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Audi’s flagship new S8 arrives from $260k + ORC

Audi goes big with monstrous new S8 checking in at the top of the A8 line-up

28 Aug 2020


THE pinnacle of Audi luxurious performance has arrived Down Under, with the premium German brand officially launching its fifth-generation S8 this week priced from an even $260,000 plus on-road costs.


Sitting squarely at the top of the A8 tree, the S8 checks in $47,864 upstream of the 55 TFSI LWB, the most expensive of the ‘standard’ A8 range.


Audi appears to have thrown everything bar the kitchen sink at the S8 in terms of its underpinnings and standard equipment, with Audi Australia managing director Paul Samson describing it as the “epitome” of the brand’s “Vorsprung durch Technik philosophy”.


“The all-new Audi S8 is the technological flagship, the halo of our sedan range and the ultimate in luxurious performance,” he said.


“The new-generation S8 is a dynamic masterpiece, equipped with a truly astonishing suite of advanced technologies that ensure it makes a powerful statement, even at the upper end of this exclusive segment.”


Measuring in at 5179mm long, 2130mm wide and 1474mm tall, the S8 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine developing 420kW of power at 6000rpm and 800Nm of torque between 2000-6000rpm.


Drive, as ever for a high-end Audi, is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with the quattro all-wheel-drive system in this case being rear-biased, defaulting to a 40:60 torque split.


Despite weighing 2230kg, the mountain of power and all-paw grip results in a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds while the top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.


Official fuel consumption is pegged at 10.5 litres per 100km on the combined cycle while CO2 emissions are rated at 245g per kilometre.


Visually, the S8 follows the same understated but confidant styling basis as the rest of Audi’s S variants with the front end being dominated by the vast chrome Singleframe grille with a subtle matching chrome strip across its chin.


Flanking the top of the grille are a set of squinted LED headlights which help to give the S8 a more focused aura.


The chrome theme is continued around the rest of the body with chrome mirror caps, side skirt inserts and rear bumper trim which align with the chrome front lip to create a single line around the base of the body.


The rear tail-light arrangement follows the form of headlights in being narrow OLED units, linked by a red braking strip across the boot-lid.


Quad exhaust tips add an extra level of subtle menace to what is otherwise an unassuming body with the whole package rolling on 21-inch aluminium wheels, behind which lay red brake callipers.


Under the skin, the S8 debuts Audi’s brand new ‘predictive active suspension’ technology which utilises a series of sensors around the body as well as a forward-facing video camera to adjust to immediate road conditions – the suspension itself is an air-based setup.


The system also tailors the ride and level of body control in accordance to the driver mode being used; ‘leaning’ into the pitch and roll of the body in Comfort Plus mode to reduce cornering forces and by contrast, eliminating body roll when in dynamic mode.


Its party piece meanwhile is its ability to raise the body 50mm when a door handle is pulled, making it easier to get in and out.


Inside the cabin, there is Valcona leather aplenty, neatly complemented by carbon vector and dark brushed aluminium inlays on the centre console, dashboard and door trims.


The driver scores a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit as standard along with a heated and cooled leather multifunction steering wheel while the front seats are Audi S sports units boasting heating, ventilation and massage functions.


The centre fascia is dominated by the mid-mounted 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, immediately below which lays the same 8.6-inch climate control display as in lesser A8s.


Rear passengers are catered for with electric outer seats with memory and heating functions, two panel sunroof, electric sunblinds and even a reading light.


Other standard equipment includes stainless steel pedals, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, head-up display, ambient lighting, 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with rear-seat remote control, Audi music interface and two USB outlets in the backseat for passengers to connect their devices.


The standard safety kit list is equally as expansive, comprising of park assist, surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, traffic jam assist, exit warning, rear cross-traffic assist, adjustable speed limiter, lane change warning detections including side assist, turn assist, collision avoidance assist and efficiency assist as well as a new centre airbag between the front seats.


Audi Australia has shifted nine A8s so far this year ending July, 16 less than it managed over the same period last year and well off the pace of its arch-rival, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (79).


2020 Audi A8 pricing*

A8 50 TDI quattro (a) $193,689
A8 55 TFSI quattro (a) $197,036
A8 50 TDI LWB quattro (a) $208,889
A8 55 TFSI LWB quattro (a) $212,136
S8 (a) $260,000

*Excludes on-road costs

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