Front Runners: Super Sedan
Though they will have to wait until the end of this year or the beginning of 2005, fans of Audi (www.audiusa.com) can expect a 12-cylinder version of the flagship A8L sedan in the United States. The 6-liter A8L, which Audi expects will compete for customers with the V-12 BMW 760Li and Mercedes-Benz S600, boasts a 450 hp W-12 engine with 120 more horses than the 8-cylinder block housed in the A8L. That extra oomph—the heart of the power band is between 2,300 and 5,300 rpm—propels the 6-liter Audi from zero to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds. As with the A8L, drivers will be able to select from four suspension settings ranging from plush to extra firm.
The cabin is similar to the current car’s interior. The MMI system, Audi’s response to BMW’s iDrive device, operates the audio, climate, and navigation systems. The 6-speed sedan is expected to carry a price tag of more than $100,000, making it the most expensive Audi yet.