Audi A8L 3.0 TFSI quattro: Be Driven
9tro issue #6
Text by: Cheryl Tay
Photos by: Adrian Wong
Audi’s flagship model – the Audi A8 – was launched in Singapore in a highly publicised manner, with a custom-built structure called the Audi Pavilion set up in the middle of the Marina Bay financial district.
Spanning across three days from 1 to 3 December 2010, the launch campaign ‘Light Years Ahead’ involved a TV talk show that featured world-renowned actor and director Kevin Spacey, American financial guru Jim Rogers and Singaporean composer Dick Lee. Not to be mistaken as direct ambassadors for the brand, these three personalities shared their insights along the theme of being ‘light years ahead’ in their field of expertise on a TV studio set within the Audi Pavilion.
The new A8 boasts more than 32 major innovations above and beyond the hallmark features like the Audi Space Frame – a high-strength aluminium frame structure where all panels are integrated so that they perform a load-bearing function – and the class-leading quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
Available in Singapore in both turbocharged and naturally aspirated modes across four variants – A8L 3.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic, A8 4.2 FSI quattro tiptronic, A8L 4.2 FSI quattro tiptronic, A8L 6.3 FSI quattro tiptronic – the engines of the A8 have increased in power and torque.
The A8L (L stands for long wheelbase) is 13cm longer in length and wheelbase compared to the standard A8 version, measuring at 5.27 metres, offering generous space in the rear.
Taking the A8L 3.0 TFSI quattro out for a test drive, I must say I was impressed by the elegance and the sophistication of the car. Much preferring to sit in the rear and be driven around instead of being behind the wheel, I liked the little enhancements that made the drive a lot more interesting.
For example, the Bang & Olufsen speakers at each side of the dashboard, along with the multimedia interface (MMI) screen, would emerge upon starting up of the car and retract back when the ignition is turned off.
The MMI Navigation Plus with MMI touch enables the driver to control many functions intuitively, like tracing letters and numbers on the pad with a finger. The navigation system is also integrated with the assistance and safety systems, allowing it to read the path ahead and give data to the control units for the automatic transmission, the headlights and the advanced adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go function.
The new A8 is loaded with lots of new technological features which suit passengers much more than the driver. For example, the screen mounted on the back of the headrests have ‘live’ television feed, enabling you to watch the news on your way to work – that is, if you are being chauffeured. Both rear passengers can even watch different channels, depending on their individual preferences.
There is a complete set of dials and controls in the centre bench for the rear passengers to use. Ambient lighting, four-zone automatic climate control and new LED headlights are standard on the A8. In addition, the individual seats can be equipped with optional ventilation and massage functions, and features such as a folding table and a cool box.
Achieving 290bhp at 4,850-6,500rpm and 420Nm at 2,500-4,850rpm of output through its eight-speed tiptronic transmission to all four wheels, this turbocharged A8 takes 6.2 seconds to get from zero to 100km/h. The A8 makes a truly comfortable drive, cushioning the ride with the help of its adaptive air suspension, and minimal road noise making the whole journey a relaxed one.
Most importantly, the A8 also provides high levels of safety. The new Audi pre sense safety system has the ability to diminish the relentlessness of accidents and their effects by braking the A8 autonomously in the event of an impending rear-end collision, with maximum braking applied in the last half-second and slowing down by 40 km/h. There is also a blind spot function in the side mirrors which detects vehicles in your blind spots and alerts you by illuminating the insides of the side mirrors in orange.
Great amounts of effort have been put to elevate the A8 to stand alongside the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-Series. Personally, I think the new A8 has what it takes to rival that category. It has a slight advantage too, being the cheapest amongst the A8L 3.0 TFSI, an S300L and a 730Li.
AUDI A8L 3.0 TFSI quattro®
Engine: 2,995cc aluminium V6 spark-ignition direct injection
Transmission: 8-speed tiptronic with DSP and sport programme
Max Power: 290bhp at 4,850-6,500rpm
Max Torque: 420Nm at 2,500-4,850rpm
0-100km/h: 6.2 secs
Top Speed: 250km/h (limited)
Price with COE: $351,888 (accurate at time of printing)
Distributor: Premium Automobiles