Audi to launch sub 160g/km A8

  • New aluminium A8 saloon unveiled
  • Arrives spring 2010 with 159g/km model to follow
  • Priced from £54,760 OTR for first deliveries

This is the third-generation Audi A8 due for launch in 2008 which will allow customers to choose a large luxury saloon producing less than 160g/km for the first time.

All versions of the new A8 will offer improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions than outgoing models despite offering more power and higher performance.

But later in 2010, Audi will launch a front-wheel drive 3.0 TDI with 204bhp producing just 159g/km of CO2 and making it the only large luxury saloon to date to duck the 161g/km threshold, which makes it more favourable to companies operating outright purchase fleets as well as leasing companies.

This version of the car is capable of 47.1mpg on the combined cycle - the kind of fuel consumption associated with large diesel family hatchbacks just five years ago.

From launch, the A8 will be available with a 250bhp 3.0 TDI with quattro all-wheel drive and producing 174g/km.

Both versions of the 3.0 TDI will have Audi Start-Stop automatic engine switch off technology, which helps improve fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by cutting the engine when stopped in traffic and restarting almost instantaneously when needed.

V8 versions of the new A8 include a 350bhp 4.2 TDI with CO2 at 199g/km and 590lb-ft of torque and a 4.2 FSI petrol producing 372bhp and 328lb-ft.

All models come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and introduce new technology to the Audi range.

The satellite navigation system will communicate with the car to factor in bends and corners in the road and reduce the risk of unnecessary gearchanges, while the adaptive cruise control systems and adaptive headlights are also influenced by feedback from the navigation.

It also comes with a pre-crash safety system that monitors the behaviour of the electronic stability control and adaptive cruise control.

UK customers will be able to choose between SE and SE Executive models (the latter carrying a premium of £2550) with prices starting at £54,760 on the road for the 3.0 TDI SE rising to £63,960 for the 4.2 TDI SE.