Audi has unveiled the most exclusive model in the A8 lineup, the A8 L Security, which features a series of high-security equipment including armor plating.
Available with two petrol engines, the 429hp 4.0-liter V8 TFSI and the 495hp 6.0-liter W12, the new Audi A8 L Security replaces the outgoing model by implementing the modifications brought by the facelifted A8 range.
The new A8 L Security is 5.27m (17.29 ft) long and has a 3.12m (10.24 ft) wheelbase. Audi says it’s the lightest luxury sedan in the high-security segment thanks to its modified A8 production body made largely from aluminum.
Certified by the German Ballistics Testing Center in Munich, the A8 L Security complies with the requirements of the class VR 7 ballistic protection standard in accordance with the BRV (Bullet Resistant Vehicles) 2009 guideline.
This means the body panels and glazing of the passenger cell can withstand firing with NATO sub-caliber ammunition, while in certain areas the armor plating even complies with the criteria for the classes VR 9 and VR 10. The A8 L Security also complies with the ERV (Explosion Resistant Vehicles) 2010 guideline.
In order to achieve these ratings, the occupant cell features extremely tough, highly resistant materials – heat-formed armor steel, aramide fabric, ceramic, a special aluminum alloy, and multi-laminated glass. For maximum security, the protective materials overlap at transitions. The windows are made of a special glass with a splinter-inhibiting polycarbonate layer on the inside.
Audi says the new A8 L Security can even withstand attack by military hand grenades. Furthermore, in case of a flat tire, polymer rings on the rims enable the vehicle to continue traveling at a maximum speed of 80 km/h (49.71 mph).
The A8 L Security 4.0 TFSI accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.5 seconds, while the W12 model does it in 7.1 seconds. Order books are open, with deliveries starting in the third quarter of 2014.
By Dan Mihalascu