The german automaker announced today that will introduce soon the long-wheelbase high-security version of the A8 – the Audi A8 L Security. At sales launch Audi will offer the W12 engine, with another unit to follow in 2012.
At 5.27 meters (17.29 ft) in length, the Audi A8 L Security is a large, representative luxury sedan. Overlapping protective materials at the joints provide the utmost level of security throughout the occupant cell. The interior armoring weighs approximately 720 kilograms (1,587.33 lb).
According to the automaker, A8 L Security has been officially certified by a German-government ballistics testing facility in Munich for compliance with the class VR 7 ballistic protection standard. The car’s resistance to explosions was tested as per ERV 2010 guidelines (ERV = Explosion Resistant Vehicles). Class VR 7 ballistic protection imposes the strictest standards on civilian high-security sedans. The sheet metal and glazing in the passenger cell must withstand firing with NATO hard-core ammunition. In certain areas, the armoring on the Audi A8 L Security even complies with the criteria for class VR 9 and VR 10.
The side windows, windshield and rear window are all made of special glass with a polycarbonate coating in the inside to prevent spalling. Optional electromechanical window openers operate the side windows, allowing them to be lowered nearly all the way. The excess weight of the windows amounts to over 300 kilograms (661.39 lb). A closing assist feature comes standard for the doors – which weigh an additional 360 kilograms (793.66 lb) altogether. A door-stop function holds each door open in any desired position.
A key area in the A8 L Security is the “communication box” in the luggage compartment. In addition to the control units for the vehicle and communications electronics, it holds the optional components that further enhance the passengers’ safety, along with the additional battery. The heavily armored communication box is novel in another way: It has comparatively light ceramic doors, and its frames are made of aluminum. Customers can also request special protection for the battery and the fuel tank.
A standard two-way communication system allows passengers in the A8 L Security to communicate with the outside world when the windows are closed. The system makes use of a speaker in the single-frame grille as well as microphones for the cabin and exterior.
Another security feature is the fire extinguisher system, which is activated via heat sensors or by pushing a button. The extinguishing agent flows from two canisters installed in the luggage compartment through two tubes running along the underfloor. Nozzles spray the agent into the wheel arches, onto the underfloor, onto the tank, and into the engine compartment.
The emergency fresh-air system operates with two oxygen cartridges housed in the protected area. At the push of a button, the system supplies fresh breathing air to the interior via vents in the roof lining. The supply lasts long enough for the car to pass through a danger zone or get out of a danger zone it is currently in. The system works by generating positive pressure in the vehicle interior to prevent toxic gases from penetrating the cabin. Yet another option is what Audi calls security start – a feature that allows the driver to start the engine remotely via a radio signal.
Numerous additional solutions round out the offering: a smoke extractor for the passenger compartment, an LED signaling system for convoy travel, flashing lights, a siren, a preparation for professional mobile radio systems, a flag holder, a permanently installed telephone, an accident data recorder, an additional rearview camera and a heated windshield plus partially heated side windows. Going beyond all of this, Audi will also ensure customers’ special requests are taken care of an individual basis.
The W12 accelerates the A8 L Security from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.3 seconds. In consideration of the tires, top speed is limited to 210 km/h (130.49 mph). The high-security sedan consumes 13.5 liters of fuel on average per 100 km (17.42 US mpg).
The Audi A8 L Security W12 will be ready for delivery in late summer. An additional engine will follow in 2012. Audi supports its customers with an extensive range of services and a special training course for drivers and owners.