The new Audi S8 has been revealed ahead of its launch later this year. The flagship super saloon shuns the SQ7’s diesel engine for a 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology and quattro all-wheel drive.
Performance figures are yet to be homologated, but given the S8 develops 563bhp and 800Nm of torque, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 rival is expected to sprint from 0-62mph in around four seconds. Audi says the belt-driven alternator saves fuel by enabling engine-off coasting, fast restarts and a longer stop-start range.
Every version gets what Audi calls ‘predictive active suspension’, which manages each wheel individually for improved comfort and body control. There are five drive modes, including a new Comfort+ setting, which reduces roll by leaning the car into corners by up to three degrees.
All-wheel steering is said to further enhance body control, reducing the turning circle at slow speeds and improving stability at a cruise. Like the predictive suspension, this is standard on all S8 models. Carbon ceramic brakes are optional.
Visually, the S8 is separated from its lesser A8 siblings by its enhanced bumpers, sills, and quad exhaust pipes. It’s not clear which wheels will be standard on UK cars, but Audi says they’ll measure up to 21 inches in size. Like on the new S6 and S7, buyers can also spec a Black styling pack, which switches much of the standard S8’s chrome for dark trim.
Inside, the S8 features electrically adjustable heated and ventilated quilted leather seats, as well as Audi’s familiar two-screen MMI infotainment system. It comes integrated with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, as well as a specific S-performance layout for the Virtual Cockpit dials. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also feature.
Prices are yet to be revealed, but given a long-wheelbase Audi A8 S line 55 TFSI costs £80,115, the range-topping S8 is likely to be priced at near to £100k.
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