The new Audi S8 combines progressive luxury with dynamic athleticism while honing its reputation as the benchmark for Vorsprung durch Technik with innovative suspension systems. Its 4.0 TFSI engine – a biturbo eight-cylinder unit – produces 420 kW (571 hp) and an opulent 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. It is combined with MHEV technology for the perfect symbiosis of efficiency and comfort with exhilarating performance. The predictive active suspension, dynamic-all-wheel steering and quattro drive with standard sport differential provide for outstanding vehicle dynamics straight from the factory. The new Audi S8 uses specific design elements to express the sporty elegance of the sophisticated luxury sedan with pinpoint precision.
Impressive performance: the engine
As a V8 engine with mild hybrid technology, the high-performance powerplant in the Audi S8 offers not only maximum smoothness, but with an output of 420 kW (571 hp), 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque and two turbochargers also the certainty that ample power is available for any situation.
Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Iron-lined cylinder barrels in the aluminum crankcase reduce friction for exceptionally smooth running. Automatically actuated flaps in the exhaust system underscore the impressive sound.
Sports car-level emotion and performance are paired with comfort and efficiency. The mild hybrid system (MHEV) works continuously to reduce fuel consumption. Its 48-volt belt alternator starter and the additional lithium-ion battery enable coasting with the engine switched off, fast restart and an extended start-stop range. Fuel savings of up to 0.8 liters per 100 kilometers are possible in everyday driving.
The cylinder on demand system, which deactivates individual cylinders in low-load operating situations, provides for additional efficiency. The vehicle’s sound system features active noise cancellation to eliminate intrusive cabin noise for the ultimate in comfort.
Vehicle dynamics: active suspension, dynamic-all-wheel steering and quattro with sport differential
The unique combination of innovative suspension components enables the flagship to cover the entire range from the velvety cruising of a luxury sedan to the dynamically taut handing of a sports car. The new S8 comes standard with the predictive active suspension. The high-tech system, which works in combination with the adaptive air suspension, can lift or push down each wheel separately via electromechanical actuators.
It is therefore possible for the first time to actively control the trim of the body in any driving situation and thus greatly reduce pitch or roll during acceleration or braking. The front camera, which detects larger road surface irregularities, enables this to be done predictively. The new Audi S8 can be a highly comfortable luxury sedan or a truly dynamic sports car – it’s entirely up to the driver.
The Audi drive select system offers five profiles from which to choose. “Comfort +” mode is a new profile. It makes even cornering a comfortable experience: The body leans into curves by as much as 3 degrees to reduce the lateral acceleration acting on the occupants. In “dynamic” mode the S8 turns in tautly. The maximum roll angle during fast cornering is just roughly 2.5 degrees compared with around 5 degrees with the standard suspension. The situational distribution of roll moments enables self-steering that is neutral or minimally oversteering. The active suspension enables another new function. The body is quickly raised by as much as 50 mm (2.0 in) when the door handle is actuated for an even more comfortable entry and exit.
The Audi S8 is redefining the limits of physical possibility thanks to the dynamic-all-wheel steering. This allows the independent adjustment of the steering angles at the front and rear axles. It therefore combines direct, sporty steering response at low and medium speeds with supreme stability on the highway and a tight turning circle, thus resolving a long-standing conflict of objectives.
The sport differential actively transfers torque between the rear wheels during fast cornering. When turning into or accelerating in a curve, most is directed to the outside wheel. This literally pushes the car into the curve and nips any hint of understeer in the bud. In the case of oversteer, the sport differential on the rear axle transfers the drive torque to the inside wheel to stabilize the S8. Dynamic all-wheel steering, the sport differential and the predictive active suspension are all standard equipment.
The interplay of these systems is unique in its class and ensures composed and sporty handling in all situations. Customers can choose the optional high-performance carbon-fiber ceramic brake discs with a diameter of 420 millimeters (16.5 in) at the front axle and 370 millimeters (14.6 in) at the rear axle. The ceramic brakes are internally ventilated, low-wearing and including the calipers are 9.6 kilograms (21.2 lb) lighter than cast iron discs. Each of the front calipers has ten pistons.
Precise expression of sporty elegance: the design
The progressive, elegantly flowing exterior design of the model series gets some new accents with the new Audi S8. Bold interior and exterior design elements finely hone the sporty character. Wheels up to 21 inches in diameter are available for the 5.17 meter (17.0 ft) long sports sedan. Details on the front bumper, side sills and the exterior mirror housings as well as the two S-typical twin exhaust tailpipes emphasize the car’s sporty and progressive character. The black styling package is also available as an option.
Customers can choose from nine sophisticated color and design worlds, including the Audi design selection pastel silver, for the spacious interior, which conveys the relaxed atmosphere of a luxurious lounge. Here the upper inlay – new and available exclusively in the Audi S8 – is made of Carbon Vector with a special 3D depth effect. Directly below that is an inlay of dark, brushed matt aluminum. Lighting options range up to HD matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light and OLED rear lights. In the major markets China, USA, Canada and South Korea, the Audi S8 will be available for the first time and exclusively with an extended wheelbase. The increased vehicle length and height means a significant increase in comfort for the occupants thanks to greater head and leg room.
Progressive and state-of-the-art: the equipment
Every detail of the new Audi S8 reflects its character as a sporty luxury model. One particular highlight are the standard comfort customized contour seats in sport look. They feature wide ranging power adjustment, pneumatically adjustable side bolsters and separate three-stage heating for each seat. Added to this ventilation and massage functions are available. Customers can choose between the top leather grades Valcona and Unikat. The rear seats also offer numerous features for outstanding comfort and provide for a first-class atmosphere in the Audi S8.
The 38 driver assistance systems that Audi provides for the new S8 are divided into the City and Tour packages. Adaptive cruise assist stands out among the comprehensive range of assist systems. It combines the functions of adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and lane tracking. In combination with predictive efficiency assist, it brakes and accelerates the Audi S8 in anticipation of the conditions ahead.
In the City assist package, Audi pre sense side joins the systems pre sense front and pre sense rear to create Audi pre sense 360°. If the system detects an impending side impact, it can operate together with the predictive active suspension to instantly raise the body by as much as 80 millimeters (3.1 in). This brings the sill into a better position to absorb the impact energy, mitigating the potential consequences of the accident for the occupants.
The brain behind the driver assistance systems in the new Audi S8 is a high-performance processing unit, the central driver assistance controller (zFAS). It continuously computes a differentiated model of the vehicle’s surroundings based on the data provided by the sensors. Fully equipped, there are five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and a laser scanner on board.
Digital and intelligent: controls and connectivity
The new Audi S8 offers a progressive technology experience with new digital services and state-of-the-art connectivity. The MMI touch response operating concept of the new Audi S8 is fully digital. The driver controls nearly all functions via two large displays. The driver can also use natural speech control, which offers virtually unlimited freedom when formulating questions and commands.
The answers are provided either from information stored on board or from the cloud. Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice assistant, is also available as an option. All driving-relevant displays appear in the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be switched between two views. While the tachometer and speedometer are displayed as large dial-type gages in driving mode, the map is the center of attention in infotainment mode. Both views have S-specific red graphical details. A special S-performance layout for the Audi virtual cockpit where the central focus is the tachometer, displayed as a square graph, and the output and torque are shown as percentages can also be selected in the MMI. The optional head-up display can display important information on the windshield.
MMI navigation plus serves as the infotainment and media center in the new Audi S8. Besides the integration of the Amazon Alexa voice service, the extensive Audi connect range includes numerous car-to-X services that draw on the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet. Traffic light information is a new feature that Audi is adding successively in selected European cities. Interconnection with the city’s infrastructure allows the vehicle to receive information from the central traffic light computer via a server, enabling the driver to select a speed to match the next green-light phase. The Audi virtual cockpit displays an individual speed recommendation as well as the remaining time until the next green-light phase if the driver is already waiting at a red light.
The system thereby contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic. Online traffic sign information, hazard alerts and on-street parking round out the range of car-to-X services. The myAudi app connects the car to the customer’s smartphone so that they can easily send destinations to the car from their couch. The Audi smartphone interface wirelessly brings Android Auto and Apple Car Play on board. High-end components such as the Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System and the Audi phone box round out the infotainment lineup in the new S8.