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RPM TV Website | July 11, 2020

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Stretched luxury from Audi

Stretched luxury from Audi
Deon Schoeman

Anyone who’s seen an Audi A8 L (for long wheelbase) will know just how big that car is. But the Audi A8 L Extended, a one-off ultra-limo with three rows of seats, makes the normal L look positively svelte by comparison.

It took the best part of a year to develop the stretched A8, which has a wheelbase that’s 1,1 metres longer than the standard A8 L, with bespoke coachwork to match. The result is a 6,36 metre long expression of ostentation, with a luxuriously appointed interior to match.

The A8 L Extended still uses Audi’s all-aluminium space frame construction, which has helped to keep mass within reason. Extruded aluminium was used to extend the transmission tunnel and the sills, while the roof was fitted with profiled aluminium tubes and cross-braces.

Audi claims the result is a level of stiffness and torsional rigidity comparable to that of the normal A8 L – and that despite a 2,4 metre glass panoramic roof.

The six-seater interior is trimmed in plush, beige leather, with all seats offering individual electric adjustment. Third-row passengers get a refrigerator, a full centre console, and a high-end entertainment system.

Powering the juggernaut is Audi’s 3,0-litre V6 TFSI petrol engine rated at 230 kW and 440 Nm – surprisingly modest for a vehicle this big and weighing 2,4 tons. Not surprisingly, the car is fitted with quattro all-wheel drive, while the gearbox is Audi’s eight-speed Tiptronic.

However, quoted performance is impressively sprightly, with a claimed 0-100 km/h sprint time of 7,1 seconds, and a top speed limited to 250 km/h. We’re pretty sure the handling won’t be particularly agile, however.

While the A8 L Extended was built on special order for an anonymous European customer, Audi says it has already received requests from interested parties. The price tag of the car has not been disclosed.

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