150 invited guests from politics, the media, industry and commerce applauded as the Prime Minister of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, Günther Oettinger, and Audi’s Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler drove the 250,000th large luxury saloon produced by the company, a silver-painted Audi A8 L 2.8 FSI e, from the assembly line.
“The Audi A8 is the flagship of the Audi model range. More than any other model it represents top quality, leadership in innovation and emotive appeal,” said Rupert Stadler in his speech. He reminded listeners that the company’s top model was a true success story and had made a major contribution toward penetration of the luxury-class market segment by the cars bearing the four-ring emblem.
“The Audi A8 stands for technological competence and for the performance potential of the highly trained people who build it in Neckarsulm. The A8 is thus a success story ‘made in Baden-Württemberg’,” said Prime Minister Oettinger, who also pointed out that accessing the top car category had made Audi a force to be reckoned with in this market segment, where it is enjoying such success.
Audi has been building luxury saloons in Neckarsulm, its location in the state of Baden-Württemberg, for the past 20 years, starting with the Audi V8, which was followed by the Audi A8 and this model’s top versions, the Audi S8 and A8 L. “The simple model name ‘V8’ communicated the fact that this car was powered by an eight-cylinder engine, and was intended to give Audi access to the top segment of the car market,” said Board Member for Production Frank Dreves in a summary of the factory’s earlier years. He pointed out that combining this engine with all-wheel drive yielded a car with outstanding dynamic performance allied to road safety.
The model that followed, the Audi A8, was of entirely new, attractive design, and revolutionised the car construction principle with its innovative, lightweight aluminium body. Even now the Audi A8 is the only top class car with an all-aluminium body and quattro all-wheel drive. Stadler: “With this ambitious project, Audi demonstrated its technological lead and its visionary commercial spirit.”
The A8, of which the second generation is now in production, is the sportiest saloon in the large luxury class, and popular with customers all over the world. It combines sporty, elegant design with supreme comfort, a high level of dynamic performance and outstanding efficiency. The Audi A8 2.8 FSI, for instance, has CO2 emissions of only 199 grams per kilometre – easily the best value in its class.
‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ – this long-standing claim to technological leadership applies equally in the development and production areas. As well as setting standards as a pioneer in aluminium body construction, the Audi location in Neckarsulm has specialised in top-class saloons and high-performance models. More than 900 highly qualified employees work together to produce the Audi A8.
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