There are a surprising number of automakers offering limousines straight from the factory. In the past year alone we’ve seen the S600 Pullman from Mercedes-Maybach and the Mulsanne Grand Limousine from Bentley. Now Audi has entered the fray with its A8 L Extended.
The A8 L Extended measures 20.9 feet between its bumpers and can carry up to six. Uniquely, the car has six doors so that each of the occupants can hop in and out gracefully.
All seats face the direction of travel and come lined in extra-supple Valcona leather. The first two rows feature electrically adjustable individual seats while in the third row there is a continuous center console with some included amenities. For example, those sitting up back enjoy an entertainment package and a cool box.
Development has been taken almost a year. The main challenge, according to Audi, was ensuring safety and rigidity was comparable with the shorter-wheelbase models. Modifications to the A8’s aluminum spaceframe architecture include thicker side sills, extruded aluminum sections for the center tunnel, additional aluminum tubes and cross-braces for the roof, and a double rear bulkhead separating the passenger and luggage compartments.
The modifications mean the weight of the car has ballooned to 5,330 pounds but incredibly this is still lighter than the curb weight of the G90 from Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand, which tips the scales at 5,335 lb.
The A8 L Extended is fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that delivers 306 horsepower, along with an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Despite its gargantuan size and somewhat ordinary engine, the car still manages to accelerate from 0-62 mph in a respectable 7.1 seconds. The top speed is limited to 155 mph.
If you’re interested, don’t rush off to your Audi dealer just yet. The automaker has so far built just the one A8 L Extended and it’s destined for a customer in Europe. There will be more, though, as Audi states it has several orders for the car.