Ola, ze Germans are in town

2010-02-27 14:10

In picturesque Spain, the land of yellow and red and the sturdy bull, the beast of German descent has made its mark on foreign ground.

Audi launched the third generation A8 in Marbella, on the Iberian Peninsula, a serene coastal town lined with luxury and leisure close to the Mediterranean sea.

The latest A8 is Audi’s flagship car for the entire brand.

The range was launched with two diesel (4.2 and 3.0 TDi) engines and one petrol engine (4.2 FSi), all with direct fuel injection, with power figures starting from 184kW to 273kW.

All the models include the new eight-speed tiptronic transmission as standard with shift-by-wire control. They also feature standard quattro all-wheel drive with the sport differential as optional. This is standard on the A8 4.2 TDI.

The car is loaded with new technology and Audi is proud of the 22% fuel reduction and enhanced performance across the range.

South Africa will see the launch in the third quarter of this year.

Spokesperson for Audi SA Meena Motiram says they will only roll out the A8 4.2?FSi engine which was at the launch. The 4.2?TDi and the 3.0?T FSi are expected to arrive early next year and the 3.0?TDi in the second quarter of the same year.

Sadly the 3.0?TDi front-wheel drive derivative will not be making its way to local ground.

Audi SA could not supply any pricing or standard versus optional specifications for the local market as yet.

The place was quiet, hardly any people about – they were most probably sleeping and resting up for evening festivities the Spanish are known for. There were no bulls in sight either. Although it was as if every one was aware of the German cars zipping along the smooth roads of Malaga the previous three weeks.

As the new flagship of the brand, the A8 is the definition of Vorsprung durch Technik.

Right from the core, the advanced technology plays an important part in all aspects. It starts off with an ­ Audi Space Frame (ASF) body which weighs about 40% less than the usual steel structure.

The A8 features a brand new LED light design which some fans will have to get used to because it is different to the standard lights most people have come to love. The LED headlights gives the car the distinctive characteristic that sets it apart from any other Audi. This will help those who cannot tell Audi models apart, especially the A8 from the A4.

The interior is packed with a ­sophisticated fit and finish, with ­everything placed neatly. Attention to the smallest of details is clear, such a the real wood inlays.

Topping the list is the improved multimedia interface (MMI) which includes the new touch system.

It allows the driver to control many functions intuitively.

Audi has also integrated Google Earth into its navigation system, and added a night vision assistant.

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