Audi A8 W12 Professional Detailing Transformation

This article is about an Audi A8 W12 transformation. At first glance, this handsome executive German saloon car gives no hint at what a technological step forward it was upon release. It is an Audi A8 W12, D3 model, made in 2005. It was the first production Audi to feature the MMI (Multi-media Interface) system, the first to have adaptive air suspension and continuous damper control (CDC), and the first Audi to receive the 6 speed automatic transmission.

In this instance, this rare flagship model also has the 6.0 litre, 12 cylinder engine, arranged in a W shape, rather than the traditional V. This makes for an incredibly compact, large capacity engine, strangely smaller in overall dimensions than the 4.2 litre V8 alternative. The benefit of this was the ability to retain the famous Audi Quattro four wheel drive system. So not only is it fast, it’s also supremely comfortable and surefooted.

The owner of this car got in touch having seen the huge turnaround we achieved on the Audi RS4 featured here. Asking for exactly the same sort of turnaround, we arranged to have the car collected on a covered transporter and delivered to our Studio HQ.

Audi A8 W12

The Audi A8 W12 upon arrival.

Upon arrival the car really did look quite tired. An area that stood out as needing attention were the wheels, suffering from serious kerb rash and ingrained brake dust. Getting them refurbished was a straightforward solution, or so we thought. More of that later.

The paint was obviously in poor condition, lots of hedge scratches, wash marks, oxidation, and signs of some minor previous repairs that had been poorly finished. Damaged door trim would need repairing or replacing, and scrapes to the front of the car would require a trip to the bodyshop.

Audi A8 W12 poor paint repair

Audi A8 W12 damaged door trim

Damaged trim

Audi A8 W12 hedge scratches

Hedge scratches

Audi A8 W12 faded paint

Stained, mottled paint finish

The usual wash and decon process was carried out, with particular  attention to the decontamination. Once done, the wheels were removed from the car, ready to be refurbished. We had noticed that the Michelin tyres fitted to the car were a metric size, quite an unusual site in this country, but once the wheels were off the car it was also apparent the tyres had a very strange looking stepped, ridged edge to them on the inside that we hadn’t seen before.

Audi A8 Michelin PAX metric wheel and tyreAudi A8 Michelin PAX metric wheel and tyre damaged

Upon delivering the wheels to the refurbishers, the relevance of this became apparent. These wheels were a factory fitted option, and feature something called the ‘PAX‘ tyre system. It was an early runflat system developed by Michelin, and could be found fitted to Rolls Royce Phantoms, the Bugatti Veyron, and at the other end of the scale, the Toyota RAV4! The upshot is that they require specialist equipment and training to remove and refit, and places that can deal with them are few and far between. Toyota didn’t even mean for the tyres to be removed, when it came to needing a replacement, they sold a wheel and tyre as a package.

The tyres were old and perished, as well as more than half worn. After discussing this with our client he requested that we source and supply a set of brand new, genuine Audi wheels to replace them. This meant buying 5 wheels and tyres (no spare necessary previously), together with associated bits like tyre pressure monitoring sensors and Audi specific fitment Goodyear LS1 All Season tyres. After some research to find the best deal possible, they were sourced directly from Germany, and placed them on order whilst other work was carried out.

Audi A8 W12 - Flat, dull paint from a repair

Flat, dull paint from a repair.

Audi A8 W12 - Paint Restored 1Audi A8 W12 - Paint Restored 2

Audi A8 W12 - Paint Restored 3

Correction achieved after just one pass.

Paint correction started straight away, and as seen above, heralded some wonderful results. The dull, hazy, flat paint was suddenly restored to give a deep, lustrous, glossy finish.

Audi A8 W12 - bird poo damage before

Audi A8 W12 - bird poo damage during repairAudi A8 W12 - bird poo damage fixed

Audi A8 W12 - bird poo damage - what poo damage!

This work carried on over a number of days, carefully working across each panel to ensure maximum defect correction, in places sanding the panels to evenly re-level the clearcoat surface. Once completed, the paint received an application of Williams Ceramic Coat to give protection and make ongoing care very easy.

The interior, being a light colour, was in generally good condition. The cream carpets were given a deep clean, and we arranged for a leather specialist to come in and refurbish the front seats.

Audi A8 W12 - Leather restoration beforeAudi A8 W12 - Leather restoration after

In addition to the work we carried out, we arranged for the car to visit one of our bodyshop contacts. The door trims were repaired and repainted (saving costly replacement), the bootlid required a minor repair, and finally the front bumper was entirely painted to deal with a scrape and numerous chips. This was finished off with a set of new numberplates.

In readiness for the new wheels, the brake calipers and wheel hubs were painted silver. Finally, the wheels arrived from Germany, were coated in Williams Ceramic Coat, and fitted to the vehicle.

Audi A8 W12 - the finished article front 3/4

Finished car, complete with brand new OE 19″ wheels

Audi A8 W12 - New wheels and tyresAudi A8 W12 - refurbished interior

Audi A8 W12 - the finished article rear 3/4

If you would be interested in a similar transformation for your vehicle, please get in touch by using our contact form.