A second generation went on sale early in 2003 using Audi's D3 platform. The model was longer than before, with room for five adult occupants in the cabin, including enough legroom in the rear for six-footers-plus to stretch out in the rear in absolute comfort.
Audi restyled the D3 platform A8 range slightly in 2005, endowing all variants with a tall and wide so-called single-frame grille inspired that of the Nuvolari concept car. The top-of-the-line 12-cylinder W12 version was the first to be equipped with this grille before it was introduced to less potent A8s. Subsequently, all current Audi models down to the Audi A3 have adopted this controversial styling element. In addition to the styling update, new engines became available to European and Asian market customers. The entry-level 3.0 V6 was replaced by a new 3.2 L unit featuring FSI, which it shares with the new A4. More significantly was the introduction of a 4.2 L Diesel V8 engine generating 240 kW (326 PS) of power, the most powerful Diesel engine Audi has ever offered in a passenger automobile. The engine uses two turbochargers and two intercoolers with each turbocharger functioning exclusively for one set of four cylinders.
3.0 L (2967 cc) V6 TDI, 171 kW (233 PS), 0â€“100 km/h in 8.0 s
In most markets outside Europe, only the 4.2 V8 and 6.0 W12 petrol powerplants are available.