► Six doors, six seats, over six metres
► One-off project but now open for orders
► Ideal if you can’t afford a Maybach Pullman?
Remember that odd, extra-long wheelbase, six-door version of the Audi A8 that our spies spotted tested in Sweden in January? Well, the John Holmes of the Ingolstadt luxury limo range has now officially broken cover, as a specially commissioned one-off dubbed the A8 L extended.
The A8 L extended, eh? Just how much Viagra has this Audi swallowed?
With an entirely new exterior skin from the a-pillar backwards, the A8 L extended is a not-insubstantial 6.36 metres in length – while the 4.22 metre wheelbase has grown almost 1.1 metres over the standard A8 L.
That’s so long it requires special marker lights in the headlamps and tail lamps in order to comply with vehicle regulations. Though it’s still not quite as lengthy as the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman at 6.5 metres.
Mercedes-Maybach Pullman – we ride in the ultimate limo, read now on CAR+
Who ordered this thing, and how much did it cost?
Both of these aspects remain a mystery. All Audi will say about the origins of the idea is that it was built to order at ‘the special request of a European customer.’
As for the cost, the project required almost a year to develop, build, test and finish to production model standards, so we can safely say it won’t have been cheap. It was intended as a one-off, but Audi has already received enquiries from other interested parties, which ought to help spread the cost.
Technically, what’s new then?
Not only is much of the bodywork bespoke but the aluminium Audi Space Frame structure had to be extended and then reinforced, with extra aluminium tubing and cross-bracing –added in to the roof in particular. Even this doesn’t stop it being bendier than the boggo model – such is physics.
There’s a massive 2.4 metre glass panel in said roof, in order to brighten-up the six-door, six-seat interior. Rows two and three get individually electrically adjustable chairs – thrones, really – with a coolbox and infotainment setup for those in the very rear. That’s ‘velvet beige’ Valcona leather, in case you’re curious.
The glass of this particular ‘moonlight blue’ example isn’t tinted, but there are side blinds on every window to stop the air conditioning from having a conniption. Meanwhile, the double-walled rear bulkhead between the boot and the passenger compartment make the A8 L extended ideal for transporting particularly ripe brie, so you’ll have no problems if you stop to shop at the Chunnel.
Has the A8 L extended got a V8?
Surprisingly, no. Instead it’s powered by a 3.0-litre forced-induction petrol V6, good for 306bhp and 324lb ft and capable of dragging this XXL-mobile 0-62mph in 7.1sec, despite the 2418kg kerb weight. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph (imagine seeing that on the autobahn), while the 19-inch wheels cover a braking system borrowed from the Audi S8.
All of which sounds wonderful, until you realise there’s an all-new A8 inbound shortly, based on the new MSB platform developed by Porsche. Oh well.
An RS8 in all but name – the Audi S8 Plus, read the review on CAR+ now