2011 Audi A8 L arrives with 500-hp W12, seating for a king-maker

Posted on 15 April, 2010

Audi is pulling out its biggest gun yet for the Beijing Motor Show, and while the big news for the A8 L might be the 6.3-liter W12 and the sedan’s longer wheelbase, it’s the rear seat accommodations that have us frothing at the mouth.

Seriously, just look at it.

With an overall length of nearly 17 and a half feet, the A8 L is almost a half-foot longer than its standard sibling, with a wheelbase of 10.24 feet. Those extra inches are put to good effect, with an interior that’s enough to make a Maybach look downright spartan.

Open the lengthened rear doors and occupants are greeted by acres of leather, a full-length center console and two power-adjustable, heated and ventilated seats that not only move fore and aft, but include adjustments for cushion depth, lumbar support and seat back angle. Ten remote-controlled air-bladders massage your cares away, and if the front passenger seat – with its power-adjustable folding ottoman – cramps your style, you can move it forward with the flick of a switch.

The standard four-zone automatic climate control is manipulated by no less than 25 adjustable motors, and the massive center tunnel contains everything from a folding table to a refrigerator. It’s all first-class, from the ambient lighting to the Valonea leather, and when the time comes to put the laptop away, crank up the 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System and enjoy a movie on one of the two 10.2-inch LCD displays.

If you’re ready to give your chauffeur a rest, take solace in the fact that the W12 puts out 500 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque through Audi’s new eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. The result is a remarkably quick 4.9-second run to 60 and a electrically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

The W12 will be the standard engine at launch, with a few diesel and petrol-powered engines available further down the line. We’d expect pricing for the A8 L to be revealed shortly after its official debut later this month, but in the meantime, make the jump for the full details.