The Audi A8 L W12 is a symbol of luxury. With all its amenities, the car continuously coddles its passengers’ senses. Yes, all five basic human senses. The entire car in all its details is designed to visually please you. Your hearing is also bound to be pleased by its 12-speaker surround system. And if you rather have quiet driving conditions, than this is exaclty what the discreet W12 will give you. Audi didn’t forget to please your touch either. The interior is all wrapped in the most skin pampering materials, like the lovely Valcona leather seats. And we could not forget the massage function.
Now we are all used to feeling an inviting fragrance when entering a car, and it doesn’t even have to be a luxury one. All you need is a car aroma diffuser. But when did you last hear of an automobile that can please your taste? No, you shoulnd’t be thinking of eddible components in the car. What we’re talking about is a mini refrigerator that can contain two bottles of wine. This is what you can call supreme luxury in a car – an all senses satisfying machine.
Engine and drivetrain
The car’s name shows clearly that you can expect great things form its engine. The Volkswagen Group’s W12 engines obtained the W configuration by the merging two narrow-angle V6 units and connecting the banks to a single crankshaft with a 72 degree angle between them.
The power delivered by this motor is sent to the wheels via a six-speed Triptronic automatic transmission. As expected, the now legendary Audi Quattro system found its place in this Audi A8 as well. Of course it did: the 12 cylinder engine is very potent, yet surpisingly small, leaving enough room for for the AWD. With a shorter length and and height, the unit is also more rigid and resistant, yet providing a smooth driving.
To “blame” for the smooth driving experience are also the Tiptronic, the Audi Adaptative Air Suspension and the Quattro systems. Let’s analyze them in turn and see why.
The Tiptronic system offers the driver the possibility of choosing his or her favourite operating and driving syle. First of all, you can opt for a manual or an automatic gear change. If you wish to enjoy the pleasure of driving at its best by going all manual, all you have to do is to place the shift selector in the proper position. From here the next step is to move it forward and backward for upshifting and downshifting repectively.
If you prefer an automatic transmission, the A8 L W12 has two modes to meet your preferences. You can either place the gear selector in position ‘D’ (Drive) for a fully automatic experience or you can push it to ‘S’ (Sport) for added performance. The latter offers delayed automatic upshifts for a sportier acceleration, and a faster deceleration when downshifting. You’ll always have perfect control over the car regardless of speed and even while suddenly braking occurs.
There also is another option for those interested in it. The four-spoke wood/leather steering wheel with shifting paddles which is available for the customers who are not satisfied with the standard offer.
Probably the best thing about this jewel’s transmission is the Direct Shift Program (DFS). What it does is to analyze and memorize the primary driving style of the person behind the steering wheel. After ‘understanding’ your way of driving, the system automatically selects one of the 200 programmed shift patterns, adapting the gear change to your unique style.
The Audi Quattro has a perfect ally: the Servotronic steering. This is a speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering assist that contributes to the driving control we’ve mentioned before. Together with the all-wheel drive system which provides perfect traction, great acceleration and corner stability, driving becomes more than fun – it is pure pleasure.
Now for the impressive Audi Adapative Air Suspension system. A precise steering is provided by the four-link axle in the front and the trapezoidal-link axle in the rear. To this we add the fully pneumatic system’s air spring struts for all four wheels. These are equipped with sensors to ensure a permanent adjustment of the air strut damping. The suspension response is continually adapting to the driving conditions, so that you can enjoy a smooth driving on any road that unfolds at your feet (at your wheels, that is).
With all this in mind, you can surely say that with the Audi A8 L W12 the tension between sport and luxury suspensions is relieved. Luxury doesn’t mean too soft anymore and sport isn’t too stiff. You can rest assure that you’ll feel like floating when driving this marvel, while the performant suspensions will soak up all road imperfections.
Speaking of sporty, we didn’t yet mention the impressive set of performance figures. At 6200 revolutions per minute, the W12 engine reaches 450 horsepower. The maximum torque occurs between 4000 and 4700 revolutions per minute, which means 428 pound-foot. The remarkable thing is that over 95% of this amount is available between 2300 and 5300 revolutions per minute. And reaching 60 mph from 0 only takes 5.0 seconds.
The luxury spectacle unleashes the moment you enter the car. Classic and discreet is the Audi badge, as they like to keep away from extravagance. Still, no one can deny the gorgeous craftmanship in every detail of the interior.
Take the seats for instance. Valcona leather wrap the ergonomic power seats with perfect body contouring. The front ones are 16-way adjustable and you can also opt for the facultative massage, heating and cooling functions. Of course, the back passengers won’t feel neglected either. Actually, their comfort is even higher, as the long wheelbase of the vehicle ensures enough room for absolute comfort. And if you’re looking for more, you can always choose the optional electronically adjusting lumbar support for all the seats.
Now probably you like to have all that can be owned. If that is the case, than we know you’ll love this other luxury enhancing option. The standard W12 is designed to comfortably drive five people – you and 4 of your closest ones. But for ultimate luxuy conditions, you can order the 4 passenger version.
Some like to say that the Audi A8 L W12 is a four wheeled multimedia center. If you take a look at the Audi Multi Media Interface, you’re bound to say the same. Between the front seats lays the MMI.TM This is an intuitive electronics control system. With eight function keys, a control knob and a retractable color screen of seven inches, the MMI operates, controls and adjusts the sound system, the navigation system, the driver selected suspension set up and many other functions.
An optional HVAC system is also available. HVAC stands for heating, ventilating and air conditioning. This includes a separate control for all passengers and a perfect ventilation without drafts. You’ll feel it working, but you’ll never hear a bothering sound. With its discreet acoustic properties, the HVAC system is yet another luxury asset for you.
Airbags, secure seatbelts and six crash sensors – these are only a few of the safety devices the Audi W12 features. In case of collision, two-stage front airbags with dual treshold activation will protect you with reduced force. The knee airbags will also deploy for enhanced safety conditions.
The three point front and rear seatbelts are designed to gently but firmly caress your body and protect it from injury. If an accident takes place, the entire vehicle seems to act like a living person who does its best to keep you from getting hurt. The front head restraints will automatically pivot forward to reduce the shock in case of rear collision.
If the car suffers a side impact, the Audi Sideguard TM airbag curtain will cover the windows to diminish the shock and prevent the outboard passengers form being hurt by pieces of broken glass.
The Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) is essential for maintaining control in dangerous situations. It comprises a hydraulic brake assist, an Anti Slip Regulation traction control, an Electronic Btake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and the well known Anti-lock Brake System (ABS).
Audi also came up with a special safety device for little children. The LATCH system ensures a correct installation of safety seats for the little ones. LATCH means Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.
Standard luxury features
We won’t mention them all, but we will unveil enough information to make you want to have one of these beauties for yourself.
For entering this luxury yet sporty vehicle, you have the Audi Advanced Key keyless entry and engine start system. After this you can freely enjoy all the other exquisite amenities of the Audi A8 L W12: the four-zone automatic climate control, the Audi phone preparation with voice control and Bluetooth, the DVD-based navigation, the surround system with six-disk CD player, the electric side and rear window sun shades, the rain sensing windhshield wipers, and really many more.