Audi S8 Review The Audi S8 is a bonkers executive limo with increbile pace and scarcely believable traction.
It's based on the standard A8 and sits at the top of the Audi model range above the A4 and A6 saloons. It remains a niche option, but for some it's the ultimate example of understated wealth.A Mercedes S Class is a more modern, better resolved car, while the BMW 7 Series is arguably more fun to drive. That said, the Audi's twin turbo V8 is a gem, making it hard to ignore the S8's brutish, muscle car charm.Like all otherAudiS and RS models, the S8 represents the fastest and most exclusive version available. Using the standardA8 saloonas its base, the S8 adds a twin turbocharged V8 engine with more than 500bhp, as well as aggressive styling tweaks to the exterior and interior. Those wanting even more performance can opt for the 'Plus' version, sending power rocketing to almost 600bhp.Unlike many of its rivals fromMercedes,BMWandJaguar, the all S8s feature quattro four wheel drive 0akley sunglasses to help cope with the added power and as a result it also provides superb grip even in wet and wintry conditions.Despite the muscular performance, the S8 is still a quiet and comfortable limousine, with a luxurious and stylish cabin. However, while it is incredibly capable, all models are expensive and lack the engaging dynamics of its rear wheel drive rivals.The Audi S8 feels much like an old school muscle car. The V8 engine is a brute, and the four wheel drive powertrain ensures limitless traction in any weather.It doesn't offer the last word in driver involvement you'll need to look to the Mercedes S Class or BMW 7 Series for that but there's still plenty of feedback through the wheel, giving you confidence in any situation. It's nicely refined too as you'd expect from a luxury limousine making high speed motorway driving a doddle. The gearbox is slick and easy to use, especially if you leave it to its own devices. In fact, despite having more power than five Ford Fiestas, the S8 is incredibly straightforward to drive.There are two cars to choose from; the standard 513bhp S8, and the bonkers 597bhp S8 Plus. This makes it blisteringly quick in a straight line, but thanks to the standard fit quattro four wheel drive system and adjustable air suspension, it also offers up plenty of grip in the corners.That said, there's no escaping the fact that this a two tonne car and at times it feels like too much weight for the brakes and steering to cope with. Plus, as the S8 comes with a very clever active noise cancellation system that makes it virtually silent at cruising speed, it means the S8 isn't as engaging as an AMG badgedMercedes S Classand its not as comfortable either.Those wanting even more from their executive Audi, can opt for the bonkers S8 Plus version. It uses an uprated version of the standard car's twin turbo V8 engine producing a scarcely believable 597bhp and 750Nm of torque. It'll do 0 62mph in just 3.8 seconds and hit 189mph with the polarized oakley Dynamic Package fitted. That makes it faster than an entry level Porsche 911.Running a powerful and expensive car like the S8 will require very deep pockets. Although the new twin turbo V8 engine does use cylinder deactivation technology to maximise efficiency, drive it hard and the S8 will struggle to return more than 20mpg (despite Audi claiming 30.1mpg), while CO2 emissions of 216g/km put it in one of the top brackets for road tax. The higher powered S8 Plus is even thirstier, returning even fewer miles per gallon and 231g/km of CO2. Official figures say the S8 will retain between 30 and 35 per cent of its value after three years, meaning big drops if you buy new. For comparison, a Mercedes AMG S63 will keep up to 46 per cent of its value, making it a better bet long term. A facelift late in 2013 sharpened up the bumpers and added a new set of headlights.The S8 Plus is distinguishable by its high gloss detailing and darkened rear light clusters but is otherwise identical to its lesser powered sibling.Standard equipment across the S8 range is very generous, too, with hi tech kit like sat nav, BOSE surround sound and climate control all fitted as standard. However even with these tweaks, the A8 fails to standout like the Jaguar XJ Supersports or even its smaller and cheaper sibling, theAudi S7 Sportback.Sat nav, stereo and infotainmentOn the inside, the A8's already high class interior has been given a range of sporty upgrades, including grey back dials, carbon fibre trim and quilted leather and Alcantara on the seats and dashboard. white oakley sunglasses Unfortunately, the S8 misses out on the TT, A4 and R8's brilliant Virtual Cockpit display, feeling a little dated as a result. But that's not to say it's an unpleasant place to be it's still a high quality design that feels only marginally less special than its key rivals.The S8 offers the same generous level of space as the oakley gascan standard A8, which means a 520 litre boot. It also comes with an electric tailgate and an opening that's wide and flat, making it easy to load even the bulkiest of items. Rear seat passengers are well catered for, too, with enough head and legroom for three adults in the back and plenty of handy cubby holes.
Up front, there's a huge range of adjustment for both driver and passenger and despite its dimensions, visibility is good so the S8 is fairly easy to park. Compared to its two biggest rivals the Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 Series the S8 is both the longest and the heaviest. At more than five metres long, it's not a small car, while at almost two tonnes, it's 130kg more than the latest BMW limo.
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