Audi has added a fourth engine option to its sporty A8 luxury saloon programme. The six-cylinder 3.0-litre engine is available immediately with front-wheel drive and, a unique offer in the large luxury car segment, with multitronic continuously variable transmission. Thanks to its lightweight aluminium body, the 162 kW (220 bhp) V6 engine is able to accelerate the A8 from a standing start to 100 km/h in only 7.9 seconds, and take it on to a top speed of 242 km/h. Another new departure is that this new power train is available for both standard and long-wheelbase versions of the A8.
The first A8 model family was already available with a smooth-running, powerful V6 engine. Thanks to systematic weight-saving design, even that version, although equipped with the smallest spark-ignition engine in the range, nonetheless performed in a manner worthy of a large luxury-class car. When it came to fuel consumption, however, the 174 bhp, 2.8-litre V6 was content to consume only about as much fuel as a typical midsize car.
These outstanding qualities are not only still present but have been given an even sharper profile for the new Audi A8 3.0. The aluminium V6 engine, with five valves per cylinder, has a swept volume of 2976 cc and from it develops the impressive power output of 162 kW (220 bhp) at 6300 rpm. Maximum torque is 300 Newton-metres and is available at 3200 rpm. Once again, Audi has succeeded in creating a high-performance engine with an extremely moderate thirst for fuel. The average consumption of the A8 3.0 multitronic with front-wheel drive is only 9.6 litres of super-grade fuel per 100 kilometres.
The supremacy of this engine is also expressed by its sporty sound, which has been carefully tuned by the design team. The engine-compartment design too is clear confirmation of the high technical standards that these Audi engines represent.
Two multi-stage catalytic converters with metal monoliths are located close to the engine for efficient exhaust emission control. As a result, the 3.0 V6 engine installed in all versions of the A8 complies with the tough EU4 exhaust emission limits.
The multitronic continuously variable automatic transmission makes the optimal use of engine power and potential for fuel economy that have until now only been available with a manual-shift gearbox, yet it also offers the same degree of convenience as a classic automatic transmission with torque converter. And since the gear ratio varies steplessly, the A8 3.0 cannot suffer from jerky gear shifts.
Adaptive air suspension – air springs and shock absorbers with adaptive settings – as well as the innovative MMI operating concept are of course standard features of all 3.0 versions of the Audi A8.
The German-market list price of the A8 3.0 multitronic with front-wheel drive is € 59,800; the long-wheelbase version starts at € 66,200. This model can be ordered immediately; the first cars will probably reach German customers before the end of the third quarter of 2003.