Ever since Audi launched its new A8 long-wheelbase model in the GCC last year, we’ve been patiently waiting for the flagship of the range to arrive and battle it out with the BMW 760Li and AMG’s take on a Mercedes S-Class (read our super-saloon comparison here). But the W12 is still a few months away, as Audi Middle East readies to launch it in our region later this year. In the meantime they’re holding our interest with a new base model, and it’s because the entry-level A8 L comes with one of our favourite engines Ingolstadt offers. The 3.0-litre force-fed V6 that’s now available in the A8 produces 290bhp and 420Nm of torque, and although that sounds like a far cry from the 4.2-litre V8’s 372bhp, it’s actually enough for a 250kph top speed and a 0-100kph time of 6.2 seconds. That’s only four-tenths slower than the current flagship, and anyway, it’s the V6’s mid-range punch and linear power delivery that impresses most. Audi claims that despite our A8 being a long-wheelbase model, with the V6 engine it consumes just 9.3 litres-per-100km in the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions also kept to a minimum at 217g/km due to technologies like the recuperation system and thermal management. The eight-speed tiptronic transmission drives all four wheels permanently, while Audi’s aluminium chassis weighs 40 per cent less than a comparable steel structure. So it’s big, and green. It seems like good value for money too, starting at Dh308K, but we’ll give you all the details as soon as we drive it.