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by Tim Beissmann

Audi Australia has expanded its luxury Audi A8 limousine range with two new diesel engines and a starting price below $200,000.

The 3.0 TDI replaces the 4.2 FSI as the entry-level model in the A8 range. Powered by a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, the new model produces 184kW of power and 550Nm of torque (between 1500rpm and 3000rpm).

Despite all that torque, it consumes fuel at a rate of just 6.6 litres/100km on the combined cycle and emits 176g/km CO2, thanks in part to its standard start/stop engine technology. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes 6.1 seconds and the top speed – like all models in the A8 range – is electronically limited to 250km/h.

Like the 4.2 FSI model, the 4.2 TDI is powered a 4.2-litre V8. Although it produces 15kW less power than the petrol model (258kW vs 273kW), the TDI generates an almighty 800Nm of torque, an incredible 355Nm more than the 4.2 FSI. All that torque is available from 1750rpm to 2750rpm.

The TDI accelerates from 0-100km/h two-tenths faster than the petrol, reaching the mark in just 5.5 seconds. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are also 20 percent lower than the petrol model, at 7.6 litres/100km and 199g/km respectively.

Audi says the key advancements with the 4.2 TDI are a result of the increased injection pressure of the common rail system, and says the diesel V8 is capable of travelling more than 1100km on a tank of fuel.

All engines are teamed with Audi’s new eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and Quattro permanent all-wheel drive. All A8s are also available in long-wheel base form – an option that adds $11,900 to the price of the 3.0 TDI and $15,400 to both the 4.2 TDI and 4.2 FSI. The stretched wheel base adds 130mm to the length of each vehicle.

All models are equipped with a sunroof, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, aluminium interior highlights, four-zone climate control, a choice of four wood trims, 22-way adjustable front seats, Valcona leather upholstery, Audi Music Interface with USB connectivity, Bluetooth phone and streaming capability and MMI navigation plus with touch-sensitive control panel.

In terms of safety, the A8 range gets adaptive air suspension, eight airbags, cruise control, ESP with traction control and electronic differential lock, Pre-Sense crash preparation system, Integral head restraint system to protect against whiplash, and Drive Select system to choose between comfort, auto, dynamic and individual driving modes.

Like all Audis the options list is both extensive and expensive: sports air suspension ($2200), 20-inch alloy wheels ($5350 3.0 TDI, $2970 4.2 TDI/FSI), full adaptive cruise control ($9080), night vision ($5400), lane assist ($3690), double-glazed windows ($5470), electric sunblinds ($2670), electric rear seats ($9440), Balao brown interior package ($26,385), rear seat entertainment ($9845), Bang & Olufsen sound system ($16,950 3.0 TDI, $14,430 4.2 TDI/FSI), and much more.

The 2011 Audi A8 range is available now for the following Manufacturer’s List Prices:

  • A8 3.0 TDI – $188,000
  • A8 3.0 TDI LWB – $199,900
  • A8 4.2 TDI – $234,500
  • A8 4.2 TDI LWB – $249,900
  • A8 4.2 FSI – $234,500
  • A8 4.2 FSI LWB – $249,900



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