Audi A8 W12 LWB (2010): the first official photos

Published: 16 April 2010

Audi today announced the new long-wheelbase A8 L. Due to be unveiled at the 2010 Beijing motor show, the stretched Audi A8 will be popular with the chauffeur crowd and the extra 130mm in the wheelbase liberates oodles of space for back-seat loungers, judging by these first official photos.

The new A8 L now tops 5267mm in length and Audi points out that makes it longer and wider than any of its LWB rivals.

The new W12 spec Audi A8

It’s excess all areas with the new A8 L – Audi’s previewed it with the group’s W12 petrol engine. It’s now 6.3 litres in capacity, fitted with FSI direct injection and develops 493bhp and 461lb ft. Enough for 155mph and 0-62mph in 4.9sec.

The previous 6.0-litre W12 was behind in every area: 443bhp and 12% thirstier (the new A8 L W12 averages 21mpg). Why does VW persist with this idiosyncratic layout? It says the W12 is more compact than a similar capacity V8, thanks to the four rows of three cylinders with a 15deg bank.

How can I spot the W12 when it muscles past me with its scowling LED face?

The W12 is distinguished by a black-gloss finish to the single-frame, goatee-beard grille, chromed door mirrors and air inlets and new bespoke exhaust trims.

Other A8 toys are present and correct: optional LED headlamps are the world’s first all-diode front lights and A8 L can now order rear seats that move in every which way and a full-length console which houses a fold-out table and even a fridge.

And check out the massaging services on offer – 10 air pockets inflate and pummel away the aches and strains of hiring and firing for busy executives, and even the footrest is electrically operated.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet