By on September 13, 2011

I once had a Phaeton with a W12 engine – that was fun! Thank God I didn’t have to pay for it. Think of a W12 engine like two VR6 engines engaged in a hot mating ritual. In a Kamasutra-busting position, the two imaginary VR6 engines are mated together at an angle that looks like a W. V – W, get it?

If you have lots of money, you will be able to buy an Audi A8 L W12. Under the slightly confusing “Audi exclusive concept” label, this car is not a concept, but for real. If you hurry. The A8 L W12 will be built in a strictly limited and individually numbered run of 50.

At the inside, the car is fitted with Poltrona Frau leather. Never heard of it, which probably turns me into a peasant.

Frau Poltrona is said to have “an exceptionally soft, even, natural finish. There are highlights of granite gray piping on the center sections of the seat and seat backs. Leather elements on numerous parts of the interior – such as the dashboard, the center console, the tunnel, the door trims and seat consoles – round out the equipment; even the car key is trimmed in leather.”

So if you are into W12 engines and have a Poltrona Frau leather fetish, and if you don’t have to ask for the price, this car’s for you!

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28 Comments on “For The Man Who Has Everything: Audi A8 L W12 With A Leather Frau...”

  • avatar

    Hard to get excited about any Audi when reliability is so bad. I doubt a lease option is on the table for this model either.

    • 0 avatar

      Aw, come on. When the engine or transmission grenaded itself, just take out the nice Frau leather-upholstered seats and put it in the living room, whereupon it would then provide years of faithful service!

    • 0 avatar

      I really don’t think that the gentleman who can afford this $120,000+ car will care much, considering they will own it 3 – 5 years maximum, likely pay for an extended warranty, and even if it does require work…particularly car that much at the cost.

      Everything is relative – but if you’re dropping $120,000 on a car, maintenance costs are the least of your concerns.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        The question was, who wants one post-warranty? I’m not talking about the rich guy who buys one new or certified pre-owned. Would you want to be the less affluent, subsequent owner of a higher mileage example that is out of warranty?

  • avatar

    Generally, I agree with westcott on the practical matters related to Audi. But the W12 engine could seduce me.

    BTW, Bertel, I think you’re channeling Jack Baruth.

  • avatar

    Isn’t it odd that this car is being sold based on its fancy interior and yet the press pack pictures do not include a single photo of it?


  • avatar

    “Poltrona Frau leather” is German for “Corinthian leather”.

  • avatar
    The Doctor

    I’m pretty sure the “senstive” leather in the Phaeton was/is made by Poltrona Frau as well…

    • 0 avatar

      That is correct. The Phaeton (of which the factory in Dresden is now making record numbers) came to the U.S./Canada with two leather options:

      – Vienna
      – Sensitive

      The Sensitive version is made by Poltrona Frau. Usually, but not always, W12s have the Sensitive leather; this option was also available for the V8.

  • avatar

    It’d be about 20% (or less) of the price to buy a used Volkswagen Phaeton, especially since it would appear to be such a similar (if not nearly identical) car, both cosmetically and mechanically.

    • 0 avatar

      Aside from the drivetrain, the A8 and the Phaeton are mechanically completely different cars. But other than that, yes, a W12 Phaeton would be the wiser decision.

      Given how unreasonable a rare VW with an exotic 12-cylinder-engine is, that puts the A8 right into lunatic territory.

      • 0 avatar

        I was partly terribly inexact in my language, and to be honest, partly mistaken.

        I should have said that the new A8 looks cosmetically similar (at least from the photos, I’d argue a ringer in profile; the headlamp assemblies and tail light ones are obviously Audi-esque, as is the grille, etc.), and that the motor appears to be the same one from the Phaeton.

        If the entire drivetrain is the same, also, I’d not be surprised (is the transmission the same, also?).

        One other thing: I am fairly confident that Phaetons were incredibly slow sellers in the U.S., and my confidence is somewhat bolstered by the fact that I had actually considered purchasing a lightly used Phaeton in late 2009 or early 2010 (I forgot exactly when, to be honest, but it was at a time when they couldn’t give these away) -one with 18,000 miles on it) for less than $30,000 – but I could not find a single dealer within 300+ miles of my home that could guarantee that they had a certified mechanic that would be able to perform work on it in the event it required warranty repairs.

      • 0 avatar

        U.S./Can market W12 Phaetons built after May 2005 have the 6.0 450 HP engine. 2012 Audi A8 W12 is bored out to 6.3 and 500HP.

        So the comparison is not direct, but on the other hand one does not have to pay € 137,000 for the extra 50 HP.

      • 0 avatar

        While it would not have the 12-cyl coolness factor you could drop turbo or super charged 383 SBC into a base model and have $30-50k left over.

  • avatar

    When I read the headline about the “Leather Frau” I immediately thought of a six-pack-a-day smoker with bottle blond hair.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Poltrona Frau is an extremely high-end Italian furniture maker that features mostly leather sofas and chairs. Prices are remarkably high and quality the same. This is no Fernando Lamas gig vis-a-vis the so-called “Corinthian Leather”, one of the greatest advertising howlers of all time. Still, isn’t this top brand name-dropping getting mighty old? To find it appealing, I guess you’d have to be the kind of person who needed the A8 in the first place.

    • 0 avatar

      FYI, it was Ricardo Montalban who touted Chrysler’s “rich Corinthian leather,” not Fernando Lamas.

      As for that W12 engine, I recall that someone with a busted Jag V-12 engine cleaned and polished it, put it in the living room and used it as the support for a coffee table.

      Along the same lines, I once crushed one of my Eclipse’s alloy wheels on a NYC pothole. My sister now uses it as a garden planter.

      I never realized I’m such a regular Martha Stewart. Feel free to come to me for future decorating tips.

  • avatar

    Poltrona Frau is also offered in the Lancia Thema (aka Chrysler 300)

    • 0 avatar

      As well as many other Lancias of the last 10 years, even the small Musa. But I did not take it in my Delta…
      Lancia high-end seating in small cars is probably the most exotic you can find in Europe, with flashy colors or strange finish.
      google “musa 5th avenue” or “musa poltrona frau” and you’ll see what I mean…

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    bomberpete: You’re right. I got my Latin stars mixed up but good. Thanks for the correction.

  • avatar

    I love this car. But, from a driving perspective, I would rather have the S8. The A8 W12 will do 0-60 in 4.4, the 2012 S8 will do it in 4.2. Plus, in order to get the W12 it has to be the long edition…as a driver I don’t care for the long version of the A8. Getting the “L” version is a gift to your passengers and I’m sure any passenger in the back will more than appreciate the room and comfort of the smaller (but still large) S8. And I am not going to be admiring the Frau Poltrona leather when I have 450+ hp to play with…I would be otherwise pre-occupied.

  • avatar

    I like that color. Makes the A8’s bulldozer grille less pronounced.

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