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 |  Nov 18 2010, 4:36 PM

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If your in the market for a new Corolla, the new A8 from Audi might not seem all that important, but to the German automaker it’s a crucial product for the U.S. market.

Audi is making huge sales strides here and built the new A8 to rival the very best from BMW and Mercedes. Again, the extended wheelbase “L” model might seem like a rare type of vehicle but in the U.S. it represents more than half all A8 sales. And after a look at the new car, debuting at the LA Auto Show today, it’s not hard to see why.

With a total length of 17.28 ft, the L is roughly 6-inches longer than the standard A8 – with all that space coming between the wheels to deliver half a foot extra in rear seat room. In that extra six-inches of space Audi has crammed the sort of luxury you might only expect on a yacht – and as much wood as a yacht too. The rear seats are heated and ventilated and can not only more forward and back, but also provide settings for cushion depth and seat back angle. And of course, there’s lumbar support and massagers built in. We particularly like the feature in the full-length center console that allows the rear seat passenger to push a button and have the front passenger seat move forward – making it easier to stretch out with the flip out ottoman and enjoy one of the two 10.2-inch LCD screens.

Other highlights include a fridge and folding table in the center console, as well as a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System

Matching all that interior luxury is a suitable extravagant engine; displacing 6.3-liters and making 500-hp and 461 ft-lbs of torque. The W12 powerplant can accelerate the A8 L to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds.

Pricing for the A8 L starts at $84,000; a reasonable increase of just $6,000 over the standard wheelbase model.

GALLERY: Audi A8L

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 |  Apr 16 2010, 11:00 AM

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With the A8 L making up the vast majority of A8 sales in the U.S., it’s not surprising that Audi went to tremendous lengths in designing the new extended wheelbase model. With the standard A8 for 2011 being a good deal sportier, the more luxurious A8 L is in a whole new realm of luxury.

Normally we focus on a car’s engine, which on the A8 L is an impressive W12 unit totaling 6.3-liters with 500-hp and 461 ft-lbs of and giving an speedy 4.9 second 0-60 mph time, but the A8 L deserves more mention on the interior. With a total length of 17.28 ft, the L is roughly 6-inches longer than the standard A8 – with all that space coming between the wheels to deliver half a foot extra in rear seat room.

In that extra six-inches of space Audi has crammed the sort of luxury you might only expect on a yacht – and as much wood as a yacht too. The rear seats are heated and ventilated and can not only more forward and back, but also provide settings for cushion depth and seat back angle. And of course, there’s lumbar support and massagers built in. We particularly like the feature in the full-length center console that allows the rear seat passenger to push a button and have the front passenger seat move forward – making it easier to stretch out with the flip out ottoman and enjoy one of the two 10.2-inch LCD screens.

Other highlights include a fridge and folding table in the center console, as well as a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System

The 2011 Audi A8 L will officially debut later this month at the Beijing Auto Show, with pricing announced sooner to the yet unreleased on-sale date. When the A8 L does hot dealerships, the 500-hp W12 motor will be offered initially, with additional diesel and gasoline engines to follow.

GALLERY: 2011 Audi A8 L

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Official release after the jump:

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