The first car in the class to feature this efficiency and economy-boosting injection system becomes the UK’s most powerful six-cylinder petrol premium sector flagship. The new A8 3.2 FSI is now available costing from £47,930 OTR and will be delivered to UK customers from July.

The new 3.2-litre V6, seen first in the A6 executive saloon, replaces the 3.0-litre V6 petrol unit available since launch. It increases power from 220PS in the outgoing model to 260PS in this new version, which is also distinguishable by the single frame front grille that recently filtered down through the range from flagship 6.0 quattro versions. The new A8 3.2 FSI will be available at launch with front-wheel-drive and in either standard or long wheel base forms, both featuring the unique-in-class multitronic automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

More than 90 per cent of the 3.2-litre unit’s peak torque output of 243lb/ft (up from 221lb/ft in A8 3.0) is available from 2,400rpm through to 5,500rpm, ensuring impressive flexibility and performance figures that are far from ‘entry level’. Helped by a body shell that is over 40 per cent lighter than the norm thanks to aluminium construction around the aluminium Audi Space Frame (ASF), the A8 3.2 FSI can reach 62mph from rest in 7.7 seconds and cruise at an electronically governed 155mph, where conditions allow.

Thanks to the unique combination of lightweight aluminium construction, fuel-sparing Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and outstandingly efficient FSI direct petrol injection, fuel economy is virtually on a par with the outgoing A8 3.0 at 28.8mpg (combined), despite the considerable power and torque gains.

The new Audi FSI engines not only bring lower exhaust emissions and improved fuel economy, but also increased power and torque compared with equivalent, conventionally injected petrol engines. In contrast to most of these, the fuel charge is directly injected straight into the cylinders (not as fuel vapour via the conventional inlet manifold) using a high-pressure common rail injection system supplied by a single-piston injection pump.

To coincide with the range-wide adoption of the new Audi corporate look, the 10-model A8 line-up also recently benefited from an upgraded SE equipment specification as standard for V6 and V8 models and a new Sport pack available at extra cost.

Over and above the standard equipment, the new SE specification adds DVD-based satellite navigation, light and rain sensors, the Audi Advanced Key system (enabling keyless access and start-up) and voice control technology for vocal operation of radio, CD player, car telephone and navigation system. Additional aluminium interior trim, an enhanced ambient interior lighting system using LED technology and the latest Audi steering wheel design inspired by the single frame grille also add to the overall refinement of the widely acclaimed cabin.

Sport specification upgrades the wheels from 17-inch 7-spoke to 19-inch 12-spoke, and also adds sports seats, sport adaptive air suspension (20mm lower than the standard set-up in each mode), a sports steering wheel with tiptronic gear change paddles and Grey Birch facia inlays. The standard Valcona leather upholstery is also replaced by leather and Alcantara combination upholstery (full Valcona leather can be retained if required). The Sport option carries a premium of £2,500 for V6 models or £1,900 for V8 versions.