2011 Audi A8 L W12 Quattro revealed with its 500 hp engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Prior to the Beijing Auto Show and as we said in this post, Audi revealed today the 2011 A8 L W12 quattro flagship sedan. With an overall length of 5,267 millimeters (17.28 ft), the new Audi A8 L is 130 mm (0.43 ft) longer than the regular version. The wheelbase has grown by the same amount, to 3,122 mm (10.24 ft) while the width remained unchanged at 1,949 mm (6.39 ft).

The height has increased with 2 mm (0.08 in) to 1,462 mm (4.8 ft).As the name says it, the new A8 K comes with a W12 6.3 FSI engine capable to deliver 368 kW (500 hp) and an impressive 625 Nm (460.98 lb-ft) at engine speeds at 3,250 rpm. With these numbers the car can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.9 seconds and effortlessly reaches its governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

Although it a big engine, in the EU cycle test it has a fuel consumption of just 12.0 liters per 100 kilometers (19.6 US mpg). The engine is mated to a eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and gearshifts are performed electronically ("shift by wire") from an elegant yacht-style selector lever or at steering wheel paddles. For the moment Audi offers just this W12 6.3 FSI engine but by the end of the year it will be available with all the engines currently offered for the A8. As you may know already, the new car is built for business men and the full extra length of this sedan benefits rear-seat passengers.

The doors are longer and the space available inside can only be described as opulent. The luxury four-zone automatic air conditioning is controlled by no fewer than 25 adjusting motors. Regarding the design of the interior, the Valonea leather is tanned exclusively with plant extracts and is especially soft and able to "breathe" actively.

An interesting option is the panoramic glass roof that has two glass panels that allow plenty of light to reach the car's interior. For extra comfort, the car comes as standard with an adaptive air suspension with controlled damping and the driver can choose between four different operating settings of the engine. The design of the car is completed by the 19-inch alloy wheels with a 15-spoke design reserved only for this model and wrapped in 255/45 tires.

As an option, Audi offers the 20-inch but also the 21-inch wheels. The A8 L W12 quattro, the new top model, naturally has a high-performance brake system, with ventilated disks at all four wheels. The front disks are 400 mm (15.75 in) in diameter, with 356 mm (14.02 in) disks at the rear.

Other options include the MMI navigation plus, which operates with the aid of a high-capacity hard disk, has a touch-sensitive control panel known as MMI touch, a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with an output rating of more than 1,400 Watts and 19 speakers, and the Rear Seat Entertainment system. The new Online services in cooperation with Google use the car phone to capture news and current information on the weather or points of interest (POI) from the Internet.

Powertrain

As the name says it, the new A8 L comes with a W12 6.3 FSI engine capable to deliver 368 kW (500 hp) and an impressive 625 Nm (460.98 lb-ft) at engine speeds at 3,250 rpm. With these numbers the car can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.9 seconds and effortlessly reaches its governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

Although it a big engine, in the EU cycle test it has a fuel consumption of just 12.0 liters per 100 kilometers (19.6 US mpg).

The engine is mated to a eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and gearshifts are performed electronically ("shift by wire") from an elegant yacht-style selector lever or at steering wheel paddles. For the moment Audi offers just this W12 6.3 FSI engine but by the end of the year it will be available with all the engines currently offered for the A8. 

Press Release

The Audi A8 L W12

The long-wheelbase Audi A8 L W12 stands at the head of the new A8 model family. It features an exclusive powerplant. The W12 gasoline engine produces 368 kW (500 hp) and delivers 625 Nm (460.98 lb-ft) of torque at 4,750 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) is completed in 4.6 seconds; the electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is just a formality. Average fuel consumption of the highly cultivated twelve-cylinder is 11.3 liters per 100 kilometers (20.82 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 264 grams per kilometer (424.87 g/mile).

Displacing 6,299 cc, the W12 engine is barely over 50 centimeters long and roughly 70 centimeters wide and tall. It consists of four rows of three cylinders. Two rows face each other in a mutually offset configuration at 15-degree angles, respectively, and collectively form a single broad bank. The two cylinder banks thus form a 72-degree V configuration. The crankshaft has a crankpin offset of twelve degrees so that the twelve cylinders ignite in the ideal interval of 60 degrees.

Weighing 234 kilograms (515.88 lb), the W12 engine is relatively lightweight. Its crankcase is made of a high-strength, lightweight aluminum-silicon alloy, with a traverse with embedded cast iron bearing seats forming the bottom. Due to the V-position within the cylinder banks, the pistons, which are also made of a lightweight alloy, have beveled surfaces in order to create combustion chambers with optimized geometry for maximum efficiency. The crankshaft drive and chain drive have been optimized for minimal friction, and the thermal management system distributes the heat flows between the engine, transmission and interior.

Rotating inside the aluminum cylinder heads are four camshafts, which can be moved through 52 degrees of crankshaft motion. Chain-driven, they actuate the 48 valves via roller cam followers. The fuel flows directly into the combustion chambers, and the shape of the intake ports imports a rolling motion to the inflowing air. Together with the high compression ratio of 11.8:1, this “tumble” also increases efficiency.

New in the W12 is the efficiency technology cylinder on demand (COD). At low to intermediate load and engine speed, such as 250 Nm (184.39 lb-ft) at 3,000 rpm, it shuts down the cylinders of the left or right bank when in the upper four gears by deactivating the injection and ignition. In the event of a lengthy deactivation phase, the cylinders in the deactivated bank are fired to prevent their catalytic converter from cooling off. The cylinder banks are thus deactivated in turns during extended periods of COD operation.

Design: Understated appearance

Understated visual clues reveal the identity of the Audi A8 L W12. The bars in the Singleframe grille are wider at the corners, and chrome honeycomb grilles are mounted behind it and in the air inlets. W12 badges shine from the grille, the flanks and the back of the car.

The top-of-the-line A8 features brakes with six-piston calipers up front. Size 255/45 tires are mounted on 19-inch wheels. The tires include “torus absorbers” – foam strips between the running surface and the carcass that dampen the noise generated in the torus (annular body) of the tire when rolling. Optional 20-inch wheels with a 15-spoke structured design are exclusive to the A8 L W12.

The Audi A8 L W12 comes with a very luxurious array of standard equipment. Examples include Matrix LED headlights, ambient lighting, power door closing, comfort seats up front and individual rear seats with comfort head restraints, grab handles with wood segments (piano finish), make-up mirror and separate reading lights. There is also the extended leather and an Alcantara package, inlays in piano finish and aluminum, four-zone automatic air conditioning, the parking system plus with reversing camera, MMI navigation plus with W12-specific welcome screen and Audi connect including car phone with separate handset. A cell phone holder is located in the pocket in the right rear door.

For customers looking for something very special, quattro GmbH offers the A8 L W12 Audi exclusive concept, which is limited to a run of just 50 units. Leather from the Italian furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau in the color Agatha cognac dominates the interior. Its gently treated surface is velvety soft. The inlays are made of the rare veneer fine grain olive ash natural silver brown with silver pigments as pore filler. Its gray-brown shade harmonizes with the granite gray piping on the seats. The headlining is snow white.

Topics: audi, audi a8, sedan

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