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Audi powers up new 305km/h S8 Plus flagship

Power plus: The new Audi S8 Plus can dash from standstill to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds, making the big sedan king of the limo sprint heap.

Extra 63kW of power makes Audi S8 Plus faster than Benz’s benchmark S63 AMG


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6 Aug 2015

AUDI has announced a new hi-po version of its flagship A8 to take the fight up to the AMG-fettled Mercedes-Benz S63 large luxury sedan.

Boasting a whopping 445kW of power and 700Nm of torque from its bi-turbo 4.0-litre TFSI V8, the Audi S8 Plus is claimed to be capable of covering the 0-100km/h sprint in a Porsche-like 3.8 seconds – the fastest of any of the big German luxury limos and 0.2 seconds quicker than Benz’s 430kW/750Nm 5.5-litre S63.

And if the buyer orders a special sports package, the helpful technicians at Audi will disconnect the 250km/h speed restrictor, freeing the big beast to hit 305km/h on the autobahn.

The good news for Australian Audi fans is that the new top-of-the-pile model is headed for this market, but probably not until about the middle of next year.

Pricing will not be confirmed until closer to launch, but a good guess would be that it will be priced somewhat north of the current Audi S8’s $281,000 (plus on-road costs), but probably short of the Mercedes S63 that retails for $387,300.

In Europe, the S8 Plus is expected to make its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, ahead of its European on-sale launch in November.

Tweaks to the V8 engine – a co-operative effort by Audi and its hotshop partner Quattro – have wrung an extra 63kW of power and 50Nm of torque compared with the ‘standard’ S8 that makes do with 382Kw and 650Nm. The extra grunt slices 0.3 seconds from the 0-100km/h time.

Audi says the S8 Plus reinforces the company’s position in the premium sedan class. “We have further sharpened our large sport sedan,” Said Audi board member for technical development Ulrich Hackenberg.

“The new Audi S8 plus has a substantial gain in power and defines the pinnacle of sporty performance in the segment. That is why ‘plus’ appears in its name.”

Modifications to the 4.0 TFSI include new engine control software, modified exhaust valves and a new turbocharger with a redesigned inner geometry for greater efficiency.

Like the S8, the S8 Plus has an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system and a sports differential.

A sports adaptive air suspension system and dynamic steering tuning are standard, along with 21-inch alloy wheels with 275/35 tyres.

An extra-cost “dynamic” package not only removes the speed-control nanny but adds carbon-fibre-reinforced ceramic brakes with grey-painted brake callipers bearing the Audi logo, along with an even sportier exhaust system with “an unmistakable sporty V8 sound characteristic”.

A rear lip spoiler is standard, but can be upgraded to carbon fibre – the same materials as the flaps in the side air inlets and the lower blade of the front air splitter. The Audi family grille gets a black gloss treatment, or carbon if the buyer prefers.

On the German version at least, Matrix LED headlights will feature dynamic turn signals. The 25 LEDs can be individually turned off or on or dimmed to prevent glare for oncoming drivers.

The S8 Plus also gets darkened tail light lenses and a gloss black rear diffuser with a carbon surround, helping to further set it apart from the S8.

Twin oval exhaust pipe tips are also in gloss black. If that is all too much, the buyer can choose the standard S8 body treatment.

All S8 body colours are available with the S8 Plus, along with a special matt silver.

Inside, the black theme is carried through to the full leather trim, but with contrasting red stitching and piping on the sports seats. Headlining and rear parcel shelf and cloaked in black Alcantara.

Brushed aluminium and piano black trims adorn the dash and console. Pedals are of stainless steel.

Standard features include and assistance package with Audi pre sense plus, four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning system, Bose surround sound system and MMI navigation plus with MMI touch.

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