Auburn Hills, MI - Big, bold and beautiful — the all-new 2004 Audi A8 L envelops an extraordinary interior providing unparalleled luxury, while a technologically advanced drive train with a more powerful V8 engine, a sporting six-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission with manual-shift capabilities and a state-of-the-art suspension system all combine to deliver unsurpassed sport performance in the large sedan segment.
Additionally, the 2004 A8 L features an Audi innovation for onboard electronics control, the Audi Multi Media Interface (MMI), that is fast becoming the industry benchmark.
With a powerful 4.2 liter, 330 horsepower V8 engine beating at its heart, the A8 L appears as sculpted art with its flowing wedge-shaped body, short front overhang and high belt line. Wrapped over an all-new aluminum space frame — a highly rigid, yet lightweight structure that bonds the vehicle into one cohesive unit — the 2004 Audi A8 L affords drivers absolute control with rock-like stability.
The clean, classic design of the car’s interior was planned for both luxury and comfort, with seats that adjust 16 ways and offer memory settings for four different drivers.
The front seats are heated, with rear seat heating optional, as is a leather-covered steering wheel. The instrument panel uses electroluminescent light, which can adjust its brightness according to the amount of ambient light that is present — another pleasant and welcome detail that did not escape the attention of Audi designers.
The A8 L is available in North America in only a long-wheelbase version that is nearly 17 feet in overall length and approximately five inches longer compared to the standard length model available in Europe. At $68,500 (MSRP), the A8 L is a modern interpretation of the understated elegance that is a hallmark of Audi.
With German precision in construction and artistry in coachwork, the all-aluminum body of the 2004 Audi A8 L becomes one of the most flawless automobile surfaces ever produced. Graceful and good-looking, the low-slung A8 L features a sleek front end that heightens a subtly rising shoulder and belt line front-to-rear. An artful arc of roofline adds to the effect of uninterrupted flow from the hood to the trunk lip-spoiler. Extra-large wheels and tires add to the overall look of power and confidence.
With a long wheelbase, the 2004 A8 L incorporates rear doors that are five inches longer compared to the standard model currently sold in Europe. The extra-large rear doors make for convenient entry and exit to the spacious passenger cabin. Interior volume is increased nearly three cubic feet over the previous model. Front and rear passenger headroom and shoulder room are increased as well, and rear seat legroom is increased over two inches.
All five passengers in a 2004 Audi A8 L enjoy unequaled seating comfort. Driver and front passenger are enveloped in ergonomic seats designed for superior body contouring. Front seat heating and cooling, electrically adjusting lumbar support and massage functions are optional while the rear seats can be optioned with electrically adjusting lumbar support and a recline feature.
An automatic four-zone heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system offering separate front- and rear-seat controls is optional. The HVAC system incorporates indirect ventilation that provides a continuous exchange of cabin air yet prevents drafts. To be certain all this climate-controlled comfort is delivered efficiently and unobtrusively, the HVAC operating system itself has been engineered with refined acoustic properties.
Between the front seats is the first of two main components of the Audi Multi Media Interface. MMI is an intuitive onboard electronics control center that consists of a turn-and-push selector knob surrounded by eight function keys. Audi MMI provides operation, adjustment and control of onboard electronics — everything from the sound system to the driver-selected suspension set up.
The MMI command center is set in the center console just aft of the shift selector and forward of the center armrest within easy, comfortable reach. Atop the center console near the dash is a seven-inch “Hide-away” color monitor for easy reference of MMI operations. A three-inch monitor in the center of the instrument panel displays basic operating information. (Please refer to the MMI release for complete details.)
Audi engineers have given the all-new 2004 A8 L a suspension system that resolves the classic conflict between luxury and sport suspensions — luxury being too soft for sport, and sport too stiff for luxury. A first-in-class, fully pneumatic suspension system gives the A8 L an unrivaled combination of ride and handling performance.
The Adaptive Air Suspension system starts with an aluminum four-link front axle layout and a trapezoidal-link rear axle for responsive handling and precise steering. Air spring struts at all four wheels, with sensors to continually monitor and infinitely adjust the air strut damping, instantly and perfectly match the suspension response to ever-changing road conditions.
The Audi Adaptive Air Suspension system also affords driver selection of varying ground clearance and damping rate to match the suspension set-up to road conditions and driving style. A self-leveling feature helps keep the new A8 L in steady equilibrium regardless of load. (Please refer to the Adaptive Air Suspension release for complete details.)
Beneath the hood lies the performance heart of the 2004 Audi A8 L. Befitting the all-new model, Audi engineers have given the A8 L a new version of their stalwart aluminum-alloy, 40-valve V8 engine.
The new 4.2-liter V8 uses a magnesium, two-stage intake manifold with dual air intake paths for better engine breathing across a range of rpm. Designed with proven Audi architecture including dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) and five valves per cylinder, this is one of the most powerful—and yet most refined—engines in the industry.
This latest iteration of the Audi 4.2-liter V8 pumps out 330 horsepower at 6,500 revolutions per minute, a 20 hp increase over the previous model. Torque is increased 15 lbs. ft. over last year to a peak 317 lbs. ft. starting at just 3,500 rpm. This combination launches the 2004 Audi A8 L from 0-60 mph in a surprisingly quick 6.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed at 130 mph. The EPA fuel economy rating is an impressive 24 miles per gallon highway and 17 mpg city, for a combined 20 mpg.
Helping deliver the engine performance to the wheels is a new six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. With a 30-percent wider gear spread than the five-speed it replaces, low-end torque is improved. Less power dissipation than in the previous model also means more of the engine power makes it to the wheels.
The new six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission offers a choice of operating and driving styles. For fully automatic convenience, simply place the gear selector in Drive (“D”). For added performance, a Sport mode (“S”) delays the automatic up-shifts for higher revs and more spirited acceleration, while automatic downshifts occur faster during deceleration for added control with engine-brake and low-end torque. Whichever shift mode is selected, a Direct Shift Program (DSP) monitors and “learns” the primary operator’s driving style and then automatically selects from among 200 programmed shift patterns to optimize the gear changes for any given driving behavior, resulting in a nearly personalized transmission mode.
For drivers who prefer to manually select gears, the shift selector can be moved to the Tiptronic shift gate to the right of “D.” In this position, the driver can move the gear selector forward for up shifts and backward for downshifts.
Adding to the stability, traction and performance of the 2004 A8 L is the legendary Audi quattro® permanent all-wheel drive system and rack-and-pinion steering with Servotronic®. The quattro system uses a Torsen® center differential and transfers power front-to-back and side-to-side to maintain the best traction, while Servotronic vehicle speed-sensitive power steering assist delivers a consistent feel and excellent driving control.
The innovative aluminum body of the 2004 A8 L is supported by a new generation of the Audi Space Frame (ASF®). The ASF provides the backbone for the new A8 L’s ride comfort and excellent road behavior and handling characteristics.
The number of parts in the new ASF has been reduced by some 17 percent compared to the previous generation ASF. With fewer part joints, where twisting and flexing might occur, this version of the ASF is 60 percent more rigid than its predecessor. The fewer number of parts also simplifies the production process, reducing the possibility of product variance.
The new ASF is approximately 300 pounds lighter than that of a conventional steel frame. Together with the extra rigidity it provides and the weight savings, the ASF the adds to the improved driving dynamics of the A8 L. (Please refer to the ASF release for complete details.)
Adding to the performance as well as safety of the 2004 Audi A8 L is a braking system with 16 percent more braking power than the previous model for shorter stopping distances. While superior handling and performance offer safety benefits, the 2004 A8 L also has no shortage of dedicated safety equipment.
Dual front airbags incorporate two-stage, dual threshold activation for greater safety with reduced force. Dual threshold front and rear seat belt tensioners take up slack just prior to a collision to ensure proper belt positioning and optimum restraint. Front seat belt force limiters ease off the restraining pressure as forward momentum is slowed. Active front head restraints pivot forward to reduce the risk of head and neck injury in a rear collision.
In the event of a side collision, front and rear side-impact airbag supplemental restraints provide additional protection for outboard occupants. The Audi SIDEGUARD™ airbag curtain supplemental restraint covers the side windows from front to back to provide additional protection for outboard passenger head and chest areas and to reduce the chance of shattered glass flying into the cabin and injuring passengers. Additional protection for front seat riders is provided by knee bolster airbags.
Eight crash sensors — two each in front, on each side and in the rear of the car — improve airbag deployment rate and timing. Additionally, these sensors can switch on hazard lights, shut off the engine and fuel pumps, unlock the doors, switch on interior lighting and place an emergency call via Audi Telematics by OnStar®.
An Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP®) integrates an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Anti Slip Regulation (ASR) traction control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and hydraulic brake assist for improved vehicle control under various emergency or potentially dangerous situations.
Additional safety features include the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system to assist proper installation of child safety seats in the rear outboard seating positions, and three-point safety belts and head restraints for all five seating positions. LED lighting technology used in the taillights increases visibility from the rear while standard equipment Xenon high intensity low- and high-beam headlights with automatic self-leveling illuminate the roadway ahead. Two front and two rear fog lights add to illumination and visibility in inclement weather.
An interior ambient lighting package includes LED illumination in the door trim and front and rear foot wells. High-grade Valcona leather seating and trim is available in a choice of colors, with three choices of wood trim. A unique four-spoke, electrically adjusting, telescoping steering wheel contains remote thumb-wheel controls for the MMI.
Dressing up the A8 L are sporty seven-spoke cast-alloy wheels with 235/55RH 17-inch all-season tires. This standard equipment package provides excellent handling and a comfortable ride while offering low rolling-resistance and superior grip on wet roads for added safety.
For comfort and style, the 2004 Audi A8 L includes a full range of standard and optional luxury features. Standard equipment includes the Audi Navigation System using DVD technology and the large seven-inch display MMI screen. A 12-speaker Premium Bose® Surround Sound system with subwoofer and CD changer in the glove box includes Audio Pilot™ noise compensation technology for the ultimate in listening pleasure while driving.
A HomeLink® three-channel transmitter assists with opening a garage door and turning on outside lights. Puddle lights in the bottom of all four doors help passengers see the ground before they step out of the vehicle. Both of these standard equipment items help passengers avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Option packages for the 2004 Audi A8 L include a Convenience Package, with front seat ventilation, rear seat vanity mirrors, a tire pressure monitoring system, power trunk open/close and electric rear sunshade. A Cold Weather Package adds heated front and rear seats with six-position adjustment, a heated steering wheel and a ski sack for the pass-through from the trunk through the rear seat armrest.
Available separate options include a solar-cell sunroof that self-generates a continuous flow of fresh air via the blower when the car is parked; Audi Parktronic™ acoustic parking assistance; dual-paned security glass; adaptive cruise control; and Alcantara interior package.
A five-spoke, 18-inch cast alloy wheel with 255/45R18H all-season tires is one of two optional wheel/tire packages available. A 12-spoke, 19-inch cast alloy wheel with 255/40R19Y performance tires is also available.
The 2004 Audi A8 L is backed by Audi Advantage—an industry-leading combination of warranties and protection that includes:
Four-year/50,000-mile no-charge scheduled maintenance
Four-year/50,000-mile limited new vehicle warranty
12-year limited warranty against corrosion perforation
24-hour Roadside Assistance for four years