The S8 is the ultimate luxury performance Audi, marrying the opulent space and grace of the A8 with ferocious power from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo engine. Subtle styling tweaks mark out the S8 from its more understated relatives, while sporty handling upgrades and a beautifully-appointed interior complete the Audi experience.
Imposing alloy wheels are the most immediately visible giveaway that this is no ordinary A8. Look more closely and you’ll find aluminium-effect door mirror housings, chrome-finish twin tailpipes, and minor changes to the bumpers and side skirts that create a more aggressive silhouette. Black-painted brake callipers boast the S8 logo, which also appears on the grille, boot-lid, and throughout the cabin.
S8 plus models add privacy glass to the rear windows and additional gloss-black details to the exhaust, rear diffuser and elsewhere for a more menacing look.
Selecting an S8 over a standard A8 also brings upgrades to the interior, adding an Alcantara roof lining and Nappa leather adorning even more surfaces. Active noise cancellation technology compensates for road noise inside the car, meaning you can better hear the professional Bose surround sound system and make use of the six-disc CD/DVD changer. Uprated mobile telephone capability with Audi Connect transforms every S8 into a WiFi hotspot for convenient internet access using a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer.
A touch-sensitive MMI system and eight-inch high-resolution TFT display dominate the streamlined dashboard, offering intuitive control of many of the car’s on-board systems. Carbon atlas inlays on the dash and gear selector lever add to the sensation of high-tech luxury.
There is no other way to describe it: the S8 is rapid. The standard car offers an incredible 513bhp, but if that is somehow not enough the S8 plus offers a retuned engine with an extra 83bhp on tap.
Both will complete the 0-60 sprint with crushing acceleration (around 4.2 seconds in the S8, a mind-blowing 3.8 in the S8 plus). And the seamless eight-speed tiptronic gearbox and standard quattro all-wheel drive system help you to wring every last drop of performance from the engine.
Passengers and driver alike will appreciate the supremely comfortable ride quality that makes it a perfect car for daily driving as well as your sportier exploits.
Each S8 features a second display between the dials so you need only take the merest glance to check your navigation and can spend more time focusing on the road ahead. Adaptive Cruise Control will automatically measure the distance to the car in front and regulate your speed to maintain a consistent interval, even automatically adapting when new cars enter your lane. It’ll transform the way you feel about long motorway journeys.
Automatic Start-Stop technology switches the engine off when the car comes to a standstill, and Formula 1-inspired energy recuperation recycles energy expended during braking – both of which help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
An extensive options list also means you can personalise the S8 to your heart’s content.
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Take a closer look by using our interior and exterior tours