Automotive

Audi goes long with six-door A8 L extended

Audi goes long with six-door A...
The Audi A8 L extended was built in response to an order from a wealthy European customer
The Audi A8 L extended was built in response to an order from a wealthy European customer
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Rear seat passengers are treated to adjustable, supple leather seats
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Rear seat passengers are treated to adjustable, supple leather seats
The glass panel in the roof is designed to make the cabin feel more spacious
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The glass panel in the roof is designed to make the cabin feel more spacious
Audi has reinforced the roof with aluminum and steel cross braces
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Audi has reinforced the roof with aluminum and steel cross braces
Rear passengers are treated to a cool box and infotainment screen
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Rear passengers are treated to a cool box and infotainment screen
The A8 L extended is a response to a very specific customer order
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The A8 L extended is a response to a very specific customer order
The driver's seat is unchanged, although the view through the mirrors is slightly different
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The driver's seat is unchanged, although the view through the mirrors is slightly different
The A8 L extended is over 6 meters long
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The A8 L extended is over 6 meters long
The Audi A8 L extended was built in response to an order from a wealthy European customer
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The Audi A8 L extended was built in response to an order from a wealthy European customer
Rear passengers are seated in six individual forward-facing seats
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Rear passengers are seated in six individual forward-facing seats
The A8 L extended has a unique profile, even compared to regular long wheelbase cars
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The A8 L extended has a unique profile, even compared to regular long wheelbase cars
The A8 L extended isn't quite as rigid as the regular A8
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The A8 L extended isn't quite as rigid as the regular A8
View gallery - 11 images

Measuring up at 5.27 m (17.28 ft) long, most wouldn't consider the regular Audi A8 L too short. But one particularly wealthy European buyer isn't most people, and has commissioned an even longer, six-door A8. Measuring 6.36 m (20.9 ft) from nose to tail, the A8 L extended is almost a meter longer than the 5.45 m (17.9 ft) Mercedes-Maybach S600, and makes BMW's 5.24 m (17.72 ft) long wheelbase 7 Series look like a Ford Fiesta.

To make sure all that added length didn't turn the A8 into a heavy, floppy barge, the body has been made mostly of aluminum. The side sills and and transmission tunnel have been made longer using extruded aluminum sections, which help channel air more efficiently through the center of the car.

A double rear bulkhead isolates the rear passengers from the trunk, and the roof of the car has been reinforced with additional aluminum tubes and cross-braces to keep rigidity within the same realm as the regular A8 L. Embedded in the roof is also a 2.4 m (7.9 ft) glass panel, which can be covered up with sun blinds if any of the six passengers is feeling a bit warm.

The A8 L extended isn't quite as rigid as the regular A8
The A8 L extended isn't quite as rigid as the regular A8

Those passengers are seated in six individual forward-facing seats, each upholstered in beige Valcona leather and fully adjustable, which puts it up there with Volvo's Lounge Console for luxury interior-quirkiness.

Power comes from Audi's 3.0-liter engine producing 228 kW (210 hp) and 440 Nm (325 lb.ft) of torque. That might not sound like all that much, but it's enough to send all 2,418 kg (5,331 lb) of the A8 L extended to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a sprightly 7.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), but you'd want to have a lot of faith in the S8-derived brakes to try and reach it.

As you'd imagine, Audi hasn't released pricing details, but it has said other wealthy customers have requested the car be recreated for them.

Source: Audi

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Stephen N Russell
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