German tuner ABT has released word (and pictures) of the first tuned 2011 Audi A8 we know about, the AS8. ABT freely admits that the new A8 is pretty sporty on its own. Therefore, the AS8 package seeks to "underline" what Audi's already done in terms of huge, sporting luxo-bargeness. To wit, "[ABT] has not changed the elegant glider into a racing car, but carefully into a confident and sporty automobile."

Naturally, ABT started with a version of the A8 we can't get here in the States, the diesel. In stock form, Audi's 4.2-liter TDI V8 produces a healthy 350 horsepower and a yacht-towing 590 pound-feet of torque. In ABT trim however, the sparkless mill churns out 385 hp and a foundation-shifting 649 lb-ft of torque. The car's 0-60 time falls from the factory's 5.5 seconds to around five flat. Quite good for a 4,300+ pound oil burner, no?

Of course it would be in very bad form to just hop up the engine and leave the rest of the car stock -- how would anyone know you're driving a tuner? To that end, ABT has gone on and designed a body kit for the AS8. This kit primarily consists of a front spoiler with a splitter, side sills and a rear-end apron enclosing new tail pipes. There's also a three-piece rear spoiler and 21-inch wheels. We've never been totally sold on the looks of the 2011 A8, so while the ABT treatment helps in some respects (the rear looks excellent), it doesn't help much in others. Specifically the droopy looking sides and over-sized schnoz. But hey, at least they're trying.

[Source: ABT]

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