The new Audi S8 combines progressive luxury with dynamic athleticism and innovative suspension systems. Its 4.0 TFSI engine – a biturbo eight-cylinder unit – produces 420 kW and an opulent 800 Nm of torque. It is combined with MHEV technology for the perfect symbiosis of efficiency and comfort with exhilarating performance. The predictive active suspension, dynamic-all-wheel steering and quattro with sport differential provide for outstanding vehicle dynamics straight from the factory. The new Audi S8 uses specific design elements to express the sporty elegance of the sophisticated luxury sedan with pinpoint precision.
Impressive performance: the drive system
As a V8 engine with mild hybrid technology, the high-performance power-plant in the Audi S8 offers not only maximum smoothness but sublime responsiveness, with an output of 420 kW and 800 Nm of torque, delivered with the aid of two turbochargers. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h and it takes just 3.8 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h. Iron-lined cylinder barrels in the aluminium crankcase reduce friction for exceptionally smooth running. Automatically actuated flaps in the exhaust system underscore the impressive sound.
Sports car-level emotion and performance are paired with comfort and efficiency. The mild hybrid system (MHEV) works continuously to reduce fuel consumption. Its 48-volt belt alternator starter and the additional lithium-ion battery enable coasting with the engine switched off, fast restart and an extended start-stop range. Fuel savings of up to 0.8 litres per 100 kilometres are possible in everyday driving. The cylinder on demand system, which deactivates individual cylinders in low-load operating situations, provides for additional efficiency. The vehicle’s sound system features active noise cancellation to eliminate intrusive cabin noise for the ultimate in comfort.
Vehicle dynamics: predictive active suspension, dynamic all-wheel steering, and quattro with sport differential
The unique combination of innovative suspension components enables the flagship to cover the entire range from the velvety cruising of a luxury sedan to the dynamically taut handing of a sports car. The new S8 comes standard with the predictive active suspension. The high-tech system, which works in combination with the air suspension, can lift or push down each wheel separately via electromechanical actuators. It is therefore possible for the first time to actively control the trim of the body in any driving situation and thus greatly reduce pitch or roll during acceleration or braking. The front camera, which detects larger road surface irregularities, enables this to be done predictively. The new Audi S8 can be a highly comfortable luxury sedan or a truly dynamic sports car – it’s entirely up to the driver. The Audi drive select system offers five profiles from which to choose. “Comfort +” mode is a new profile. It makes even cornering a comfortable experience: The body leans into curves by as much as 3 degrees to reduce the lateral acceleration acting on the occupants. In “dynamic” mode, the S8 turns in precisely. The maximum roll angle during fast cornering is just roughly 2.5 degrees. With the standard suspension, it is around 5 degrees. The situational distribution of roll moments enables self-steering that is neutral or minimally oversteering. The position of the S8’s body can be altered even when it is stationary. It is quickly raised by as much as 50 mm when the door handle is actuated, making getting into the car even easier and more comfortable.
The Audi S8 is redefining the limits of physical possibility thanks to the dynamic-all-wheel steering. This allows the independent adjustment of the steering angles at the front and rear axles. It therefore combines direct, sporty steering response at low and medium speeds with supreme stability on the highway and a tight turning circle, thus resolving a long-standing conflict of objectives. The sport differential actively transfers torque between the rear wheels during fast cornering. When turning into or accelerating in a curve, most is directed to the outside wheel. This literally pushes the car into the curve and nips any hint of understeer in the bud. In the case of oversteer, the sport differential on the rear axle transfers the drive torque to the inside wheel to stabilize the S8.
Dynamic all-wheel steering, the sport differential and the predictive active suspension are all standard equipment. The interplay of these systems is unique in its class and ensures composed and sporty handling in all situations.
Precise expression of sporty elegance: the design
The progressive, elegantly flowing exterior design gets some new accents with the new Audi S8. Bold interior and exterior design elements finely hone the sporty character. Wheels of 21 inches in diameter are available for the 5.18 metre long sports sedan. Details on the front bumper, side sills and the exterior mirror housings as well as the two S-typical twin oval exhaust tailpipes emphasize the car’s sporty and progressive character. The black styling package is also available as an option. With this, all chrome elements (matte aluminium styling package is standard on the sports model) – right down to the tailpipe trims – come in high-gloss black. With the optional extended black styling package, the Audi rings and nameplate will appear in glossy black as well.
The upper inlay – new and available exclusively in the Audi S8 – is made of Carbon Vector and impresses with a special 3D depth effect. Directly below that is an inlay of dark, brushed matte aluminium. Lighting options range up from the standard HD matrix LED headlights with dynamic turn signals to Audi laser light and OLED rear lights (optional extra) for precise and effective line of sight when driving.
Progressive and state-of-the-art: the equipment
Every detail of the new Audi S8 reflects its character as a sporty luxury model. One particular highlight is the standard individually contoured comfort sports seats. They feature wide-ranging power adjustment, pneumatically adjustable side bolsters and separate three-stage heating for each seat. What is more, they are available with ventilation in the front (standard) and massage function (optional). Upholstery is available in the top leather grade of Valcona. The rear seats also offer numerous features for outstanding passenger comfort and provide for a first-class atmosphere in the Audi S8.
The many driver assistance systems that Audi provides in the new S8 ensure for a comfortable driving experience. The optional adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, efficiency assist, swerve assist and turn assist combines key functions to allow for a comprehensive safety offering. Intelligent park assist, 360° camera and head-up display are a few of the key standard safety equipment in the new Audi S8.
The brain behind the driver assistance systems in the new S8 is a high-performance processing unit, the central driver assistance controller (zFAS). It continuously computes a differentiated model of the vehicle’s surroundings based on the data provided by the sensors. Fully equipped, there are five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and a laser scanner on board.
Digital and intelligent: controls and connectivity
The new Audi S8 offers a progressive technology experience with new digital services and state-of-the-art connectivity. The MMI touch response operating concept is fully digital. The driver controls nearly all functions via two large displays. The driver can also use natural speech control, which offers virtually unlimited freedom when formulating questions and commands. The answers are provided either from information stored on board. All driving-relevant displays appear in the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus, which can be switched between two views. While the tachometer and speedometer are displayed as large dial-type gages in driving mode, the map is the centre of attention in infotainment mode. Both views have S-specific red graphical details. A special S-performance layout for the Audi virtual cockpit plus where the central focus is the tachometer, displayed as a square graph, and the output and torque are shown as percentages can also be selected in the MMI. The standard head-up display can display important information on the windshield.
MMI navigation plus serves as the infotainment and media centre in the new S8. The extensive Audi connect functionality is integrated into the new sedan. It includes numerous car-to-X services that draw on the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. The downloadable myAudi app connects the car to the customer’s smartphone so that they can easily send destinations to the car from their couch as well as enjoy a host of other infotainment, safety and remote features. The standard Audi smartphone interface brings Android Auto and wirelessly Apple Car Play on board. High-end components such as the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound (optional upgraded to the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound) and the standard Audi phone box and ambient lighting package plus, round up the infotainment and interior comfort features line-up in the new S8.
Local pricing and availability
The new Audi S8 is currently available for sale in South Africa and is priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan:
Audi S8 TFSI quattro R2,484,000