The A8 3.0 Multitronic is powered by a 217bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with a continuously variable transmission. The front-wheel drive A8 accelerates from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and has a top speed of 150mph.
The car achieves 29.4mpg on the combined cycle with carbon dioxide emissions of 230g/km (29.1mpg and 233g/km for the long-wheelbase variant). The petrol model will be followed later in 2004 by the A8 3.0 TDI quattro, which will be Euro IV compliant.
However, it is not expected to offer a benefit-in-kind tax advantage for company car drivers, despite side-stepping the 3% diesel supplement, as carbon dioxide emissions are likely to put it in the 35% tax bracket. The petrol 3.0-litre is expected to offer the lowest benefit-in-kind tax liability of the two new models.