Audi's new flagship performance sedan is finally here.
It’s been nearly two years since the all-new Audi A8 was unveiled as the automaker’s new flagship luxury sedan. Since then, we’ve been anticipating the inevitable high-performance S8 variant. Last year, a prototype was spotted running naked around the Nurburgring, but now Audi has finally lifted the wraps off the new 2020 S8 sedan.
Unsurprisingly, the S8 has significantly more grunt than the standard A8 thanks to a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 563 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. It also incorporates Mild Hybrid technology with a 48-volt system for stop-start functionality, which Audi claims will improve both efficiency and performance. Speaking of which, performance specifications are still being kept under wraps, but the new S8 should do the 0-62 mph sprint in around four seconds.
All that power is sent through a Quattro all-wheel drive system with a sport differential. To help the S8 cope with this extra muscle, Audi has fitted the high-performance sedan with predictive active suspension as standard. This system can raise and lower each wheel individually to provide the smoothest ride possible and limit body roll to 2.5 degrees.
In comfort mode, the suspension will lean the sedan a full five degrees to help absorb lateral forces. Forward-facing cameras are also used to detect potholes and adjust the suspension accordingly. Quattro all-wheel drive with all-wheel steering and a sport differential further enhance the S8’s agility, while optional carbon-fiber ceramic brakes (measuring 16.5 inches in front and 14.6 in the rear) provide plenty of stopping power for the large luxury sedan.
Visually, the new S8 looks more aggressive than its standard sibling, but the changes are subtle. The front fascia looks slightly sportier with redesigned corner intakes, while new wheels, unique badging, and quad tailpipes further distinguish the S8. Inside, the S8 is fitted with matte aluminum trim and diamond-stitched seats with embroidered S badging. There is also an upper inlay in the cabin made of Carbon Vector. As for tech, the S8 includes Audi’s MMI dual-screen infotainment system, smartphone connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital gauge cluster.
Pricing and availability for the 2020 Audi S8 haven’t been released yet, but expect it to cost considerably more than the standard A8, which starts at $83,800. The outgoing Audi S8, on the other hand, starts at $115,900.