LOS ANGELES - Two new Audi models making their U.S. auto show debuts in Los Angeles this week show how the German brand intends to raise its profile in the top reaches of the U.S. luxury car market over the coming year.

The main attraction at the L.A. Auto Show is the all-new Audi A7, which will establish a new class of progressive luxury that combines prestige, functionality, elegant design and leading-edge executive technologies. The Audi A7 is scheduled to reach U.S. Audi showrooms next spring.

Sharing the Los Angeles stage will be the new 2011 Audi A8L, which sets the standard for luxury motoring. The long wheelbase version of the Audi flagship line arrives in U.S. showrooms this week, but it already earned high praise from car reviewers for its innovative features, efficiency and luxurious interior appointments.

Los Angeles ranks among the world's showcase markets for luxury performance driving, which makes it the appropriate venue for the U.S. debut of the exclusive Audi R8 GT supercar and the acclaimed Audi quattro concept study.

Here are more details on the models that Audi will feature at the L.A. Auto Show this year:

Audi A7
Audi enters a new market segment with the A7. The large five-door model brings together the best of three vehicle concepts: the sporty elegance of a coupe, the comfort of a sedan and the practicality of a station wagon. The A7 features a lightweight body thanks to numerous aluminum components. For Audi, lightweight design is a fundamental technology for the sustainable mobility of the future. The elegant interior of the Audi A7 shows a craftsman's level of workmanship. The assistance, infotainment and safety systems come from the luxury class. The 3.0-liter V-6 engine offers exceptional performance dynamics with a high level of efficiency. Audi has harnessed the strengths of a compressor supercharger for the TFSI® engine.

2011 Audi A8L
The 2011 Audi A8L features a long wheelbase and an optimized 4.2 FSI V8 engine teamed with an all-new 8-speed Tiptronic® transmission for new levels of smoothness and segment-leading fuel economy of 17 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway, according to the U.S. EPA. Setting new standards of luxury, dynamism and efficiency, the A8L is a technical work of art combining sportiness and progressiveness. With an overall length of 17.28 ft, the new Audi A8L is 0.43 ft longer than the normal wheelbase version and 4.8 ft high. The width remains unchanged at 6.39 ft. The A8L has a body built from aluminum using the ASF® principle, weighing about 40 percent less than a comparable steel body and achieving equal or greater fuel efficiency than leading luxury hybrid vehicles. Audi's flagship sedan also features a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen® sound system, MMI® touch, Audi pre-sense safety features and the Audi signature LED lighting.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet