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Hello and W12 info sought

Old 06-23-2011, 12:56 PM
1st Gear
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 1
Default Hello and W12 info sought

Hi folks,

First time on an Audi forum (Been a BMW and Merc fan...!) Time for a change...?

I am intending to buy another luxury car after selling my last, a 2006 BMW 730d Sport a few months ago (I also have a 2000 model Merc SL). I have a property up for sale and have been hoping to treat myself, and take a chance on an older Bentley Continental GT. However, i've been keeping an eye open for W12 A8's and S8's. A realistic buy may have to include considering another diesel, maybe an A8 but I think i'd like the W12 engine!

I have the chance of a 2005 W12 A8L in Black with Black Leather. 79k miles. 5x stamp Audi service history but will be due a service soon. This car is obviously hugely cheaper than a Continental GT and I feel it could offer simelar fun and enjoyment. I don't know much about the model and would like to ask a few opinions and hopefully have a few questions answered.

1. I've read the LWB W12 is still a good drivers car despite its size and extra length, but how different is an S8 or even a SWB car? I had a LWB BMW 750i and I have to say the SWB seemed to handle much better.

2. I rung Audi today to confirm this vehicles service history and the person I spoke to called the "Black" colour something other than "Phantom Black" I can't remember what he said but this was from a computer...therefore must the colour perhaps be non-metallic black or is there a different metallic to "Phantom?"

3. This being an early car (Jan 2005) I doubt iPod/USB etc. Is it simple enough to get iPod playing through the stereo? Are the BOSE stereo's pretty good? It was loud but awful in a 2002 Merc SL I had!

4. Real world fuel comsumption. I'd be ok with about 13-14 mpg around town but don't particularly want any less.....

5. I have gathered today (from Audi Dealer) transmission fluid should be changed every 40,000 miles. Is this true? Seems quite a short interval.

6. Any weak points/expensive fixes to look out for in particular?

Sorry for all the questions, any advice or opinions on the A8L W12 or other engines greatly appreciated. I don't know a lot about them and would appreciate any help or advice. Many Thanks
Old 06-23-2011, 10:49 PM
2nd Gear
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 624

W12's are rather rare here in the US and even rarer are posters on these forums that actually own one.

Audi A8's are completely different animals than large BMW's or MB's. You really need to test drive a few to feel what I mean. Doesn't have to be a W12 to feel the difference. There are no diesel A8's in the US, just 4.2's and up.

I would be very worried about maintenance issues on the Bentley...many more issues than any Audi.

1. A8's do indeed handle like a smaller car...not just the weight, but the aluminum space frame construction is rigid and responsive, but still a soft luxurious ride.

2. Don't know about the specific colors.

3. True that Bose is not the best...many upgrade (at a cost) to better systems...I find it quite adequate, but I've installed better systems in past cars.

4. Fuel consumption is close to Audi figures on most models, unless you're in a lot of traffic or particularly heavy-footed.

5. Trans service is in debate...many never touch it, ever and many do every 30K miles...but long term results don't seem to yield a definitive answer.

6. On earlier model A8/S8 (D2..97-03), the trans is scariest issue...many have issues at 120-150K miles ...a few earlier and some go well beyond that. Later A8's seem to much more dependable in that respect. In general, no more issues than other cars in this price range.

Again, test drive a few...A8's are even a very different animal than other Audi's. Drive one (or a few) and you'll feel why we love em.

AudiWorld forum and QuattroWorld forums are also great places to explore. I believe there's at least one member at QW that has a W12 (in Germany I believe).

Love your of the most beautiful I've visited. Spent some time there and other parts of "Auld Caledonia" several years back. Photographed the architecture in Edinburgh extensively. Would love to come back some day.


Last edited by silverd2; 06-23-2011 at 10:53 PM.
Old 06-24-2011, 09:47 AM
1st Gear
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: ellicott city, md
Posts: 18

this may not be of assistance to you, but ask about ease of service. i own a w12 vw phaeton, and question if i would go for the 4.2 if i bought today because of what one has to go through for some non routine service. to replace some o2 sensors on the phaeton they say one has to remove the engine to get to them. same for a starter (i have had to replace a starter, dealer quoted $2,500.00, had it done elsewhere for a bit less). so, i strongly recommend an extended service contract if one considers a w12. there ain't much room to work with in there. i assume it's the same for the audi.

i do have to say that the w12 is a joy to drive, much smoother and more quiet than the 4.2 audi. and yes, it is a bit of an ego boost. i have also driven a flying spur, and the turbo charged w12 is a rocket.

Last edited by calmone; 06-24-2011 at 09:51 AM.
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