Click image for high-res photo gallery This edition of "In the Autoblog Garage" is brought to you by the letter S and the number 8. Alone, each is just another mundane alphanumeric character. When positioned next to each other on a vehicle bearing Audi's interlocking rings, however, they turn into something very special. The character pair becomes shorthand for 5.2 liters, 10 cylinders, 450 horses, 398 ft.-lbs., 4.9 seconds, 155 miles per hour, and $110,000+ in the case of the Daytona Grey Audi S8 tester that had been deposited in my driveway. Yep, it was going to be a pretty good week. %Gallery-4621% There are times when more simply means more, and others when more means better. The S8 is is the rolling embodiment of both philosophies, cramming in just about every feature Ingolstadt has to offer, while somehow making it seem entirely rational -- appropriate, even -- at the same time. One of the best things about Audi's über-sedan is that to the untrained observer, it's just a standard-wheelbase A8. Why is this good, you ask? Because the S8 is the ultimate sleeper as a result. Those who recognize it for what it is generally make eye contact and nod approvingly, understanding what it is that's before them. They're the ones who know better. Some stoplight denizens are less respectful, tossing sheepish looks at the "rich dude" lined up next to them. They're the ones who rev their engines aggressively, only to be wearing looks of shame as they stare straight ahead at the next stoplight, having been utterly humiliated by a conservative-looking 4,586-pound sedan. Looks, you see, are very deceiving, and the S8 has the means at its disposal to make examples of those who underestimate it. The visual differentiators worn by the S8 are subtle but unmistakable. For starters, red-trimmed S8 badges adorn the trunklid and the grille, whose vertical elements are dressed in chrome. The door handles are also accented with the shiny stuff, and the rearview mirrors are given a satiny metallic finish. The car's nose sports a pair of honeycomb-trimmed intakes under the headlamps and an ever-so-slight lip spoiler finishes off the bottom. Small V10 badges sit aft of the front wheel wells and when you head rearward, quad exhaust tips stick out through the rear bumper cutouts. The S8's standard rolling stock consists of 20" seven-twin-spoke wheels wrapped in 265/35R20 rubber, but our tester was still wearing its winter kicks despite spring being in full swing. The wheel design was the same, but they were 19 inches in diameter, instead. A peek through the spokes reveals the S8 logo on the front brake calipers. The rest of the car's outward appearance is pure A8 -- understated elegance infused with athleticism. Think of an NFL linebacker in an expensive tailored suit and that's the profile the S8 cuts as it drives by: classy, but muscular. Opening the door presents you with a case study in how to design a proper cabin. If you're part …
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|MPG||14 City / 20 Hwy|
|Power||450 @ 7000 rpm|
|Drivetrain||quattro all wheel|
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