have

mainly concentrated on reducing the risk of unpleasant currents of air inside the

car. Additional air outlets have been integrated into the top of the fascia, from

where the necessary air volume is distributed without the occupants being aware

of any noticeable drafts. Air is supplied to the rear-seat area by outlets in the

B-posts, at the rear end of the center console and in the rear footwells.



A newly developed moisture sensing system in the A8 L reduces the risk of

fogged windows. The demisting performance of the air conditioning evaporator is

based on data from the temperature and moisture sensors and from an infrared

radiation sensor which determines the temperature of the windshield without

touching it.

But that’s not enough. Forward-looking technologies such as the Multi Media

Interface (MMI), the electro-mechanical parking brake with starting assistant and

LEDs in the rear-turn indicator lights and side repeaters are once again the best

possible confirmation for Audi’s proverbial advancement through technology.

The same applies to passive safety equipment. The driver’s and front passenger’s

airbags have two-step inflation to provide optimum protection in the event of

frontal collisions; the driver’s airbag is a ring pattern. In the event of a side

impact, side airbags in the seat backs and the sideguard head airbag system ensure

the highest level of safety for occupants of all the car’s outer seats.



The interior ambience is governed by the fine wood decor in three different

choices, which extends round to the sides. Numerous variants in different color

tones between black and light beige can be combined for the seat upholstery and


The striking aluminum optics underline the dynamic character of the new Audi

A8 L in various zones of the cockpit, such as the MMI terminal and the selector

lever gate, the instrument panel’s tubular dial surrounds and the clip on the

standard multifunctional steering wheel.

The standard equipment front seats for the new A8 L are electrically adjustable,

and there are generous center armrests in the front and rear for occupant comfort

and support.

The standard Bose® radio is a premium system that offers the occupants excellent

acoustical quality and keeps them supplied with up-to-date information. Four-way

antenna diversity and a total of 12 loudspeakers ensure excellent reception and

sound quality at all seats. An equalizer matched to the car’s equipment and trim

specification takes into account changes to interior acoustics caused, for instance,

by the choice of cloth or leather upholstery.

Integration into the MMI operating concept has raised the level of operating

convenience most impressively. A list of all radio stations that can be received in a

given region appears at the touch of a button and is constantly updated by the




Optional Extras

In particular in the luxury car segment, distinction is one of the decisive criteria

when designing an individual automobile. The new Audi A8 L 4.2 quattro offers

almost inexhaustible scope for design, equipment and technical extras.

The standard comfort seats with additional electrical adjustment facilities are ideal

for supreme long-distance comfort and perfect lateral support. At the customer’s

request the comfort seats can include two further extras: a massage function and,

combined with perforated Valcona leather upholstery, seat heating and ventilation.

Together with the wide footwell the rear seats offer first-class comfort fully

equivalent to that enjoyed by the front passenger.

On request, the new Audi A8 L is available with automatic air conditioning with

four-zone control. This system allows rear passengers to select the required

temperature and air distribution individually by means of separate controls in the

center console.



The standard of comfort provided by the automatic air conditioning can be

rounded off with the optional solar-cell sunroof. Even when the ignition is

switched off, this produces enough electrical energy to supply the passenger

compartment continuously with fresh air via the blower.

A top-class ambience is created with a leather grade offered or the combined

Alcantara/leather upholstery and trim: Valcona leather is a benchmark in terms of

material and processing quality compared with anything that competitors can

offer. At the customer’s request, the extended leather equipment can be specified,

in which case the armrests on the doors and center consoles can be covered with

these grades of leather, with their subtle but entirely natural odor.

With the selection of amber Vavona wood or beige grained birch, an additional

note of individuality can be created inside the car. The extended aluminum look

with numerous applications on the center console and fascia underlines the sporty

flair of the A8 L cockpit.

The interior lighting package with ambient illumination has several pre-defined

illumination profiles to ensure a light intensity in the interior that matches actual

driving conditions. Ambient illumination creates a new level of harmony with the

entire interior design.

The optional four-zone automatic climate control system allows individual

selection of temperature and air distribution settings at all four seats. With its

indirect ventilation it sets new and very high standards for draft-free air


Communication, comfort and convenience

The infotainment equipment is also very extensive: The audio system with

standard CD changer, with a quality that perfectly matches the interior of the new

A8 L, converts the Audi A8 L into a mobile sound studio.

The standard Bose Surround Sound System is a completely new design and

guarantees particular listening pleasure: five amplifier channels distribute the

sound around the listener as in a concert hall – an aural experience that is setting

new standards even in the automotive luxury class.

The BOSE system’s electronics also include dynamic noise compensation.

In a similar way to the audio system, the navigation system with DVD can also be

operated via the MMI terminal. The greater storage capacity of the data medium

and the Audi system’s substantially extended operating scope mean that it can

justifiably claim perfection in its class.




Technical Data – Audi A8 L 4.2 quattro

Preliminary Information

Audi A8 L 4.2 quattro

Engine / electrics

Type of engine V8 spark-ignition engine, two-stage variable intake manifold, DOHC

Valve gear / number of valves per cylinder Camshaft adjustment, roller cam followers with hydraulic adjustment / 5

Displacement in cc / bore x stroke in mm / compression 4172 / 84.5 x 93.0 / 11.0

Max. horsepower output / at rpm 330 / 6500

Max. torque in lb. ft. / at rpm 317 / 3500

Engine management Motronic ME 7.1.1; fully electronic sequential injection, coordinated torque

control, hot-film air-mass measurement, drive-by-wire throttle control, mapped

ignition with solid-state high-voltage distribution, cylinder-selective knock

control using two sensors, adaptive lambda control

Exhaust emission control Air-gap insulated exhaust manifold, two 3-way stepped catalytic converters

close to the engine, four heated oxygen sensors

Emission category EU 4

Alternator in A / battery in A/Ah 190 / 450 / 95

Drive / transmission

Type of drive Permanent all-wheel drive with Torsen center differential

Clutch Hydraulically operated torque converter with

lock-up clutch

Gearbox type 6-speed tiptronic with DSP and additional sport program

Gear ratio in 1st gear / 2nd gear 4.171 / 2.340

Gear ratio in 3rd gear / 4th gear 1.521 / 1.143

Gear ratio in 5th gear / 6th gear 0.867 / 0.691

Final drive ratio / reverse gear 3.317 / 3.403

Running gear / steering / brakes

Front suspension Four-link front suspension, double upper and lower wishbones, anti-roll bar,

air suspension

Rear suspension Self-tracking trapezoidal-link axle with wishbone, anti-roll bar, air suspension

Steering / turning circle in m Maintenance-free rack-and-pinion steering with speed-dependent power

assistance and variable ratio / approx. 12.1

Brake system, front/rear Diagonally split dual-circuit brake system with ESP/ABS/EBD, brake servo,

hydraulic brake assist, disc brakes, front and rear: ventilated discs; front:

double-piston callipers; electro-mechanical parking brake

Wheels / tires 7-Spoke 17” w/all season tires std; 8Jx17 / 235/55 R17

Performance / consumption / acoustics

Maximum speed in mph 130 (governed)

Acceleration 0-50 / 0-60 mph 4.8 / 6.3 sec

Fuel grade Premium unleaded

Fuel consumption N/A

Standing / drive-past exterior noise level in dB (A) 74 / 73

Servicing / warranty

Long-life service after a maximum of ...

4 yr / 50k / 24 hour Roadside Assistance

Vehicle / paint / rust penetration warranty 12 yr

Weights / loads

Unladen weight in kg 1995 kg

Axle load limit at front / rear in kg N/A

Trailer load limit N/A

Trailer load limit on 8% / 12% gradient, braked in kg N/A

Roof load limit in kg / permissible nose weight in kg N/A


Cooling system capacity (incl. heating) in liter 11.5

Engine oil capacity (incl. filter) in liter 7.5

Fuel tank capacity in liter 90

Body / dimensions

Body type / number of doors / seats Aluminium: Audi Space Frame ASF / 4 / 5

Drag coefficient cD 0.27

Length / width excl. mirrors / height, mm 5181 / 1894 / 1455

Wheelbase (L101) / track at front/rear (W101/W102), mm 3074

Luggage capacity in liter, acc. to VDA block method (V210) 447




U.S. D3 Standard Equipment

• 235/55 R17 all-season tire with

17” 7-spoke alloy wheel

• Full size spare tire

• Chain tie down points for transport


• 5 mph strong (phase II) bumpers

• Front side airbags

• SIDEGUARD side curtain airbags

• Rear Side Airbags

• Knee Airbags

• Coming home lights, Light Sensor

• Automatic Headlight Adjustment

• Ambient light package for interior

• 6-disc CD changer glove box

• Bose soundsystem

• Navigation system w/DVD

• Instrument Kombi with color display

• Leather upholstery on center armrest

and Alcantara door insert

• Valcona Leather seat upholstery

• Comfort seats (front/rear)

• Adjustable armrests

• Satellite radio preparation

• Cruise control

• Sunvisors with extensions

• Air Suspension

• 6-speed Tiptronic Transmission

• Wood trim

• Metallic or Pearleffect paint

• LATCH system

• Dual cup holders in center console

• Multi-function steering wheel w/Audio


• Soft close for rear deck lid

• Light weight (25kg) cargo net

• Alarm system

• Central locking switch in all 4 doors

• Daytime running lights (with possibility to


• Telematics

• High-line Multi-media Interface (MMI)

with 7” display and programmable


• Bi-Xenon headlights (high/low beam)

w/headlight adjustment

• Headlight Washer

• Single-Pane Side Glass

• Glass sunroof

• Driver/Passenger seat memory package

for seats, mirrors,

• Electric steering wheel adjustment

• Homelink

• Auto dimming mirrors with folding outer

mirrors for interior mirror

• Rear side manual sunshades

• Aluminum Trim Package



U.S. 2004 Audi A8 Option Program

Cold Weather Package

– Heated front/rear seats

– Heated steering wheel

– Ski sack

Convenience Package

– Power Trunk Open/Close

– Rear Vanity Mirrors

– Front Seat Ventilation

– Tire Pressure Monitoring Sys.

– Electric rear/ manual side

sunshades (the side shades are

already standard)


– Dual-Paned Security Glass

– Front Seat Massage, $750

– Rear Seat Electric lumbar

– Dual Rear seat climate control

– Door armrest in leather + Center

Console w/Premium stitching

– Alcantara package

– Adaptive Cruise Control


Delayed Introduction

– Sport Suspension

– 3-spoke multi-func. sw w/Tip

– Power side door close

– Voice Recognition

Stand alone options

– 18” wheel with all-season tires

– 19” wheel with performance tires

– Solar sunroof

– Acoustic Parking


Look for the rest of Audi's new lineup - including the world's hottest production sedan, the RS6, the new S4 with 344-horse V8 power, and the new Allroad 4.2! Press Pass gives you VIP access to all the awesome new autos!



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