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Audi A8

Audi A8 (Germany, 2010-present)

Audi > A8 > Gen.3
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2014 Facelift

In 2013 Audi unveiled the facelifted A8. The upgraded A8 gets upgraded engines, new technology and the active matrix LED headlights, which Audi believes revolutionize automotive lighting.

For the refresh Audi has taken another pass at the front and rear of the car and added five new exterior colors. Dimensionally, the normal wheelbase A8 is unchanged from the pre-facelift model, but the long wheelbase gains 13cm in length and wheelbase.

In front, the A8 gets a new hood with ridges on either side, a new single frame grill that no longer extends to the bottom of the car and flatter headlights. It gives the front a much blunter appearance. All V8 models get full LED headlights and the active matrix LED lights are a further option.

The active matrix headlights split the LEDs into sections that can be operated independently. If another vehicle is coming, it turns off the lights shining directly at the oncoming car. It also uses navigation data to know when to turn the headlights, and it uses data from the night vision camera to scan for pedestrians.

At the back, the A8 has a new trunk layout with a lower load point. The LED taillights have also been reshaped to be flatter, and the lower bumper holds two rhomboid exhaust pipes, except on the S8. The only changes to the side of the car are new chrome strips and high gloss black window frames. The changes also give the rear a blunter appearance that gives the entire car a much more squared off stance from the pre-facelift model.

Audi has upgrades for nearly all of the engines in the A8’s lineup. The 3.0TFSI now has 306hp (310ps); the 4.0 TFSI has 429hp (435ps); the 3.0 TDI has 255hp (258ps); and the 4.2 TDI has 380hp (385ps). The 4.0 TFSI and 6.3 W12 now offer cylinder deactivation that turn off half of their cylinders under low load to improve fuel economy. Audi says that it has also reduced friction in all of its engines to improve fuel consumption and emissions.

All engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The standard car comes with adaptive dampers, but an adaptive air suspension is also an option. Carbon fiber ceramic brake discs are optional on V8 models and the A8L W12.

For the interior of the refreshed A8, Audi has added extra sound deadening and upgraded the car’s technology.  There are new coverings for the seats, trims and colors.

The refreshed A8 is the first Audi to get a new generation of the Pre Sense safety system and side assist. It adds active lane assist, which actively steers the wheel for drivers to keep them in their lane.  The parking assist has 360 degrees of cameras to steer the car automatically into a space. Audi has also added a heads up display, and the night vision camera has been upgraded to recognize larger animals.

The car has optional ventilated and massaging seats in the front and electrically adjustable rear seats. The A8L has an optional completely leather covered center console, relaxation seats with power footrests, four-zone automatic climate control and power closing cooler.

Other interior options include an Internet connection, which also adds online traffic information, Google Earth, Google Street View and online news, Bang & Olufsen upgraded stereo and rear seat entertainment system with DVD player.

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Internally known as Typ 4H, the third-generation Audi A8 was unveiled on the 30th of November 2009 in Miami. The model arrived in the market in November 2010 as a 2011 model.

This series is based on the Volkswagen Group MLB platform, but still it retains the Audi Space Frame aluminium construction of the previous A8 generation. This makes the A8 the lightest all-wheel drive car in the full-size luxury segment, but also hands it the best-in-class fuel economy.

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Engines and Transmissions

The third generation can be equipped with five different engines, three petrol and two diesels. These engines can be combined with two different transmissions: an eight-speed automatic ZF 8HP tiptronic and a 7-speed S-tronic.

Model Displacement Type Power @ rpm Torque @ rpm
Petrol Engines
3.0 TFSI 2995 cc V6 290 PS (213 kW; 286 bhp) @4850–6500 420 N·m (310 ft·lbf) @2500–4850
4.8 FSI 4163 cc V8 372 PS (274 kW; 367 bhp) @ 6800 445 N·m (328 ft·lbf) @3500
6.3 6299 cc W12 500 PS (368 kW; 493 bhp) 625 N·m (461 ft·lbf) @3250
Diesel Engines
3.0 TDI 2967 cc V6 250 PS (184 kW; 247 bhp) @4000–4500 550 N·m (406 ft·lbf) @1500–3000
4.2 TDI 4134 cc V8 350 PS (257 kW; 345 bhp) @ 4000 800 N·m (590 ft·lbf) @1750–2750


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Technological Features

For the third generation the Audi A8 has received some top and enhanced technology, which includes LED headlights with cornering light, country mode, highway mode, intersection mode, city mode, Intelligent quattro system and "Audi Space Frame" aluminium monocoque.

A driver assistance system networked using FlexRay technology, GPS navigation system coordinating input to the adaptive headlights, transmission, cruise control and Electronic Stability Programme are included in the optional features.

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A8 L Security Edition

The A8 L Security is a heavily-armoured luxury sedan that will feature an array of safety and security features to protect occupants from outside attacks. With an extra 450 hours of work to incorporate the additional protection, the A8 L Security meets the strictest guidelines enforced for civilian vehicles.

Custom security innovations, which are constructed in a guarded workshop, have earned the A8 L Security a class VR 7 ballistic protection rating (2009 Bullet Resistant Vehicle guidelines) that is certified by a German-government ballistics testing facility. To achieve this rating, a vehicle’s sheet metal and glazing in the passenger cell must be able to withstand firing from NATO hard-core ammunition. 

The safety cell in the A8 L Security is comprised of resistant materials that include “hot-formed armored steel, aramide fabric, ceramics, special alloyed aluminum and multilayer glass” to provide extra protection against explosive weapons. However the cost of being protected from military hand grenades and explosive charges, which Audi say test dummies have demonstrated, is a 720 kilogram increase in the vehicles overall weight.

Polycarbonate coated glass, which prevents the windows spalling in the event of gunfire, add 300 kilograms to the car as well as the strengthened doors which have an overall weight of 360 kilograms.

A 6.3 litre W12 engine is responsible for powering the A8 L Security. The 500 hp and 625 Nm of torque offered will power the Audi to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds with top speed limited to 210 km/h in order to preserve the tires. Average fuel consumption is a claimed 13.5 litres per 100 kilometres. A more fuel-efficient engine will also be offered in the coming year.

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Audi’s history starts when founder August Horch opened a car company named A. Horch & Cie. in 1899. Then in 1901 his factory completed the assembly of the first Horch automobile. August Horch, however, ended up being expelled from his own company in 1909. He subsequently went on to start another car company in Zwickau, Germany, where he kept producing cars under the ‘Horch’ brandname, even though his f...  more