We were beginning to wonder if Audi was going to do another armored version of its flagship car, and now our questions have been answered. Quietly announced in Russia, the A8 L Security combines the classy look of the standard long-wheelbase variant and throws in a lot for armoring to protect the occupants from a potential terrorist attack.
The upgrades over a regular A8 L allow the Security version to meet the requirements of the VR9 resistance class as well as class protection 10 in the case of the glass surfaces. Thanks to armored glazing with polycarbonate coating and extra protection in the roof and underbody areas, the A8 L Security can withstand threats coming from hand grenades.
Audi has installed the optional electronics for the intercom system in an armored box built into the trunk where a second battery has also been fitted. In case things go south, there’s even a fire-extinguishing system with nozzles mounted in the engine compartment, fuel tank, wheel housings, and on the underbody.
An emergency fresh air system relies on an air quality sensor that constantly checks the air outside and will automatically close the air flaps if irritant gases or high-concentration pollutants are detected. When that happens, fresh air is sent throughout the interior for a limited time. One other vital equipment reserved for the A8 L Security is the emergency exit system in case the doors can’t be opened normally. How does it work? There’s a pyrotechnic system, which effectively means an explosion will eliminate the connections between the body and the door.
To make all of these changes over a regular long-wheelbase A8, Audi says it takes an additional 400 hours and some of the work necessary is done by hand. The A8 L Security actually comes together in a “dedicated, high-security production facility” and is fitted with run-flat tires that allow the armored fullsize sedan to cover up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) at 50 mph (80 km/h).
Armoring for the door windows, sills, and underbody is added, along with additional LED flashing lights in the side mirrors, front grille, and at the rear. We know you’re probably curious about how much the A8 L Security weighs, so here goes: 3,875 kilograms (8,542 pounds). Responsible for moving all that bulk is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine with 563 horsepower and 800 Newton-meters (590 pound-feet) of torque borrowed from the S8.
The output is channeled to the road via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission linked to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The Audi A8 L Security is no slouch even though it weighs about as much as the moon, doing the 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in a decent 6.3 seconds en route to 130 mph (210 km/h).
It takes anywhere between three to six months to deliver the car, with pricing in Russia starting at 55 million RUB. That works out to €690,000 or $749,000 at current exchange rates. The official brochure for the A8 L Security is available HERE in PDF format.