Audi has unveiled the new Audi A8 L Security, which is specifically designed for dignitaries and heads of state.
Purposely created to look like a standard A8 L, the Security boasts hot-formed armored steel, polycarbonate-coated multilayer glass, reinforced side sills, and acres of aramide fabric. In total, the interior armoring weighs 720 kilograms (1,587 lbs), while the door and window modifications comtribute an additional 660 kilograms (1455 lbs). Thanks to all these changes, the car is certified for VR 7 class ballistic protection which means it can handle everything from AK-47s to hand grenades.
Besides the armoring, the car can also be equipped with an emergency exit system (which uses pyrotechnic charges to blast open the doors), a fire extinguishing system (which douses the wheels, underbody, fuel tank, and engine in flame retardant foam), and an emergency fresh-air system which uses pressured oxygen to ensure passengers can escape chemical and gas attacks. Should that fail to inspire confidence, there's also an LED signaling system (for convoy travel), a siren, and a two-way communication system for talking to people outside the vehicle without having to lower the windows.
Despite all the post-apocalyptic preparations, the car hasn't forgotten it's luxury origins as it comes nicely equipped with four-zone climate control, a Bose audio system, a TV tuner, and two individual rear seats with power adjustments. Additionally, customers can order a full-length center console, a refrigerator, a rear seat entertainment system, and a "relaxation seat" with heating, massage, and a power-adjustable footrest.
At launch, the A8 L Security will be powered exclusively by a 6.3-liter W12 engine that develops 500 PS (368 kW / 494 hp) and 625 Nm (461 lb-ft) of torque. It enables the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds, before hitting a limited top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph). If that sounds a tad excessive, another engine - likely a 4.0-liter V8 - will be offered in 2012 with an average fuel consumption of 10 to 11 L/100 km (21 to 24 US mpg).
No word on pricing, but the Audi A8 L Security W12 will go on sale this summer.
Check out the press release for additional information