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Audi - 2004 A8 3.7 quattro
Audi - 2004 A8 3.7 quattro

Audi - 2004 A8 3.7 quattro

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Audi A8 3.7 quattro The second-generation Audi A8 (Typ 4E) built on the Volkswagen Group D3 platform was unveiled via press release in July 2002 and introduced in November 2002 i... More »
Audi A8 3.7 quattro

The second-generation Audi A8 (Typ 4E) built on the Volkswagen Group D3 platform was unveiled via press release in July 2002 and introduced in November 2002 in Europe and in June 2003 (as a 2004 model) in the United States. The model was longer than the previous generation, with room for four or five large adult occupants in the cabin, depending on rear seat configuration. The D3 development program began in 1996, with the design process commencing in Ingolstadt in 1997. The whole Audi design studio based in Ingolstadt first contributed sketch proposals, from which numerous different themes emerged. Six of them were developed into full size clay models and worked up in a traditional manner adjacent to full size tape drawings. At least three one quarter scale models were produced to explore other design variations.

The six full size exterior clay models were reduced to two in late 1998 and these continued to be refined in parallel for a year. At the end of 1999 the final theme selection was made, by Miklós Kovács and Imre Hasanic the main contributing designers. This lengthy development time was in part due to the body being made from aluminium, a material less able to take the small radii of sharp feature lines such as those on the (steel bodied) A4 (B6) designed in 1998.

In parallel to the exterior design development the interior design was progressed with a total of four full size models produced and the production car's horizontally themed instrument panel design dominant from early on, with Norbert Schneider, Mark Bergold and Enzo Rothfuss the main contributing designers.

Grouping major controls nearer the driver for a more driver focused identity whilst creating a more airy and spacious feel were early priorities for the interior design team was headed by Jurgen Albamonte. This was in part facilitated by the Multi Media Interface (MMI) designed by Jurgen Schröder, that pioneered on the D3 A8 after the Audi Avantissimo concept car preview, and also by class leading colour and trim from Barbara Krömeke and Melinda Jenkins.

Under the supervision of Dany Garand, during the first half of 2000 exterior and interior clay models were digitized and developed using digital design tools in a supporting, not leading, capacity. The D3 final production design was later frozen in the summer of 2000 for an August 2002 start of production.

The A8 was previewed 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show by the Audi Avantissimo concept car. This concept introduced much of the technology later available on the series production A8 D3, including: Multi Media Interface, 6-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles, V8 biturbo engine (S8), self-levelling adaptive air suspension with continuously controlled damping, electric park brake, bi-xenon headlights with static Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) curve headlights, dashboard, driver identification systems with fingerprint scanner.

As with the previous version, two body variants of the second generation A8 are offered, the A8 (standard, or short wheelbase), and the long-wheelbase (LWB) A8 L. The A8 L adds 120 mm (4.7 inches) to the rear legroom and 11 mm (0.43 in) to the overall height of the car.

Innovations

World premiere of Multi Media Interface (MMI) in-car user interface (similar to BMW iDrive)

Multiplexed high speed MOST Bus optical fiber data networks (interconnecting tens of microprocessors on common databusses), integrated with MMI.

First Audi with Bi-Xenon HID headlamps for both low and high beam

World premiere of static Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) curve headlights (from Hella)

First Audi with 4-wheel Adaptive Air Suspension and Continuous Damping Control (CDC)-(Skyhook suspension).

First Audi GPS navigation system with DVD maps

First Audi with six-speed automatic transmission (Tiptronic)

First Audi featuring driver identification system.

In 2005, new internal combustion engines became available. For European and Asian market customers, the entry-level 3.0-litre V6 engine was replaced with a new 3.2-litre unit featuring Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI), which it shared with the Audi B7 A4 and Audi C6 A6. The top-of-the-line W12 version debuted that year. The advantage of the W12 engine layout is its compact packaging, allowing Audi to build a 12-cylinder sedan with all-wheel drive, whereas a conventional V12 could only have a rear-wheel drive configuration as it would have no space in the engine bay for a differential and other components required to power the front wheels. In fact, Audi's 6.0-litre W12 is actually slightly smaller by overall dimensions than the 4.2-litre V8.

In addition to the added power trains, Audi restyled the D3 platform A8 range slightly in 2005, giving all variants a taller, wider trapezoidal single-frame grille. The top-of-the-line W12 engined W12 version was the first model to be equipped with this grille; V8 engined models were fitted with the new grille the following year.

The D3 generation A8 introduced the 235 kW (315 hp) 4.2-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) V8 engine (subsequently uprated to 240 kW (322 hp)). The engine uses two turbochargers and two intercoolers, with each turbocharger functioning exclusively for one bank of four cylinders.

The adaptive air suspension gives the vehicle clearance a range from its normal 120 mm up to 145 mm in lift mode and down to 95 mm in the Autobahn mode, which is automatically activated when a speed of more than 120 km/h is maintained for more than 30 seconds.

In September 2005 Audi became the first car maker to offer the 1,000-watt 14-channel ICEpower sound system option from Bang & Olufsen.

2007 Facelift

Changes include:

Full speed range adaptive cruise control ACC Plus, can now brake until stop

Braking guard radar-guided forward collision warning system

Side Assist" detects cars in the A8's blind spots

Lane assist helps when the driver attempts to change lanes without signalling first.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.
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