Eric Tipan / Audi | April 13, 2016 09:46
Still meets standards of the four-door production model
Whoever said size doesn’t matter clearly isn’t part of that niche target market whose needs prompted the German automaker to build a one-off sedan with six doors, one for each passenger.
It took Audi a year for development and manufacturing but it has successfully created a 6,360 mm extra-long luxury sedan with a wheelbase of 4,220 meters and all the posh amenities, and dubbed it the A8 L Extended. Audi used its proprietary Space Frame design on the unit’s body, which is made almost entirely of aluminum, to keep the weight as low as possible. In order to achieve the length and the profile desired, the side sills and center tunnel were extended using extruded aluminum sections, and the A-pillar all the way to the rear has been redesigned.
The cabin is separated from the luggage compartment by a double rear bulkhead while the roof uses additional aluminum profiled tubes and cross-braces to increase torsional and flexural rigidity. Seats on the A8 L Extended differ from a limousine in that all passengers face forward instead of sideways. Seats are upholstered in extra-supple Valcona leather and both the second and third rows have electrically adjustable individual seats. The third row has a continuous center console, a rear-seat entertainment display and a cool box.
In true limousine fashion, 2.40-meter glass panel has been placed on the roof skin while sun-blinds are provided every row to keep the cabin temperature cool despite the outside temperature.
The A8 L Extended uses a 3.0 TFSI engine with 314 PS and 440 Nm of torque, mated to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. It goes from 0-100 kph in 7.1 seconds all the way to a top speed of 250 kph. In order to stop this 2,418-kilo sedan, it uses brakes from the Audi S8.
Audi says reception of the A8 L Extended has been good and if the demand picks up, the automaker may just turn it into a production model.