Audi’s flagship saloon, the A8 L, is already one of the largest cars around. But it was clearly not large enough for a customer from Europe, who commissioned Ingolstadt to build an even bigger A8. Ever the carmaker that “puts the customer first”, Audi obliged, and the result is this saloon of gargantuan proportions. Dubbed the A8 L Extended, it measures a massive 6,360mm in length, and has a wheelbase of 4,220mm, which is a good 1,090mm longer than the production model.
It has six seats in three rows, all upholstered in “extra-supple” beige Valcona leather. Rows two and three feature electrically adjustable individual seats, while the third row also has a continuous centre console, a rear seat entertainment display and a cool box.
Audi says the biggest challenge was to maintain the safety and rigidity of the A8 L in this extra-large body. Built almost entirely from aluminium on the Audi Space Frame design, the A8 L Extended gets a roof that incorporates additional aluminium profiled tubes and cross-braces to boost rigidity, which the manufacturer claims is on a par with the A8 L. The engineers also embedded a 2,400mm glass panel in the roof skin to enhance the sense of space in the cabin. To compensate for the larger glass area, sun blinds have been provided for each row of seats to prevent overheating of the cabin.
Weighing in at 2,418kg, the one-off A8L Extended surprisingly doesn’t get a V8, but has Audi’s 3.0-litre petrol V6 under its bonnet. Good for 306bhp and 440Nm of torque, it will take the limousine from 0-100kph in 7.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 250kph. Impressive performance figures for a car of this size and weight, but one feature we’d have loved to see in there is a self-parking system.