25 November 2003

The first Audi production car to wear the new corporate front grille has been revealed.

Audi’s £80k flagship A8L 6.0 Quattro goes on sale next May in the UK and will pave the way for a similar look on next year’s new A6 and A3 five-door ‘sportback’. But for the time-being, lesser A8 models won’t feature the new grille.

Audi has been laying the groundwork for the change to ‘single frame’ grille with three concepts this year, starting with the Pikes Peak at the Detroit Motor Show.

The new nose is created by a single chrome loop that joins the upper and lower grille portions and bumper bar into a large, single graphic element.

On the A8 it also features a new bonnet, front wings and headlights, which lower the focal point to give a sportier, more aggressive look.

Inside, the flagship A8 also introduces a new corporate steering wheel design with a central hub that mimics the shape of the ‘single frame’ grille. ‘If you’re inside the A8, then you know that you’ve got the new grille design outside,’ says Audi.

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Under the bonnet, the long-wheelbase A8 features a revised 6.0-litre W12 with peak power of 450bhp and 427lb ft, a higher output than the similar W12 in the VW Phaeton.

The UK price is tipped to be around £80,000 - that's £9,000 cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz S600 Limousine.

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