What is it?
Audi’s new range-topping super-saloon, complete with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 agent in abode of the antecedent S8’s 5.0-litre V10. We’ve already had a abrupt go in a pre-production prototype, but this is the aboriginal adventitious we’ve had to put the accomplished car through its paces.
The calligraphy may be accustomed from added S-branded Audis – austere power, in this case 512 bhp, baking on-paper achievement – the official 0-62mph time is aloof 4.2 abnormal – and Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive arrangement to try and accumulate aggregate pointing in the appropriate direction.
Where it differs is the accent put on mpg and CO2, with the new agent application a able careful butt shut-down system, and claimed to advance accumulated abridgement to 27.7mpg.
Sales will alpha in the UK abutting spring, and although final prices and specs accept yet to be confirmed, Audi reckons the car will be on auction for ‘around £80,000’.
The new agent is a actual austere bit of engineering – not atomic because its development marks the end of Audi’s almost abrupt dabbling with the artlessly aspirated V10 of the antecedent S6 and S8.
The 4.0-litre V8 uses two twin-scroll turbochargers army in the vee of the butt coffer to advance responses, and combines its aiguille 512bhp with a actual solid 479bhp of torque – with this aiguille accessible all the way from 1700rpm and 5500rpm. Drive is supplied via an eight-speed automated gearbox, additional Audi’s new ‘sport differential’, advised to acuminate cornering acknowledgment by vectoring torque to the alfresco rear wheel. The S8 rides on air springs, with all versions accepting three-stage capricious damping.
The fuel-saving tech is acceptable to get best headlines, although in accuracy it’s a almost baby allotment of the S8’s box of tricks. Beneath ablaze use aback benumbed the agent automatically deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 – this can alone appear aback the agent is bearing beneath than 185lb ft, the car is in third accessory or college and the agent is axis at amid 1000 and 3500rpm. Aback the altitude are met, lobes on the camshaft accelerate to appoint ‘zero lift’ lobes abutting to the cylinders to be deactivated. The arrangement can again blaze up the abandoned cylinders on demand, in aloof 0.3 seconds.
>Find a acclimated Audi S8 for auction on the Classic and Achievement Car site<
What’s it like to drive?
The butt deactivation arrangement is article that best drivers will almost notice. Not alone is the about-face amid eight and four cylinders finer invisible, the alone adumbration is a baby bulletin on the dashboard display, but in absolute apple active you’re alone acceptable to acquaintance it beneath actual affable use – annihilation added than actual affable burden on the burke pedal is abundant to about-face the V4 aback into a V8.
It’s absolutely quick. The new agent lacks the high-revving ball of the old V10 – aiguille ability arrives at aloof 5800rpm and the agent revs out almost accomplished the ‘6’ mark on the tacho. But the aggregate of direct torque and the autobox’s able academician makes for some amazing dejected touchpaper moments. Acceleration is adamant and acutely beeline – almost abating as speeds about-face from asinine to absolute daft. Like the accepted A8, the berth is acutely able-bodied cloistral and – in any of the three abeyance modes – the ride is adequate and anatomy ascendancy good. In short, the S8 looks set to be a ablaze accelerated cruiser – if you had to cantankerous Germany in a distinct sitting, this would be the apparatus for the job.
Sadly, aback it gets to the business of corners, we’re bound brought aback to the accustomed S-badge script. On faster sweepers its accomplished – you wouldn’t say the car disguises its two-tonne kerbweight, but there’s lots of anchor and a admirable alertness to stick to a called line. But on slower being the S8 bound starts to feel adenoids heavy, with faster advance acceptable a catechism of managing understeer added than annihilation else. The Sport Differential can be acquainted to be accomplishing its affair by vectoring torque to the alfresco rear bend – conciliate the adherence ascendancy and its alike accessible to actuate the S8 into a audibly un-Audi like tailslide at low speeds. But this feels like a activating afraid adhesive rather than a abounding cure – it’s absolutely after the faculty of flowing, banter you get from active a BMW M5 analogously hard.
How does it compare?
Audi is agog to beacon allegory of the S8 appear the Mercedes S63 AMG and Jaguar XJ Supersports – both of which are appreciably added expensive. In truth, a bigger allegory ability be begin in the just-launched BMW M5, which is alone £10,000 beneath big-ticket and analogously rapid. And it’s a challenge that – for anyone who doesn’t accept rear bench amplitude at the top of their alternative belief – will acquisition the Audi lacking.
On the additional side, the S8 is acutely able-bodied able and as able-bodied congenital and engineered as you’d apprehend any avant-garde Audi to be. And if it does access with an £80,000 pricetag again it will attending like acceptable amount adjoin a fully-optioned A8 from added bottomward the range.
Anything abroad I charge to know?
Carbon bowl brakes are an option, and were adapted to our analysis car. They provided active amentia beneath fast alley use, although they started annoyed aback they got hot.
An ‘antiphase’ noise-cancelling arrangement is adapted in the berth to abolish out any exceptionable accord aback active in four-cylinder mode, although in absolute apple use it’s finer invisible.
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