In celebrating the A8 model’s 21st birthday, Audi has introduced the A8 Edition 21 exclusively to the UK market, and only 121 units will be made to order. The special-run A8 is built based on the recently revised A8 range, but is specced largely on the personalised Audi exclusive design selection.
For a start, customers can choose to have the A8 in standard or Long Wheelbase formats. Unlike regular A8s, the Edition 21 comes with various interior and exterior styling enhancements, most of which are optional or exclusive to the S8 variant. Unique to this A8 is the Sport styling package that comes with sportier front and rear bumpers, more pronounced side sills, Adaptive Audi Matrix LED headlights and 20-inch double spoke alloy wheels finished in titanium plucked straight off the S8.
Windows rearward of the B-pillars are of the privacy kind, and as such are tinted black. Inside, customers can choose to have their seats upholstered in either Cognac Brown with black stitching or black leather with red stitching. Both front seats have 22-way power adjustability with integrated pneumatic lumbar and side bolster support. The door sills feature illuminated ‘Edition 21’ emblems, whereas the three-spoke steering wheel and black-cloth headlining complete the interior kit.
All 121 of the Edition 21 A8s get Audi Connect and Bose surround sound system. With regards to the oily bits, only one engine will be offered, that is the 3.0-litre TDI V6 oil burner making 258 hp and 580 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,500 revolutions. Tasked with channeling drive to the Quattro permanent AWD system is the eight-speed Tiptronic transmission, propelling the limousine from standstill to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds (6.1 seconds in the LWB variant).
Since its introduction in 1994, the Audi A8 became the world’s first series production car with a unitary aluminium body (Audi Space Frame or ASF), weighing at 231 kg. If the body were to be made entirely out of steel, it would have weighed around 40 percent heavier. Then, in 2001, the A8 was the world’s most powerful production saloon courtesy of a 6.0-litre W12 engine linked to their famed Quattro system. It was also the first ever saloon to feature a 12-cylinder engine.
Later, a new 6.3-litre engine built off the same W12 block featured Cylinder-on-Demand technology, allowing cylinder deactivation to either provide maximum fuel efficiency or performance. The engine produced nearly 500 horsepower.