Flagship performance saloon retains petrol powerplant, gains rear-wheel steering and predictive suspension
2 July 2019

Audi has revealed the flagship of its A8 range – the new S8 – packing a mild-hybrid 563bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and an innovative new suspension system. 

Unlike the recently revealed S6 and S7, which now make use of diesel engines, the S8 retains the large-capacity petrol V8 shared with Porsche and Bentley. It puts out 563bhp and 590lb ft of torque, although the firm has yet to release performance details beyond a 155mph limited top speed. 

Audi’s 48V mild-hybrid system is also brought in, featuring a starter alternator and small lithium ion battery to allow coasting and extended stop-start use, boosting efficiency in addition to cylinder deactivation. 

Another new system is so-called ‘predictive active suspension’. It adds electromechanical actuators to the adaptive air suspension system that can lift or push down each wheel separately, claimed to greatly reduce pitch and roll while allowing comfort levels on a par with the standard A8. To enhance refinement, an active noise cancellation system helps to mask wind and road noise. 

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Rear-wheel steering also features alongside Audi’s sport differential, which transfers torque between the rear wheels during fast cornering and comes as standard. Ventilated carbon-ceramic brakes can be optioned, with up to 21in alloy wheels available to customers.

Styling-wise, the S8 features unique detailing on the bumpers, sills and mirror housings and new twin exhaust pipes, while a black styling pack is also available. 

The A8’s standard ‘comfort customised contour seats’ get a sporty makeover with pneumatically adjustable side bolsters. Active noise cancellation uses the speaker system to mitigate road and wind noise for a more comfortable ride, and the S8 retains all the driver assistance systems found in the A8 for stop-start adaptive cruise control. Car-to-X connected technology can also display traffic light countdown timers in supported cities.

Audi has yet to confirm UK pricing, which is expected to approach £100,000 before options.  

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Comments
11

2 July 2019

The understeer king is back! It is good that Audi didn't go the diesel route for its flagsip S model. But losing that V12 is sad though.

2 July 2019

Audi S8s have only been fitted with V8 and V10 engines. 

2 July 2019
Johnny90 wrote:

The understeer king is back! It is good that Audi didn't go the diesel route for its flagsip S model. But losing that V12 is sad though.

 

with rear oversteer there will be less overall understeer

2 July 2019

With Mercedes producing a full fat AMG version of the S Class, the S65, I'm surprised we've never seen a RS8. Or a BMW M7 for that matter. The German companies normally have a knack of following each other.

2 July 2019

Yep. Have always wondered about an RS8. It would be nice to see one.

2 July 2019

The Audi S8 Plus came close to a real RS8. Same 605 PS engine as the RS6. Also marketed by Audi Sport like the real R and RS models.

2 July 2019

Can anyone think of a single reason why you would be sensible to option ventilated carbon ceramic discs on this car?

 

And surely we have gone far beyond the point of curiosity about performance figures?  We pretty know the enormous weight, we know the enormous power - so it is just going to be like all the others.

2 July 2019
eseaton wrote:

Can anyone think of a single reason why you would be sensible to option ventilated carbon ceramic discs on this car?

what do you mean? They reduce unsprung mass improving damping accuracy and steering, the do not fade (or not as fast) and they do not throw off dust. On a car like this (heavy, powerful, expensive) it is not sensible NOT to option ceramic brakes!

2 July 2019

Come on.  You can't fall for everything.  Reduced unsprung mass?  Improved steering? In an S8? 

 

Explain the circumstances in which you could possibly experience fade in an S8?  Please don't say on a track.

 

 

 

 

2 July 2019
eseaton wrote:

Come on.  You can't fall for everything.  Reduced unsprung mass?  Improved steering? In an S8? 

 

Explain the circumstances in which you could possibly experience fade in an S8?  Please don't say on a track.

Probably never. Maybe going very fast on German Autobahn and braking repeatedly from very high speed, which is highly unlikely.

Still, it is a big expensive car, needs expensive brakes, noblesse oblige you know.

I remember reviews of RS6, not on track, where iron brakes smoked. The TTRS iron brakes were just as crap.

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