Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Audi Launches UK’s Cleanest Luxury Saloon

Audi A8 2.8 FSI

Audi claims that its new generation A8 range includes the UK’s ‘cleanest’ luxury saloon car. The new A8 2.8 FSI with 199g/km CO2 emissions is the green choice of the new 2008 Model Year A8 line-up, which opens for order in late August priced from £49,995 and benefits from improvements to styling, equipment, ride and handling and refinement across the board.

With 210PS and peak torque of 280Nm at 3,000rpm, the FSI unit takes the front-wheel-driven A8 2.8 from rest to 62mph in 8.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 147mph. It returns a combined consumption figure of 34.0mpg and with its CO2 output of just 199g/km, Audi believes it’s a better option than petrol hybrid rivals in the luxury segment (the new Lexus LS600h emits 219g/km CO2) as well as all diesel alternatives.

First seen in the A6 Saloon and Avant earlier this year, the new 2.8-litre V6 comes in a lightweight aluminium Audi Space Frame (ASF) body shell, with multitronic CVT automatic transmission which Audi claims can improve fuel economy compared with a manual.

FSI enables exceptionally precise metering of the fuel injected into a car’s combustion chamber, ensuring that there is minimal wastage during each cycle, but the valvelift technology augments this by controlling valve opening far more precisely than conventional systems, improving fuel economy by a further 10 per cent. Valve lift is variable between two levels through the use of sliding cam units mounted on the intake camshaft. When strong acceleration is required, an electronic control mechanism selects a cam profile which opens the valve as fully as possible for optimum ‘breathing’. When throttle usage is more relaxed, the control mechanism selects a lower profile, reducing the amount of fuel and air compressed.

FSI efficiency is an advantage offered by the six, eight and ten cylinder petrol models in the 2008 Model Year A8 range, and the 3.0-litre V6 TDI and unique-to-Audi 4.2-litre V8 TDI models have their state-of-the-art common rail piezo direct fuel injection.

Mechanical improvements to the latest A8 range extend beyond the engine bay to include re-engineering of the rack-and pinion speed-dependent steering to permit a more direct feel, and revision of the dampers, supports and general settings of the adaptive air suspension designed to give the A8 even tighter body control through corners and a better ride. In conjunction with these measures, supplementary insulation using innovative new materials has also been added throughout the car, the result being that the A8 now records the lowest rolling, road and ambient noise levels in its class.

The new generation Audi A8 range opens for order in late August with prices ranging from £49,995 to £80,995.