New petrol and diesel Audi A8 models to debut at Frankfurt

New A8 models featuring 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and TDI engines make their international débuts at the 2003 Frankfurt Show. The Common rail 3.0-litre TDI creates the first ever EU4-compliant and the 3.0-litre petrol model is the world’s first luxury saloon to feature Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), maximising performance and fuel economy

Two key advances in the evolution of the luxury car will be made by Audi at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, where the new V6-powered A8 3.0 and A8 3.0 TDI quattro models are set to make their world débuts on September 9th.

The new six-cylinder A8 3.0 TDI quattro will be notable as the world’s first D-segment diesel saloon to meet the tougher EU4 emissions regulations applicable from 2005, reducing running costs for business users by eliminating the 3 per cent diesel tax premium for UK drivers.

Its V6 petrol counterpart will be marked out as the first ever luxury saloon to reap the benefits of step-less continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The unique Audi multitronic transmission operates significantly more efficiently than conventional automatics, bringing major gains in performance, fuel economy and emissions and helping to create an exceptional new lead-in model for the A8 range.

High-tech TDI

The new A8 3.0 TDI quattro features the first of a new generation of Audi TDI engines. Unusually compact at just 440mm in length, the new turbocharged and twin-intercooled 24-valve unit employs common rail injection technology for the first time in an Audi V6 TDI. It develops 233PS at 4,000 rpm and an exceptional maximum torque figure of 450Nm from just 1,400rpm through to 3,250rpm.

This impressive output enables the A8 3.0 TDI to outperform all other comparable diesel-powered saloons, helped by an all-aluminium body shell that is some 50 per cent lighter than an equivalent steel body, and 60 per cent more rigid. An impressive 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 151mph are achievable without ruling out equally exceptional fuel economy of up to 31.7mpg.

The A8 3.0 TDI quattro sets a new standard as the first and only diesel car in the large luxury class to combine six-speed tiptronic transmission with permanent all-wheel drive, and also to outperform the tough EU4 exhaust emission limits that will apply from 2006.

Remarkable new A8 multitronic

Available in standard or long-wheelbase body styles, the new A8 3.0 multitronic will be powered by a sophisticated lightweight alloy-block V6 petrol engine offering 220PS at 6,300rpm and a maximum 300Nm of torque at 3,200rpm. It will be capable of accelerating to 62mph in an impressive 7.9 seconds and, where permissible, reaching a top speed of 150mph.

Uninterrupted by conventional automatic gear changes thanks to its continuously variable gear ratio, and unhindered by a power and fuel-sapping torque converter, the multitronic transmission plays a key role in maximising the performance of the responsive V6 engine, and delivering it with exceptional smoothness. It also ensures that fuel economy in the A8 3.0 stands out from the crowd, with up to 29.4mpg possible on the combined cycle.

The new V6 engines are the latest in an extensive line-up of refined petrol and TDI diesel units to be gradually phased in for British A8 models. The current UK line-up includes 3.7-litre and 4.2-litre, 40-valve V8s with 280PS and 335PS and a more recently introduced 32-valve V8 TDI combining 275PS with an exceptional 650Nm of torque and 29.4mpg economy.

From the front-wheel-drive A8 3.0 to the permanently four-wheel-driven A8 4.2 quattro, all models feature lightweight aluminium running gear incorporating air suspension with continuously variable damper settings capable of adapting to suit the prevailing road conditions. Four pre-determined spring and damper settings can also be selected by the driver using the Multi Media Interface control, which is fitted as standard across the range.

Prices and introduction dates for UK versions of the A8 3.0 multitronic and A8 3.0 TDI have yet to be confirmed. On the road prices for the current UK A8 range start at £51,055 for the 3.7 quattro model, rising to £58,455 for the 4.2 quattro Long Wheelbase.

Text/Photo - AUDI