"Plus" doesn't even begin to describe the enhancements Audi and Quattro GmbH have wrought on the ultimate new version of the A8 sedan. Power is increased from 520 horsepower to 605, besting anything else in its class. Only the Mercedes S65, which packs four more cylinders and two additional liters of displacement, offers more horsepower. Torque is quoted at 516 lb-ft – a gain of 35 – and can deliver up to as much as 553 lb-ft in overboost. That bests any eight-cylinder performance sedan save the S63. The force-fed V8s in the Jaguar XJR, Maserati Quattroporte, and outgoing Alpina B7 don't stand a chance.
All that muscle translates to a 0-62 time quoted at 3.8 seconds. Top speed is governed as usual to 155 miles per hour, but can be derestricted to nearly 190 with the Dynamic package that comes standard in Germany – one of the few places where top speed actually matters. Carbon-ceramic brakes keep all that power and pace in check, nestled inside 21-inch wheels. Naturally, Audi gives the S8 Plus a wide array of visual upgrades inside and out to set it apart from "lesser" versions, and is offering it in an exclusive matte silver finish.
Of course none of those enhancements come cheap. In its home market come the end of November, Audi will charge 145,200 euros for the S8 Plus, representing a 28k premium over the existing S8. That also places this as the new top of the line, commanding a higher price than even the long-wheelbase, dozen-cylinder A8 L W12. We're waiting on word as to whether Audi will bring the new S8 Plus to America, where it would likely similarly cost over $140k.
- Highest powered sport sedan in the premium segment
- 4.0 TFSI engine outputs 445 kW (605 hp) and up to 750 Nm (553.2 lb ft)
- Zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.8 seconds; top speed of up to 305 km/h (189.5 mph).
Audi is making a strong statement with the new S8 plus*. With a power output of 445 kW (605 hp) and a top speed of up to 305 km/h (189.5 mph), the new Audi S8 plus* delivers even more enhanced driving performance. The new top model is reinforcing the brand's position in the segment of premium class sedans.
"We have further sharpened our large sport sedan," says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG; he continues "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."
One strength of the large sedan is its lightweight design. Its body is made almost entirely of aluminum. Its design is based on the Audi Space Frame (ASF) and weighs just 231 kg (509.27 lb) – which is the lightest among the competition.
Audi engineers have further advanced the development of the 4.0 TFSI engine for the new S8 plus. The sonorous V8 biturbo engine now has a power output of 445 kW (605 hp) and a maximum torque of 700 Nm (516.3 lb‑ft); in overboost mode, it can even produce 750 Nm (553.2 lb‑ft). The large sport sedan – whose power was boosted 63 kW (85 hp) compared to the S8* – accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.8 seconds, and its governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph) can optionally be increased to 305 km/h (189.5 mph).
Audi and Quattro GmbH bundled their expertise in engine development to attain these top figures. Modifications made to the 4.0 TFSI range from its special engine control with speed and charge pressure boosting to its modified exhaust valves and the inner geometry of the turbocharger that was optimized for efficiency.
An eight-speed tiptronic distributes the forces that are generated by the power-boosted V8 engine to a quattro drivetrain with a sport differential. Chassis highlights include the adaptive air suspension sport and dynamic steering, both of which chassis experts tuned specifically for the S8 plus. In Germany, the car comes with 21‑inch wheels that were specially designed for the S8 plus and size 275/35 tires.
The increase in top speed to 305 km/h (189.5 mph) is part of the dynamic package, which is a standard feature in Germany. In addition to carbon-fiber reinforced ceramic brakes with anthracite-gray brake calipers and the Audi ceramic logo, the package also includes a sport exhaust system modified by quattro GmbH. It gives the S8 plus an unmistakably sporty V8 sound characteristic.
The new S8 plus reveals its position as the sportiest top model of the model series in its design detailing. The standard spoiler lip on the rear lid catches the eye. It is painted in the exterior body color, and it is also available in carbon fiber as an option. The flaps in the side air inlets and the blade on the front apron are made of carbon fiber. The mirror housings in body color are optionally available in gloss black or carbon. The Singleframe grille and double bars are in gloss black, while the honeycomb structure of the side air inlets and radiator screen are in matt black. The trim strips on the side windows and at the rear are gleam in black. Distinctive design characteristics of the S8 plus also include darkened tail lights and a gloss black diffuser insert, which has an additional carbon surround. The dual-branch sport exhaust system branches into two oval gloss black tailpipes on the left and right. As an alternative, customers can choose the S8 styling package.
It features S8 logos at the front and rear and V8 T badges on the front fenders. The matt-effect paint finish floret silver is exclusively available on the S8 plus. All of the colors offered on the S8 are also available on the S8 plus.
The headlights feature Matrix LED technology as standard equipment in Germany; they come with dynamic turn signals. The extremely precise high-beam units each have 25 small, individual LEDs that can be individually switched on or off or dimmed as needed. They illuminate the road superbly without causing glare to oncoming traffic.
The interior of the S8 appeals with numerous sporty details, the authenticity of its materials and generous interior space. Contrasting stitching in Arras red is used throughout the black full-leather interior. Piping, also in Arras red, trims the comfort sport seats as well and emphasizes the stylish side of the sport sedan. The headlining and rear parcel shelf are designed in black Alcantara.
A contrasting red thread is woven into the upper inlay. The lower inlay is designed in brushed aluminum. Black piano paint trims the gear selector lever of the tiptronic and the center console. Characteristic of the interior of the S models are the round instruments with gray dials, white pointers, dynamic startup and an S8 logo on the tachometer. The pedals and footrest shine in stainless steel. There is a decorative red ring on the start-stop button, and an S8 logo adorns the three-spoke sport leather steering wheel.
Audi delivers the new S8 plus with the normal wheelbase and offers extensive standard features that include ambient lighting, a convenience key with sensor-driven luggage compartment locking, full-leather interior package, Alcantara package, power-assisted door closing and a DVD/CD changer. In Germany, standard features – in addition to the dynamic package – also include the 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. The new Audi S8 plus will be available at the end of November for a base price of 145,200 euros.