These are the first pictures of the forthcoming Audi S8, spied during winter testing.
Little is known about the S8, the performance version of Audi’s new A8 executive saloon, but power is likely to come from a turbocharged V8 engine rather than the Lamborghini-sourced V10 of the outgoing model.
The development model pictured here is in standard A8 bodywork and lacks any of the styling changes that will make it into the production S8. But its identity is given away by the quadruple exhaust system and larger brakes.
The S8 will be the first of Audi’s next-generation S models to have more visual differentiation from the standard range than the current S line-up.
This theme will be carried over into the S versions of the forthcoming A1 and A7 models. Audi’s design director Stefan Sielaff told Autocar at the A8’s launch last year that the S8 would “create a new design grammar which will also go onto the next S6, S7 and S1”.
Sielaff also said there would be an increased use of both aluminium and carbonfibre in the cabins of future S models to make them more special than the standard cars.
The next S8 is likely to be launched later this year, and go on sale in early 2011.