Audi A8 L W12 tops the range

* New range-topping A8 limo * More power, more efficient * Bigger and more luxurious...

Audi A8 L W12 tops the range

The Audi A8 is now bigger, more powerful and luxurious with the arrival of the new range-topping A8 L W12.

In the cabin
Luxury and space take centre stage, with longer rear doors improving access to its Valonea leather upholstered cabin. The new car is almost half a foot (130mm) longer and 2mm higher than the standard car.

Four-zone air-conditioning comes as standard with no fewer than 25 motors helping to control the environment.

There's also the option of a full-length console between the separate rear seats. This can be specified with executive essentials such as a retractable work desk and refrigerator.

Under the bonnet
The Audi A8 L W12 is powered by a 493bhp 6.3-litre engine, which can blast it from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a electronically limited speed of 155mph.

Despite the new engine being bigger and 50bhp more powerful than the previous 6.0-litre version, Audi says its average fuel consumption is improved by 12%. Power is delivered through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Executive dynamics
The A8 L W12's limo-like ride is controlled by adaptive suspension, which is integrated into Audi's Direct Drive Select system. This lets the chauffeur choose between four operating settings for the engine, transmission, steering, and the optional sport differential.

There is also the option of a dynamic steering system, which adjusts the steering weight as speed increases.

There are plenty of executive gadgets on offer, too. Audi's MMI navigation plus system allows the driver to enter a destination or phone number by writing it on the screen with a finger. The navigation system can also read road conditions and topography, before supplying this data to systems that control the car's automatic transmission and adaptive cruise control.

There's also upgraded technology to help the driver change lane, avoid accidental lane changes, and a pedestrian warning system that can help avoid collisions.

Audi A8 prices are yet to be announced.