Big Sur, CA – Audi just rolled out the V6 version of their Fourth Generation Audi A8 L with a wheelbase that’s extended 30 cm over the base model. The source of power is a 3.0-liter , DOHC, 24-valve TFSI turbocharged V6 engine with Audi valve lift system and variable valve timing and 48-volt Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology (a10Ah lithium-ion battery and new belt driven alternator starter with recuperation and Start/ Stop engine system). The horsepower rating is 335 in a range from 5,000-6.400 rpm, with the torque rated at 369 from 1,370-4,500 rpm.
The mild hybrid’s motive force is distributed to Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system via an Eight-speed Tiptronic® transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. A V8 Audi A8 is just around the corner, which will likely take the “Lord of the Rings” throne from the V-6 version A8 L.
This latest Audi A8 L is loaded with innovative technological features, many representing industry firsts. It is all new for 2019, and it redefines Audi’s design language, while providing a sumptuously modern and serene interior. There’s also seamless connectivity and state-of-the-art driver assistance features packed into the A8 L, which heralds the first production execution from Design Head Mark Lichte’s Prologue concept exhibiting an athletic stance and precise, proportional lines and form.
The exterior leads off with a broader, more upright Singleframe® trapezoidal grille that’s flanked by larger air intakes that now blend integrally with the grille bar theme. In profile, the A8 Ls’ proportions highlight the flowing form, with well-defined front and rear wheel well arches. The rear view emphasizes the wide stance with the full horizontal length dynamic lighting strip.
Entering the cabin, one notes the intelligent redesign resplendent with old world craftsmanship in precision and material selection. The dash trim wraps artfully and seamlessly into the doors. A theatre-like lighting display appears upon unlocking the vehicle, followed by a personalized ‘welcome’ in the virtual cockpit, while the audio tweeters emerge and the air vents open. An optional Premium Air Quality feature is available to provide ionized air and a selectable aroma.
Comfort and Convenience
Standard fare includes: heated 18-way power front seats with lumbar adjustment and seat memory, power tilt and telescopic steering column with memory, Valetta Leather interior with Fine Nappa Extended Leather and Black glass touch control buttons with haptic feedback. Available options offered are: Rear right passenger relaxation seat with heated massaging footrest, the Air Quality package including ionizer and aromatization, Aluminum Optic control buttons, adjustable rear Matrix LED reading lights, a Smartphone-sized OLED touch remote control to customize rear seating and infotainment preferences including Matrix reading lamps, front 22-way seats with massage and ventilation, heated steering wheel, dual-pane acoustic glass, front and rear heated center and door armrests, folding productivity tables in the center console, Alcantara headliner, Valcona Leather interior and Extended Leather Package.
This latest iteration Audi A8 L establishes a new benchmark in driver assistance and convenience systems, while setting a new standard in luxury and serenity. In the driver assistance category, the A8 L features the world’s first laser scanner in a production vehicle. The Adaptive Cruise Assist is a ‘hands-on’ system that assists the driver with acceleration, braking and steering at highway speeds and in traffic jam scenarios.
Predictive active suspension is an automotive first that is able to detect a potential side collision via Audi sense 360 and that can raise the chassis by 3.1 inches within half a second, helping to channel the impact toward the vehicle’s strongest structural element, while preparing the cabin to better protect passengers. The Top view camera system with a virtual 360-degree view (virtual top view) enhances ease of parking and maneuvering by providing a virtual 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings, allowing the driver to spin and zoom the image to achieve an optimal view. Vehicle Exit Assist delays the opening of the door through the electronic latch system if a vehicle is approaching.
Audi’s MMI features include: an all-new redesign with two stacked touch interface screens and up to seven individual storage driver profiles; A8 voice interaction with natural language processing; all-new HERE-powered map and navigation system; new myAudi app; and second generation Audi virtual cockpit; available full-color head-up display; Audi smartphone interface including Apple CarPlay™ and Google™ Android Auto; available Bang and Olufsen® Advanced Sound System with 3D surround sound; available Audi smartphone wireless charging with antenna booster; and available Audi dual tablet rear seat entertainment system with DVD changer.
My 2019 Audi A8 L sedan was powered by the 3.0-liter, turbocharged TFSI V6 with Quattro all-wheel drive and 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The exterior wore a Florret Silver metallic finish and came with a Black Interior. The base sticker read $88,800., while the final tally came to $102,000. after adding the Predictive Active Suspension, Audi pre-sense 360 and Dynamic all-wheel steering – virtually every option except the available Executive Rear Seating Package. Later, on my home turf I was treated to wheel and seat time in an even more luxurious A8 L V6 quattro version, loaded to the hilt with virtually every available option. The exterior finish was Vesuvius Gray metallic and the interior was done in Sarder Brown with natural grain wood trim accents on the doors, Dash and Front seatbacks. The base price was the same, but the final tally reached $123,045. After factoring in the Executive Rear Seat Package, Bang and Olufsen Advanced 3D Sound System, Full Leather Package, Executive Package, First Edition Package, Rear Seat Connectivity Package, Driver Assistance Package, Night Vision Assist, Dynamic All-Wheel Steering, 20” Wheel Package, Cold Weather Package and the Destination Charge.
Audi in my opinion has long been understated in the luxury category of automobiles. The 2019 Audi A8 L should certainly dispel any misgivings or preconceptions as to its place on the luxury sedan podium. It is clearly a winner – even in its V6 powered configuration. Consider it among the ultimate world class of luxury transport vehicles. There’re so many technological features that there simply wasn’t enough room to cover all of them in this review.
It is elegantly svelte with a modest grace and beauty in its form. It is also extremely capable in its performance attributes. Acceleration is brisk and instantaneously responsive with no turbo lag. The ride quality is firm, but extremely smooth with the Predictive Active Suspension.
Handling characteristics lean to the sporty side of the equation with the Dynamic All-wheel steering providing enhanced maneuverability and low speeds and more precise response in steering at higher speeds.
Yes, it’s expensive, but it seems to be absolutely worth every penny. The V8 version should prove to be even more desirable. Both will be covered by a 4-year or 50,000 mile / 12-month or 10,000 mile Audi New Vehicle Limited Warranty (whichever occurs first), and there is no charge for the first scheduled maintenance.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Audi A8 L V6 Sedan
Base Price: $83,800.
Price as Tested: $102,000. – *est
Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve TFSI turbocharged V6 with Audi valve lift system and variable valve timing. 48-volt Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology (10Ah lithium-ion battery and new belt driven alternator starter with recuperation and Start/ Stop engine system.
Horsepower (bhp): 335 @ 5,000-6.400 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 369 @ 1,370-4,500 rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed Tiptronic
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Quattro all-wheel drive.
Suspension: Adaptive Air Suspension and Predictive active suspension.
Front – Five-link independent.
Rear – Five-link independent.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS.
Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 265/40 R20 mounted on 20-spoke Gray/Polished finish all-season alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 123.1 inches
Length Overall: 208.7 inches
Width: 76.6 inches – without mirrors – 83.9″ with mirrors.
Height: 58.5 inches
Curb Weight: 4,751 lbs.
Turning Circle: 42.2 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 21.7 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: TBD mpg city / mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.28
0 – 60 mph: 5.6 seconds – Top Track Speed=130 mph
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.