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Audi A8 L 60 TFSI: Luxury tour de force

By Ghaith Madadha - Dec 04,2023 - Last updated at Dec 04,2023

photo courtesy of Audi

If not the automotive unicorn that is the little known early W12-cylinder engine version of Audi’s fifth generation full-size luxury model line, the A8 L 60 TFSI is however a hidden gem. Sitting between the most popular V6-powered A8 55 TFSI and sporting S8 variants, the 60 TFSI is probably the best all-round version. Not to be confused with the more recently added V6 hybrid model bearing an “e” at the end of its designation, the 60 TFSI might even possibly be the best in its segment.

 

Statuesque style

 

A quietly introduced and slightly late-coming version of the current high tech A8 line-up that first launched in late 2017, the A8 L 60 TFSI shares the same advanced aluminium construction, Audi AI-enabled autonomous potential and processing power, not to mention the shared 48V mild-hybrid hardware. The long wheelbase 60 TFSI is a more effortlessly muscular alternative to the entry level version, but also delivers performance and driving dynamic levels that are not far behind the sportier standard wheelbase S8, when equipped with optional four-wheel-steering and active electromechanical suspension.

Statuesque in style, the A8’s subtly sculpted surfacing, smoothly arcing roofline and level waistline lends it a conservative air of discretion. Mildly refreshed in 2021, the A8 notably receives a more eye-catching studded mesh to its enormous hexagonal grille, which serves as a design focal point that projects an assertive intent. 

Under the skin, the fifth generation A8 is lighter yet 24 per cent stiffer than its predecessor, with improved ride comfort and handling characteristics and better fuel efficiency owing to its un-intrusive and fluently integrated mild hybrid system.

 

Muscularly sure-footed

 

Positioned just ahead of the front axle, the A8 60’s twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 engine is muscular and effortlessly flexible. Its quick spooling turbos and short gas flow paths allow excellent responsiveness from standstill, and a swift 4.4-second sprint through 0-100km/h. Smooth yet urgent climbing to its 454BHP maximum at 5,500rpm, the 60 TFSI’s generous, broad and accessible 486lb/ft torque throughout 1,850-4,500rpm provides abundant versatility. Its smooth and quick 8-speed automatic gearbox is intuitive and helps optimise output for performance, flexibility and efficiency, while automatic cylinder deactivation further reduces fuel consumption.

Like all longitudinal layout Audis, the A8 L’s Quattro four-wheel-drive works to dynamically counteract its inherent front-heavy weighting and provide unambiguously segment-leading levels of road-holding and traction. Operating with a nominal 60% rear bias but able to alter power distribution as necessary, the A8 drives in a tidier manner than expected, while an optional limited-slip rear differential lends further agility and stability. Supplementing this is a standard adaptive air suspension system that provides both comfort and body control as needed, and quick, precise and well-weight steering feel.

 

High tech handling

 

It is however the A8 L’s sophisticated optional electromechanical suspension and all-wheel-steering system that prove transformative in regards to ride and handling characteristics. Powered by the same 48V mild hybrid system that runs electrical systems and enables longer fuel-saving coasting, its electromechanical suspension is controlled by its quick AI processing system. It leverages numerous sensors, radars and cameras to independently control each wheel’s vertical movement with individual electric motors, to provide sublime control, comfort and agility, and can even raise the car to better protect occupants in anticipation of a collision.

Slicing through corners with the body control of much stiffer-riding sporting car and the sure-footedness typical of Audi’s Quattro system, the A8 L 60’s active electromechanical suspension intuitively reads the road, car’s position and other parameters to fluently, quickly and accurately adjust wheel position and ride firmness. Four-wheel-steering meanwhile turns the rear wheels in the same direction as the front at higher speeds for better agility, road-holding and tighter cornering lines, and opposite to the front at lower speeds for enhanced maneuverability through city streets and narrow switchbacks.

 

Swift yet serene

 

Cornering with the keen agility of an even smaller and lighter car than lighter, shorter and more basic A8 versions, the 60 TFSI’s high tech suspension, steering and four-wheel-drive systems work in concert to keep it nimble, taut, composed, committed and crisply accurate, when hurried along snaking routes. Its electromechanical suspension meanwhile subtly adjusts individual wheels to keep the car level and smooth over heavily textured road surfaces. At speed, it is impeccably stable and reassuring, with a thoroughly comfortable ride quality, and quiet and refined ambiance inside.

A swift yet serene luxury express, the long wheelbase A8 L’s cabin has an elegant ambiance combining rich, high quality leathers, suedes, metals and woods with sophisticated  equipment including a configurable digital instrument panel and twin screen high tech infotainment system with voice recognition. Uncluttered inside, the A8 L’s horizontally-oriented design emphasises its spacious interior, which includes a comfortable and well-supportive driving position and generous rear legroom. Extensive equipment levels include massaging seats and active noise cancellation, and numerous safety and advanced driver assistance systems bordering on self-driving capabilities.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Engine: 4-litre, twin-turbo, in-line V8-cylinders
  • Bore x stroke: 84.5 x 89mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Valve-train: 32-valve, DOHC, direct injection
  • Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
  • Drive-line: self-locking centre differential, optional limited-slip rear-differential
  • Power distribution, F/R: 40% / 60%
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 454 (460) [338] @5,500rpm
  • Specific power: 113.6BHP/litre
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 486.8 (660) @1,850-4,500rpm
  • Specific torque: 165.3Nm/litre
  • 0-100km/h: 4.4-seconds
  • Top speed: 250km/h (electronically governed)
  • Fuel capacity: 82-litres
  • Length: 5,320mm
  • Width: 1,945mm
  • Height: 1,488mm
  • Wheelbase: 3,128mm
  • Track, F/R: 1,645 / 1,633mm
  • Aerodynamic drag co-efficient: 0.27
  • Luggage volume: 505-litres
  • Kerb weight: 2,150-2,300kg (estimate)
  • Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion, all-wheel steering
  • Turning Circle: 11.8-meters
  • Suspension: Five-link, active electro-mechanical suspension
  • Brakes: Ventilated & perforated discs
  • Tyres: 265/40R20
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