2016 Audi A8 L Security
The Audi A8 L Security is one of the most exclusive models in the entire Audi lineup. It’s not the fastest or most powerful Audi, but it’s arguably the toughest of them all. It’s armored without looking like it is.
That comes with the territory of a limousine that meets class VR 9 ballistic protection standards, the highest security requirement for civilian high-security sedans as set by VPAM, an association of testing institutes that was established to create guidelines for the qualification of ballistic materials and their “BulletProof Levels.”
The Audi A8 L Security might look like a typical 2015 Audi A8 L, and for the most part it is. The interior hasn’t changed and the choice of engines remain the same. It’s just that unlike the A8 L, the A8 L Security was built with materials that are normally used in the military vehicles, in a facility the company describes only as a “secure, top-secret factory.”
The end result is a limousine that Audi believes is the “most secure” model it has ever built. With all the military-grade refinements it has under that body, it’s hard to argue against that claim.
The Audi A8 L Security will make its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi A8 L Security.
2016 Audi A8 L Security
Horsepower @ RPM:435
Torque @ RPM:442
0-60 time:6.5 sec.
Top Speed:130 mph
From the outside, the Audi A8 L Security looks just like a standard A8 L. Every detail is where they’re supposed to be so finding something aesthetically different will be a little bit of a challenge. But that’s where the similarities end because when you peel the skin off of the A8 L Security, it reveals a literal fortress on wheels. The heavily armored limousine has a safety cell built that’s fortified with aramid fabric, special aluminum alloys, and hot-formed steel. These materials keep things like bullets and shrapnel from piercing through the bullet-proof glass and the body shell.
Even the tires look normal, but they’re actually run-flat tires that have been designed to continue functioning without any pressure for an extended distance. This allows the car to escape from the line of fire battered and bruised, but still in good working condition.
The interior of the Audi A8 L Security retains its luxury chops, which means that occupants can still enjoy all the high-class amenities that “regular” A8 limousines have at their disposal. Since this is a car that will likely be used by VIPs and heads of state, Audi added a list of new features on the limousine, including an armored communication box in the luggage compartment, an intercom for communicating with people outside the vehicle, and selective door locking.
There are also a handful of optional features that can be installed into the interior. Things like Audi’s patented emergency exit system, a fire extinguishing setup, and an emergency fresh air system that independently provides oxygen to the cabin can be added.
Note: 2015 Audi A8 W12 engine bay shown.
Two different engines will power the Audi A8 L Security. The first, a 4.0-liter TFSI biturbo V-8 engine, produces 435 horsepower and 442.5 pound-feet of torque. The second, a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter W-12 FSI engine, pumps out 500 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. Both engines will be offered with the eight-speed tiptronic transmission that sends power to all four wheels.
Given the state-of-the-art security features on the A8 L Security, expect it to have a similar 0-to-60-mph time of 7.1 seconds like the previous model. Likewise, the top speed on both engines is still at 130.5 mph. Audi intentionally limited it in consideration of the run-flat tires.
|Type||4.0 TFSI biturbo V-8||W 12 FSI|
|Output||435 HP||500 HP|
|Torque||442.5 LB-FT||461 LB-FT|
|Top Speed||130 MPH||130 MPH|
The ultra-thick glass, high-tech aluminum alloys, hot-formed steel armor, and the aramide fabric that’s typically associated with Kevlar are all important safety features of the A8 L Security.
According to the agency’s ballistics protection ratings, VR9 is the highest ballistic protection for civilian vehicles. The VPAM determines the rating of these armored vehicles with respect to the kind of ammunition that can break through the glass and body shell of a vehicle.
For a car like the A8 L Security to be classified with VR9 levels of protection, it must withstand military-grade weapons like M14 and FAL-FN rifles from a distance of 10 meters. The car must also handle at least three shots from any squad-based heavy weapon like an M60 machine gun from a similar distance and a blast of 15 kilos worth of TNT from two meters.
Audi’s keeping the price of the A8 L Security classified for now, even though order books for the most secure Audi ever are already open and the first batch of deliveries has already been scheduled for the spring of 2016. I can only imagine that pricing for this rolling fortress is on a “need-to-know” basis.
The A8 L Security could have a price that’s somewhere in the mid-six figures, depending on what kind of security features are fitted into it. What’s clear is that this model will be significantly more expensive than the $140,000-Audi A8 L W12.
Just like the A8 L Security, the S600 Guard was created for the sole purpose of keeping its occupants safe from attacks.
It’s got a two-inch-thick steel plate and bulletproof glass, among its many security features. These features make the S600 Guard certified for ballistic protection class VR9, just like the A8 L Security.
Whereas the Audi has two engine options to choose from, the S600 Guard only has a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that generates 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. All that power is sent to the rear wheels courtesy of the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. Top speed has been rated at 130 mph.
Mercedes is already taking orders for the S600 Guard, but the exact pricing figures have not been released to the public. Expect it to be much more expensive that the “standard” S600, which already sells for at least $166,900.
The new Audi A8 L Security isn’t a car that people can just pick up from a dealership. I love the lengths Audi took to provide its ballistic classification.