JULY 2015 - A little over two decades have passed since the groundbreaking Audi A8 was first introduced, and Audi UK is celebrating the enduring appeal of its luxury saloon with a bespoke model – the Edition 21.
Incorporating a choice blend of the latest developments in design, technology and luxury from the recently revised A8 range, many of which are fitted as standard exclusively to this version, the A8 Edition 21 will be available in standard and Long Wheelbase formats priced at £72,525 OTR and £76,490 OTR. A limited run of just 121 cars is now available to order, and customers can expect first deliveries to begin in November.
A tailored selection of interior and exterior styling enhancements sets this special model apart, starting with the recently introduced Sport styling package. Creating a look that references the flagship S8 model, it comprises redesigned front and rear bumpers as well as pronounced side sills, and is normally reserved for standard wheelbase A8 models. Adaptive Audi Matrix LED headlights – which debuted as an option for the new generation A8 and were the first ever fully digital LED headlights on a series production car – are also fitted as standard in conjunction with LED rear lights and dynamic indicators fore and aft.
Also unique to this model are 20-inch double spoke alloy wheels with a titanium-look finish that complement the four exterior colour options, which include the Daytona grey pearl effect shade that is only normally available for the 520 PS S8. Privacy glass from the B-pillar rearwards is also standard.
Building on the already extensive SE Executive specification which was recently further enhanced for A8 models, the Edition 21 creates an even more rarefied atmosphere through a special interior design package from the Audi exclusive selection. Uniquely fitted as standard to this version, the package is available in two striking colour combinations; cognac brown with black contrasting stitching or black leather with red contrasting stitching. Comfort front sports seats with memory function, 22-way adjustability and integrated pneumatic lumbar and side bolster support are fitted as standard. A black cloth headlining and three-spoke multi-function steering wheel complete the interior enhancements. Illuminated door sill plates bearing the ‘Edition 21’ emblem add another degree of exclusivity.
In terms of infotainment and assistance systems, all Edition 21 models also gain access to the Audi connect portfolio of telephone and internet-based services to complement their HDD-based satellite navigation, plus a BOSE surround sound system in addition to the standard items fitted to SE Executive models. These include the Audi parking system advanced with reversing camera, a power-operated boot lid with hands-free opening and powered door closure.
Propelling the A8 Edition 21 is an EU6-compliant 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine which produces 262PS and 580Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Power is channelled to the road via an 8-speed tiptronic transmission linked to quattro permanent all-wheel drive, and acceleration to 62 mph takes a mere 5.9 seconds. For long-wheelbase models, this increases slightly to 6.1 seconds, and both are capable of reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Combined fuel consumption and emissions stand at up to 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 155 g/km in the standard wheelbase, rising to 159g/km and 47.1mpg for long wheelbase models.
Over 20 years of trailblazing technology
The Audi A8 has consistently been at the forefront of the brand’s technological progression since its introduction, and was the platform for the revolutionary Audi Space Frame, making it the world’s first series production car with a unitary aluminium body. The same principle is employed to this day. Thanks to its ASF architecture and an intelligent blend of aluminium and high-strength steel, the latest Audi A8 body weighs just 231 kilograms. The same body made entirely from steel would be around 40 per cent heavier.
Another highlight in the A8’s 21-year lineage was the 6.0-litre W12 model of 2001, which at the time was the world’s most powerful production saloon and the first ever saloon to feature a 12-cylinder engine in combination with all-wheel drive. A new 6.3-litre version of this engine featuring Cylinder-on-Demand technology continues to deliver 500PS with sublime refinement in the current A8 range.
More recently, the all-LED Matrix headlights fitted to every A8 Edition 21 and Sport model are the latest in a long line of trailblazing lighting innovations introduced in the A8. They include adaptive ‘swivelling’ xenon lamps, which debuted in the 2003 model, LED daytime running lights in 2004 and headlights capable of reacting to data received by the navigation system, which arrived in 2010.