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The new Audi A8 3.2 FSI: New face, new technology

Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 @ 14:40:27 BST by audioc

Audi is introducing its pioneering petrol direct injection technology in the luxury class. The new Audi A8 3.2 FSI is powered by a six-cylinder engine developing 260 bhp, which combines free-revving high performance, refinement and economy all in one. With 40 bhp more power than its 3.0 predecessor, the 3.2 FSI is an engine befitting the sportiest luxury saloon in the premium segment, and a highly attractive entry-level engine for the Audi flagship model. The Audi A8 3.2 FSI will be available both with front-wheel drive and with quattro permanent four-wheel drive. The power generated by the front-wheel-drive six-cylinder model is handled by the continuously variable multitronic transmission. The A8 3.2 FSI quattro comes with a 6-speed tiptronic gearbox.Two alternatives are also available in terms of vehicle dimensions. The A8 3.2 FSI can be ordered either with the standard wheelbase of 2,944 millimetres or in the long-wheelbase version, which has a wheelbase of 3,074 mm, an increase of 130 mm. This extra length provides additional space, entirely for the benefit of the rear passengers.

Just like its more powerful counterparts and the 3.0 TDI, the new Audi A8 3.2 FSI sports the exclusive front end with single-frame radiator grille, which was previously the distinguishing feature of the 12-cylinder A8.

The new Audi A8 3.2 FSI can already be ordered in Germany, and the first deliveries will take place starting from June 2005. Prices start at € 60,900 for the standard-wheelbase version with front-wheel drive and continuously variable multitronic transmission.

40 bhp more power

The 3.2 V6 FSI is making its production debut in its new, uprated 191 kW (260 bhp) version in the Audi A8. This represents an increase in power of 40 bhp over its predecessor, the A8 3.0, which developed 220 bhp.

It is a power unit that boasts all the characteristics of an ultramodern petrol engine: FSI petrol direct injection with demand-controlled fuel supply, four valves per cylinder, a variable intake manifold and continuous camshaft adjustment on both the inlet and exhaust side.

This V6 engine delivers maximum power at 6,500 rpm; its peak torque of 330 Nm is available at just 3,250 rpm. The A8 3.2 FSI with continuously variable multitronic transmission and front-wheel drive accelerates to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (this also applies to the version with quattro permanent four-wheel drive and 6-speed tiptronic transmission). The combination of the efficient engine and the low weight of the Audi Space Frame aluminium body means average fuel consumption figures of just 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres.

More than 90 percent of the engine's maximum torque is available across a wide speed range from 2,400 to 5,500 rpm - a unique characteristic for a naturally aspirated V6. As far as the driver is concerned this means a dynamic and forceful response to every movement of the accelerator pedal plus a wide usable speed range up to 7,200 rpm; these qualities are the best evidence of this engine’s efficiency and the special abilities of FSI technology.

FSI engines develop more power and dynamism than conventional units with indirect manifold injection - and they do so with a very high stand¬ard of fuel economy. With the increase in efficiency achieved here, Audi has opened up a new dimension in the efficiency of standard spark-ignition engines and once again demonstrated the proverbial progress through technology familiar to the brand.

FSI petrol direct injection has been proving its exceptional potential since June 2001 in what is probably the most extreme endurance test in the world. Engines with FSI technology have so far powered the Audi R8 to three victories at Le Mans, and to countless other individual victories and podium places in the ALMS Championship.

How does FSI technology differ from a conventional power unit in terms of design? In contrast to the manifold injection principle, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber. Fuel is supplied by a common rail high-pressure injection system with a demand-controlled, single-piston high-pressure pump, delivering just enough fuel into the system to achieve the operating pressure of between 30 and 100 bar.

In the inlet tract, which also includes the two-stage variable intake manifold, electronically controlled charge movement flaps provide the necessary "tumble" in the induced air. Together with the geometry of the combustion chambers and the supremely accurate metering of injected fuel down to the last millisecond, this allows a significant increase in compression: while conventional production engines generally have a compression ratio of not more than 10.5:1, the compression ratio of the Audi 3.2 FSI power unit is 12.5:1 - a record for production cars and the essential prerequisite for the new engine's high standard of efficiency.

The 3.2-litre V6 has been deliberately designed with lightweight construction in mind. Its length of 360 millimetres and width of 430 millimetres result in a low weight of just 169.5 kilograms - which brings substantial benefits in terms of handling characteristics.

Like on Audi's new V-configuration engines in general, the cylinders are arranged at an angle of 90o and the distance between cylinders is 90 millimetres. Cylinder bore of 84.5 millimetres and cylinder lift of 92.8 mm add up to an overall engine capacity of 3,123 cc.

Emissions control in the 3.2 FSI is optimised by two ceramic catalytic converters positioned close to the engine. As a result, this high-performance power unit easily undercuts the EU4 emissions limits in all versions.

The fine-tuning of the exhaust system offers the driver yet another bonus: the distinctly sporty but never intrusive sound of a genuine six-cylinder unit, making the qualities of the engine a truly sensory experience, while at the same time meeting the requirements of a luxury-class vehicle.

The Audi A8 3.2 FSI with front-wheel drive is available with seven-stage multitronic transmission. When quattro permanent four-wheel drive is chosen, the power is transmitted through a six-speed tiptronic gearbox.

Additional equipment

Along with the new drive train and new face, the six-cylinder A8 simultaneously sees the arrival of some more innovative technology. The combination of dynamic cornering light, adaptive light and daytime running lights is now available as an option for the first time behind the covers of the xenon plus headlights. Another new feature: a tuner for digital radio reception is available for the Audi A8. In addition, further equipment features can be ordered as required for all A8 models from the 2006 model year: the Audi parking system plus with visual and acoustic signals and three new exterior colours.

The standard specification of Audi A8 models now includes a light/rain sensor and Isofix fittings for the rear seats.

The 12-cylinder A8 became the first production model to sport the single-frame grille in January 2004. As the new face of the Audi brand, it has meanwhile also been adopted for the A3 Sportback, A4 and A6, new models of which were also launched in 2004. It has now been the distinctive hallmark of the 6 and 8-cylinder versions of the Audi brand's sporty luxury saloon since March 2005.

The striking single-frame look also finds its way into the A8 *****pit area: the trapezium now adorns the centre of the new family of steering wheels.

The combination of xenon plus and adaptive light is entirely new on Audi production cars. The adaptive light and dynamic cornering light pioneer new standards of optimum visibility and, therefore, new levels of driving safety.

The headlight module of the dynamic cornering light pivots through up to 15 degrees, depending on the road speed, in response to the movement of the steering. The benefits are plain to see: the road is significantly better illuminated when cornering; the illuminated area is virtually doubled. The dynamic cornering light operates for both the dipped and main-beam headlight functions.

The adaptive light is located in the headlight unit between the daytime running lights and the xenon plus module. It comes on automatically when the turn indicator is operated at speeds of less than 70 km/h, or if the driver turns the steering wheel to any significant degree. This illuminates the road in the direction of turning, before the car has actually changed direction. Both turning lights are also switched on when reverse is engaged - a vital aid when manoeuvring into a parking space.

The daytime running lights, which are notable for their extremely low energy consumption, are a further clear safety benefit. The specification of the optional adaptive or cornering light includes the high-intensity xenon plus headlight system.

A DAB tuner, the controls for which are integrated into the MMI Multi Media Interface, is another optional extra. Digital radio technology provides virtually interference-free radio reception and music quality worthy of a CD, plus a much wider range of stations; it will also offer new services in the future. The DAB tuner is moreover a sound investment, as both public and commercial radio stations will be switching to digital radio in the long term.

With its new power plant and new equipment, Audi is adding another chapter to the success story of the A8. The saloon with the aluminium body built using the Audi Space Frame principle has been a resounding success since its debut in autumn 2002. Both the eight-cylinder versions and the range-topping 12-cylinder A8 are the European market leaders in their respective segments.

Topic: A8, S8
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