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Car and Driver: Ask and You Shall Receive: Audi Creates a Six-Door A8L for One Special Customer


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How far will Audi stretch to please its customers? It depends: How much cash do they have? One special European customer apparently offered up quite a bounty, inspiring Audi to create an A8L Extended with six doors and six first-class seats. With a huge, 166-inch wheelbase, this veritable limousine is 20.9-feet end-to-end, more than three feet longer than the standard A8L, making for an appropriately stately curb-side presence.

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We don’t know much else about the well-heeled customer, but we assume that he or she will be spending plenty of time in the rear of the A8L Extended. An additional row of seats makes for six individually adjustable forward-facing thrones, with each wrapped in Valcona leather. The third row also incorporates a cooler, an entertainment screen, and a special center console. A glass panel roof, 7.9-feet long, enhances the feeling of spaciousness while individual sun screens above each row ensure passenger comfort.

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Interestingly, this plus-sized Audi is not powered by the range-topping W-12 engine, or even the twin-turbo V-8. Instead, the base 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 is under the hood, providing 310 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Because this mega-sedan weighs a whopping 5330 pounds—nearly 900 pounds more than the standard A8L—acceleration is not exactly brisk, at a claimed 7.1 seconds to 60 mph. But Audi did upgrade the stopping power for the A8L Extended, fitting the high-performance S8‘s braking system to make sure all that mass can be slowed down with authority.

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Audi also says that it took special measures to ensure that the extra-long-wheelbase A8L Extended maintains the structural rigidity of the standard car. The longer side sills and center tunnel still use aluminum construction, and extra aluminum cross-braces and tubes in the roof make for torsional stiffness that’s only a bit less rigid than the bridge-like standard A8L.

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Though it seems a bit absurdist, the A8L Extended actually does have one direct competitor, the enormous Mercedes-Maybach Pullman. The entry price on the V-12–powered Pullman is just south of $600,000, which is all the ballpark we have for estimating the cost of an A8L Extended. Still, the mega-bucks market has responded quickly to news of this custom model; although Audi calls the A8L Extended a “one-off” for now, it seems unlikely to stay that way for long. The company says that it already has requests for more custom six-door A8Ls. Maybe a comparison test of 42-feet worth of ultra-luxury limos is in order?

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