The Audi luxury car that whisked many of the stars of stage, screen and TV to the red carpet last night for the 2013 EE British Academy Film Awards (the BAFTAs) has just attracted some limelight of its own. The long wheelbase A8 L has been voted Chauffeur Car of the Year in the £50,000 to £75,000 category by leading online industry magazine thechauffeur.com.
This year’s Chauffeur Car of the Year category award is the third for the opulent long wheelbase luxury saloon, which also took the top spot in 2005 and 2011. It was bestowed not just on the strength of the car itself, but also by virtue of the successful Audi UK chauffeur programme through which professional drivers can run one on a contract hire basis and benefit from exceptional support.
Paul Gibson, Editor of thechauffeur.com, commented: ” The A8 L offers the chauffeur an excellent all-round package. Excellent economy, comfort, all-wheel drive and workable boot space are key factors which helped it clinch the award.”
He added: “ When putting it against its competitors, it was also obvious that the manufacturer’s dedicated chauffeur programme is one of the best in the marketplace.”
James Douglas, Head of Fleet Sales at Audi UK, added: “I am delighted that thechauffeur.com not only believed the A8 was deserving of such a hard fought award, but also saw fit to commend the Audi chauffeur programme which provides access to it. We have gone to great lengths to structure a programme which we believe makes obtaining and running one of our luxury cars as stress-free as driving one, and it is immensely encouraging to know that this specialist title views it so positively.”
Luxury now with even greater efficiency
The excellent economy which was instrumental in the latest victory for the A8 L is commonly associated with the TDI versions, but it can now also be enjoyed in petrol models with even lower CO2 output and the potential for zero emissions driving – the A8 hybrid and A8 L hybrid.
Powered by a 2.0-litre TFSI four cylinder petrol unit working in conjunction with a 40 kW electric motor, the A8 L hybrid can drive using electric power alone at speeds of up to 62 mph. When outright performance takes precedence, outputs of 245 PS and 480 Nm enable acceleration from zero to 62mph in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 142mph. At the same time, equally important running costs can be kept in check thanks to the potential for in excess of 44 mpg, equating to CO2 emissions of 149g/km – the lowest in the A8 L range.
In common with all A8 L models, the hybrid adds 130mm of extra leg room for rear seat passengers, and expands the lavish A8 equipment list to include features such as heated front and outer rear seats, electric sun blinds and deluxe four-zone climate control.
Prices start at £57,650 OTR for the A8 L SE, rising to £95,440 OTR for the flagship 6.3-litre W12 quattro. The A8 L hybrid is priced at £65,545 OTR.