New models - Audi - A8
Audi A8L: Loads of cash for plenty of carry
Audi stretches out its luxury A8L limousine
1 Sep 2004
By JOHN MELLOR
AUDI has added 130mm and 70kg to its top-line 4.2-litre A8 to enter the carriage trade with a limousine.
The A8 long-wheelbase Audi is pitched against the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-class, and costs $221,800.
The A8 range starts from $173,900 for the A8 3.7-litre quattro Tiptronic with the short-wheelbase A8 4.2 taking the German wanna-be brand over the $200,000 mark at $206,900.
With six firm orders in hand from owners of the short-wheelbase A8, Audi Australia managing director Graham Hardy is predicting 20 sales of the A8L for the rest of 2004 and 40 sales in a full year.
The A8L creates a new choice for owners: where to sit.
The driver’s seat is a good start with all the mod cons you come to expect at this level of the market, but the back seat is very much designed for those who like to watch the world go past. All the extra 130mm went into extra rear seat legroom – at a cost of about $115 per millimetre.
For the corporate world there is just about enough room in the back for a board meeting and if that is not enough you can move the front passenger seat forward (but not the driver’s seat) from controls in the back seat.
Electronically controlled shades on the side windows and the back window are also controlled from a console in the rear headlining to keep out the sun or the lenses of the paparazzi.
The climate control has two zones in the front and two zones in the back seat area.
But do not expect your favourite hire car firm to turn up in one any time soon.
Mr Hardy says Audi will not be selling to the limousine trade because the prices asked from that sector severely undermine the resale value for private owners.
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