With the 2006 model year, Audi of America is offering its most extensive range of A8 models ever with new choices that offer customers added exclusivity and increased dynamic driving pleasure. The A8 family now consists of three models: the A8 in normal wheelbase form, the highly acclaimed A8 L luxury sport sedan with its extended wheelbase and increased interior room and, the ultimate A8, the A8 L W12 with a 450 horsepower 12 cylinder powerplant. New for this year on the entire range is the new new signature single-frame grille. An outer chrome ring surrounds the bold new design which stretches from the hood line to the bottom of the front fascia.
Audi first introduced its all-aluminum frame in 1996-known as the Audi Space Frame (ASF®), which quickly gained the worlds attention and helped spread Audi’s Never Follow approach. Ten years later, the Audi A8 remains the pinnacle of groundbreaking technology and exceptional performance in a premium yet sporty luxury sedan. All A8s offer the benefits of having an all-aluminum frame, including rigid strength, and weight efficiency.
The Audi A8 and the Audi A8 L have a powerful 4.2-liter, 335-horsepower V8 engine beating at their hearts. In addition, standard on both versions is a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic®, DSP Dynamic Shift Program (selects from over 200 shift programs) which automatically adjusts to drivers’ driving style, and a state-of-the-art adaptive air suspension. The A8 L W12 is propelled from 0 to 60 in 5.0 seconds by its 6.0 liter, 450 horsepower 12-cylinder engine in a rare W configuration.
The clean, classic design of the car’s interior was designed to not only offer its occupants the very best in luxury, but also to guarantee its passengers the highest level of comfort. The superb craftsmanship of the A8’s interior is apparent at first glance. From its genuine real wood inlays to its beautiful Valcona leather seats and high center console, the interior design is the perfect combination of luxury and sportiness.
All five passengers enjoy unequaled seating comfort (or for more exclusive comfort, the A8 L W12 is designed to accommodate four in supreme luxury) Driver and front passenger are enveloped in ergonomic power seats that can be adjusted 16-ways and were designed for superior body contouring. Front seat heating, cooling, electrically adjusting lumbar support and front massage functions are optional. The rear seats can be optioned with electrically adjusting lumbar support as well.
An automatic four-zone heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system offering a separate control for all four outboard passengers 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, the MMI™. The Audi MMI is an intuitive electronics control system that consists of a turn-and-push control knob surrounded by eight function keys, as well as an seven-inch retractable color screen. Audi MMI provides operation, adjustment, and control of onboard electronics - everything from the sound system, and driver-selected suspension set up to the navigation system.
The MMI command center is set in the center console behind the shift selector and forward of the center armrest within easy, comfortable reach. Atop the center console near the dash is a seven-inch retractable color monitor for easy reference of MMI operations. A three-inch monitor in the center of the instrument panel displays basic operating information.
All 2006 Audi A8 models are equipped with the Bluetooth® interface for mobile telephones, which can be operated through the multifunction steering wheel or the MMI system. The standard voice recognition system can also control the Bluetooth interface, as well as, the CD player, radio and navigation system.
Riding on air
Audi engineers have given the 2006 A8 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 fully pneumatic suspension system gives the A8 an unrivaled combination of ride and handling performance.
The Audi 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 and driving 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. Self-leveling helps keep the A8 in steady equilibrium regardless of load.
For those drivers with a particular passion for driving, a sport package is available on the A8 4.2 which expands the functionality of the Adaptive Air Suspension with a more aggressive Sport mode as well as 19” 5-spoke alloy wheels (available with either summer performance tires or all season tires) and a multi-function leather 3-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles.
Two powerful engines give the A8s their sovereign character. The 4.2-liter V8 found in the A8 and A8 L 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.
The Audi 4.2-liter V8 pumps out 335 hp at 6,500 revolutions per minute, and 317 lbs. ft. of torque starting at just 3,500 rpm. This combination launches the 2005 Audi A8 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 18 mpg city, for a combined 20 mpg.
The unique design of the W12 engine is the result of joining two narrow-angle V6 engines at the crankshaft with a 72-degree angle between the banks. Advantages of this engine design are three-fold; stronger rigidity, shorter length, and shorter height as compared to conventional V12 engines. The smaller dimensions of this engine allowed designers enough room for Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive system. The principle is simple: in the same way that four brakes ensure better deceleration, four driven wheels enable better acceleration and cornering stability. Audi quattro all-wheel drive is the systematic application of this basic physical principle.
The results of all this engineering are a staggering 450 horsepower at 6200 revolutions per minute and 428 lbs. ft of torque between 4000-4700 rpm. More than 95% of the engine’s peak torque is available between 2300 and 5300 rpm. All of this power - along with a six-speed TiptronicÒ automatic transmission, quattro all-wheel drive, and the car’s lightweight aluminum construction - allows the A8 L W12 to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a mere 5.0 seconds.
The six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission found in every A8 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 a 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. For an even sportier feel, the 2006 A8 can be equipped with shift paddles on the steering wheel when the optional four-spoke segmented wood/ leather steering wheel is selected.
Adding to the stability, traction and performance of the 2006 A8 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.
Dual front airbags incorporate two-stage, dual threshold activation for greater safety with reduced force. Three-point front and rear seat belts with automatic pretensioning take up slack just before 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 seat mounted 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 airbags.
Six 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, and switch on interior lighting.
An Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP®) integrates an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Anti Slip Regulation (ASR) traction control, Electronic Brake-pressure 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 in the 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 Bi-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.
The standard interior ambient lighting includes LED illumination in the door trim and front and rear foot wells, with different lighting profiles that can be selected via the MMI system. High-grade Valcona leather seating and trim is available in a choice of five colors, with three choices of wood trim. A unique four-spoke, electrically adjusting, telescoping multi-function steering wheel contains remote thumb-wheel controls for the radio, phone, and other select systems of the MMI.
Fitting for such a comprehensive model range, several wheel designs are available to complement the appearance of the new A8. Standard with an 18” 5-spoke wheel, there is also a 19” wheel upgrade available. 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 2006 Audi A8 family includes a full range of standard and optional luxury features. New standard equipment for the 2006 A8 includes adaptive front lights, Audi Parking system with a graphic display, a new design color Driver Information Center, and a rain sensor for the windshield wipers. Other standard equipment includes the Audi Navigation System using DVD technology, the large seven-inch display MMI screen, a tire pressure monitoring system and a 12-speaker Premium Bose® Surround Sound system with a CD changer in the glove box, which 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. LED 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.
The A8 L W12 offers an extensive range of amenities that customers in this segment have come to expect. Standard luxury features consist of a BoseÒ 12-speaker surround-sound system with six-disk CD player, DVD-based navigation, Audi phone preparation with Bluetooth and voice control for phone, radio, CD and navigation, dual paned security glass, Advanced Key keyless entry and engine start system, four-zone automatic climate control, front and rear Parktronicä Acoustic Parking System, power side door and trunk lid closers, electric side and rear window sun shades, and rain sensing windshield wipers. The A8 L W12 now includes a wood-segment steering wheel in its standard equipment.
Traveling in the rear of the A8 L W12 promises to be an even more relaxing affair. Developed by quattro GmbH, the standard Rear Seat Entertainment system combines two 6.5” LCD monitors in the headrests of the driver and front passenger seats, and a remote-controlled 6-disc DVD changer in the luggage compartment. This supremely equipped sedan can thus be transformed into a mobile multimedia center.
For those customers seeking even an even greater ability to personalize their car, Audi Exclusive packages are now available on all A8 4.2 models in Classic Red, Cognac or Mojave Sand. The package includes special tanned Valcona leather seats with contrasting black piping, a wood/leather segmented steering wheel and matching wood shift knob, unique wood trim (with intarsia on the Anis yellow), an alcantara headliner and matching floor mats with matching piping.
Option packages for the 2006 Audi A8 and A8 L include a Premium Package which adds rear seat vanity mirrors (A8 L only), Audi Parking system with a graphic display, power trunk open/close, heated front and rear seats, power door close assist, electric rear and manual side sunshade(s). Also included in the package is an advanced key feature, which allows for keyless entry and offers a push start/stop button on center console, as long as the driver has the key on them. Available separate options on sold orders only include a solar-cell sunroof that self-generates a continuous flow of fresh air via the blower when the car is parked in the sun; dual-paned security glass; Adaptive Cruise Control; and Alcantara interior package, rear seat electric lumbar support and dual rear seat climate control.
As the A8 L W12’s level of standard equipment is already so high, there are few choices to make. At no cost, prospective customers can select between a four-seat configuration with individual power rear seats and an extended rear center console or a five-seat configuration with a rear bench seat for three passengers. On sold orders there are three options: a personal refrigerator (available on the A8 L as well for sold orders only), a full leather upgrade which includes the upper dashboard, full door panel, pockets on the front seat backs and power seat controls in leather and 20” 9-spoke forged alloy wheels with 275/35 R20 high performance tires (with an 18” temporary spare tire).