5,267 mm (17.28 ft) in length, with a 2,992 mm (9.82 ft) wheelbase, 1,949 mm (6.39 ft) in width and 1,460 mm (4.83 ft) in height – the new A8 L boasts generous proportions. The brand’s new flagship is both significantly longer and wider than both its predecessor and its key competitors. Its height, however, remains below that of its immediate rivals from Germany – the proportions express its dynamic nature.
With the fascinatingly subtle interplay between surfaces, lines and volumes, the lines of the Audi A8 L document Audi’s mastery in the field of automotive design.
The outer skin conveys homogeneity, as if modeled from a full volume. A coupe-like roof line lets the silhouette flow; sculptured surfaces conveying calmness and prestige contrast with sharp lines.
With the long wheelbase, the proportions of the A8 L are every bit as powerful and perfectly balanced as those of the standard version. The bold design in lightweight aluminum demands maximum precision at every step of the manufacturing process.
The A8 L displays the most the distinctive brand design element of its front end, the single-frame radiator grille, like a proud coat of arms. Framed by a chrome edge, the grille appears sculptured, three-dimensional and rich in details. With its angular upper corners, it is neatly integrated into the front of the car. The double horizontal struts emphasize the width of the vehicle, while generous chrome applications underscore its distinguished elegance.
The hood is tautly contoured, with bold V-shaped lines extending forward to the nose. Its edge intersects lightly with the headlights from above. The air inlets, each of which is likewise divided by two horizontal braces with chrome applications, emphasize the horizontal aspect of the front of the vehicle with their width, while a subtle front splitter forms the edge closest to the road.
Concentrated power: the side view
The side view of the new Audi A8 L also gives the image of concentrated and forward-thrusting power. The muscular hood is the image of sporty energy. Typical of the Audi line, the body accounts for two-thirds of the vehicle’s overall height, the greenhouse for the remaining third.
A sharp, light-refracting edge emphasized by a large shadow contour extends across the flank from the corner of the headlight. The tornado line – a classic Audi feature – represents sportiness, dynamics and solidity. Running below the window sill, it divides the surfaces. The line continues close above the wheel arches, giving the A8 L a powerful road stance.
The convex and concave surfaces below the Tornado line interpret the interplay of light and shadow with timeless elegance. Proceeding downwards, the surfaces are framed by the gently rising dynamic line running above the side sills. The side sill itself, which is accentuated by a solid chrome strip, and the lower edge of the window are essentially horizontal.
Large wheels – from 17 to 21 inches in diameter – fill the brawny wheel wells and reinforce the image of concentrated power. The base of the C-pillar sits relatively far back on the muscular shoulder of the body. A slight spoiler lip neatly included in the overall outline extends the trunk lid visually.
The rear end of the car also interprets the subject of the dynamic luxury sedan in a subtle way. The spoiler lip with its elegant curve, the starkly sculptured surfaces, and their shadow regions form a three-dimensional whole. The dynamic line running around the car and a chrome strip accentuate the width. Regardless of the engine installed in the new A8 L, the exhaust system terminates in two large tailpipes on both sides of the rear end.
Audi delivers its new flagship in eleven colors – two solid and nine metallic or pearl effect shades: Ibis White, Brilliant Black, Glacier White, Ice Silver, Quartz Gray, Havanna Black, Phantom Black, Night Blue, Impala Beige, Emerald Black and Oolong Gray. The A8 L W12 quattro comes standard with a metallic paint finish. Even more exclusive are the custom finishes that Audi mixes specially at the request of the customer.
Subtle styling cues identify the top-of-the-line model, a particularly opulently equipped W12. Its single-frame grille sports a W12 badge and horizontal bars with integrated black trim in front of a rhombus-pattern grid. Chrome inlays and high-gloss black struts adorn the air inlets. Additional W12 emblems shine from the flanks and the rear of the car. The side mirrors are trimmed in chrome, and the tires measure 19 inches. Wide, trapezoidal tailpipes integrated into the bumper suggest the power of the twelve-cylinder engine.
Innovations from Audi: the headlights
Audi is the leading brand when it comes to lighting technology, and the A8 L expresses this lead. It is available with a choice of two different headlight designs, which are also easily distinguishable by their appearance.
High-performance xenon plus units are standard. They can be complemented by the optional adaptive light system with continuous headlight range control. A camera mounted in front of the rearview mirror detects other vehicles by their lights. A computer adapts the vehicle’s own light in a smooth transition that always provides the maximum possible illumination. The new all-weather lights are standard in the A8 L. Integrated into the headlights, they replace the fog lights, whose traditional location in the air inlets is now reserved for the radar sensors of the optional ACC stop & go.
In a technological breakthrough, the headlight control unit works closely together with the optional MMI navigation plus (standard in the W12). The navigation system reads the route data in advance and relays them to the light computer, so as to activate highway lighting even when entering the throughway, for example. The system automatically switches on the cornering light before entering an intersection; in countries like the United Kingdom, it automatically switches the headlights from driving on the right to driving on the left.
The high-end solution in the new A8 L are the optional LED headlights (standard in the W12), however, which use light-emitting diodes for all light functions – another Audi breakthrough. They give the large sedan an unmistakable appearance. With a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin, their light resembles daylight and thus is much less tiring to the eyes. The LED headlights, each of which integrates 76 light-emitting diodes and contain no moving parts, are designed for the life of the vehicle. And they really shine with minimal energy consumption. The low beams require just 40 watts per unit.
The flat, broad tail lights of the new A8 L produce a three-dimensional light pattern. The standard tail lights are realized almost entirely with LED technology, with each unit containing 72 LEDs.
The tail light forms a trapezoidal contour that appears as a homogenous band thanks to a light guide and a free-form surface. The brake light is located inside the trapezoid. When the new A8 L decelerates strongly, the brake light flashes quickly, and the hazard warning lights are activated if the sedan then comes to a stop.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.