Story: Will Sabel Courtney
Photography: Andrew Link
Hollywood is full of character actors—those guys and girls whose names may not rattle off your tongue with the ease of Foxx, Cruise or Pitt, but who show up with equal regularity and who play just as important a part. Often they’re the unsung heroes of the film, turning in performances that outshine the actors whose paychecks have more zeroes and whose names show up higher in the credits.
Audi’s A8 is a character actor of the car world, both literally—its turns in Ronin and the Transporter films have earned it a spot in the Hall of Dope Film Rides—and figuratively, offering all the performance and luxury of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class with a much lower profile. But every now and again, a character actor scores a role that lets him break through to the A-list, and with Platinum Motorsport’s direction, the A8 may have done just that.
In fact, it was the A8’s less famous face that brought it to Platinum’s attention in the first place. They were looking for a big, classy daily driver for shop duty, but the S-Class and the 7 Series were just too, well, obvious. “We wanted something different,” says Rob Boles, general consultant at Platinum Motorsport. “[The A8] has come so far in the last few years. It’s a classy, good-looking car.” But while a stock A8 might have been enough for most of the year, Platinum picked up their new Audi before the 2012 SEMA show, so they wanted to kick it up a notch for the giant automotive spectacle. Going classy, they added a TKTK body kit to accentuate the Audi’s curves, 22-inch TK rims finished in Reventón Gray with a glossy black lip, and a lowering module that integrates with the A8’s stock air-suspension controls. It’s a subtle treatment, but it lit up the halls of SEMA like free beer at a Buffet concert. “It blew people away,” Rob says. “Everybody at SEMA loved it because it still looked like a factory Audi, but you could still tell the stuff that had been done to it.”
The kit was such a hit that, while Platinum’s original plan had been to pop the kit off after the show, they decided to keep rocking it on
account of all the free publicity it brought them—and the attention it kept on bringing. Not that the A8 really needs the kit to draw stares. “Even without the kit, it’s a classy, good-looking car,” Rob reiterates. But mods like this one are likely to help bump up the A8 to star status soon enough.
Model: 2013 Audi A8 L
Performance: Stock 3.0 liter turbocharged V6
Exterior: Hofele Body Kit with blacked-out trim and grilles; lowering module integrated with the stock air suspension
Interior: Stock diamond-stitched leather trim
ICE: Factory Bang & Olufsen sound system
Wheels/Tires: 22” Agetro F10 wheels finished with a Reventon Grey Face and glossy black lips; Falken Tires, 295/25/22