An S8 engine, without the performance, but it does have some rather special kit to make up for that.
Audi has launched the most sophisticated version of its A8.
Without much fanfare, the latest A8 Security is now available for those most discerning Audi customers, who feel a touch vulnerable about their safety on the move.
Although the A8 Security might not look much different to a regular A8 – but for the blue roof LEDs - it has a lot more of, well, everything.
Armoured windows and a fully integrated protection cell around the cabin, give it VR9-level gunfire protection. That bulletproofing naturally comes at a cost, in weight, with the A8 Security calculating to a massive 3 875 kg kerb weight. But don’t imagine that it is awfully slow, due to the ballooned vehicle mass.
Audi’s technical people have been clever enough to equip the A8 Security with an S8-specification engine, which means the twin-turbo 4-litre V8 is good 420 kW, delivering 0-100 kph in 6.3 seconds. That might be two-and-bit seconds slower than an actual S8, but still makes the A8 Security swift enough to get away from pursuers.
Top speed is limited to 210 kph, to preserve braking function, considering the car’s near 4-tonne mass when fuelled and loaded with passengers.
What are some of the unique A8 Security features? Beyond protecting its occupants from snipers and grenade tossing assassins, its run-flat tyres allow for 85 kph speeds over an 80 km distance, when punctured. A fire suppression system also prevents all that unleaded fuel from causing an issue, after suffering a severe attack.
The doors also feature pyrotechnic hinges, which can blast-separate them from the A8 Security’s bodywork, if required. A fresh air system also recognises the presence of pollutants, triggering a pump system that vents better air into the cabin, to allow passengers to breathe.
It takes Audi’s technicians 400 hours to build each A8 Security, which is primarily targeted at the Russian market, for a winching R13m (estimated) list price.