The luxury class

The A8 D2

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Audi Space Frame


In March 1994 the successor to the V8 was introduced: The A8 with Aluminium Space Frame. And the ressemblance with the Audi Space Frame (ASF)_concept_car was -pretty much as expected- striking. However it took till 2000, until the A8 was outfitted with a V8 TDI. Although not the strongest passenger car TDI-engine, it caters for excellent performance figures.
Even with quattro (now an option at least in the weaker versions) the A8 was lighter than its competitors from Stuttgart or Munich. Especially with the sports version, the S8 (quattro standard) the advantage of all wheel drive is clearly visible. However great you can drive with rear wheel drive on dry surfaces, today's top engines even reach the frontier for the tires on dry surfaces. If the road gets wet, any two wheel drive car will be chanceless to a permanent all wheel drive car with the same amount of power.
In contrast to the V8, the A8 was not yet used in motorsports. Sadly there are no interesting series for Audi where cars based on stock sedans with V8 engines may participate. It would be sturdy enough, though. The engineers constructed on the "save" side, that means it is sturdier than necessary. The customer will surely like that, but the next A8 will easily save some kilos. Audi has gained quite some knowledge with the A2, some of it found its way into the 2001 face-lift of the A8. The next A8 will be lighter, stiffer and its body cheaper to produce, thanks to a more automatised production than the nearly hand-built body of the first A8.
Starting in 2001, the A8 is availabe with a 6.0litre W12, an engine composed by joining two VR6 engines, so that it should be called a double-V engine correctly. 420PS render it the strongest stock sedan of the world. Caused by the compact design and the relatively lightweight construction, the driving impression of the W12 remains sporty and direct.

You can see that the "B" and "C" cars both have higher numbers than the "D" cars. For a rather long time it was the policy of VW that Audi would not be too close to Mercedes and BMW. The change of this philosophy seems to be right, regarding the monetary aspect, too. And besides this, were could you better prove that you have:

Vorsprung durch Technik


In contrast to the Mercedes S-Class, the A8 is not available as a Coupé. That this could look terrific is demonstrated by an unknown artist, with his famous fake picture: [EDIT] Five years later Oliver of tells me that this is creation. Enjoy.
A8 Coupe (Fake)

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(1) My picture.
(2) to my knowledge Audi press photo
(3) Oliver Sprenger of

Copyright 2000, 2001 Jens
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