Audi S8 Plus Review
Audi unleash the super powerful S8 Plus
- Huge amounts of performance
- Fun to drive despite its size
- Really comfortable
- High running costs
Audi do premium well across their model range and the luxury A8 saloon is the epitome of that.
Now the manufacturer has launched the S8 plus which offers even more performance over the S model in its flagship saloon. So what’s the powerhouse like to drive?
On the Road
The Audi S8 already produces a whopping 520PS, the S8 plus offers an exhilarating 605PS from the V8 engine with 750Nm of torque - be prepared for phenomenal levels of acceleration in such a large saloon. It offers only a smidgen less power than Audi’s supercar, the R8.
With an electronically limited top speed of 155mph, there is the option to increase it to 189mph with the dynamic package, which also includes carbon-fibre reinforced ceramic brakes - wise move if you’re braking from that top speed, (not that you would be doing that, right?) and although it maybe a big car, it takes just 3.8 seconds to get from 0-62mph.
It also benefits from their Cylinder-on-Demand technology to aid with fuel efficiency.
For those thinking that because it’s a saloon it’ll be no fun to drive, think again. Steering is well weighted, very responsive with high levels of feedback, which is what you need when you really push the S8 plus on tight, twisty roads.
With quattro all-wheel drive, it offers plenty of stability, high levels of grip and coming as standard is S sports adaptive air suspension, which has been tuned just for the S8 plus.
The Audi S8 plus has refinement in abundance, it’s 4.0-litre engine delivers the right sort of burbling V8 noise we all expect to hear and the premium saloon has minimal road noise, the cabin is like being in a bubble - it is well insulated from any external intrusion thanks to their Active Noise Cancellation system. Prepare to feel very chilled if you’re being driven in it, plus the soft close doors stop anybody slamming them.
In the car
The S8 plus has a very driver focussed cabin, from the nice, soft touch leather multi-function steering wheel, the informative driver’s display screen to the 22-way adjustable sports seats, everything is at your fingertips or within view.
The electronically retractable centre screen displays navigation, media, phone connectivity and car settings which can be operated using the very intuitive MMI touch system. Input an address into the navigation system by writing the letters on a touch sensitive keypad. Very clever and accurate.
With a Start button flanked by the swish looking gear selector, the brushed aluminium and black gloss add a sophistication to the S8 plus, along with ambient interior lighting features.
It cannot be denied that the Audi A8 is large, it is over five metres in length so the cabin is really spacious.
All passengers get plenty of head and leg room, rear passengers can also adjust their seats electronically and can even move front seats forward and back to increase leg room. Ideal if you’re being chauffeur driven and want to recline for a snooze, and to keep you hidden from view there is privacy glass for rear passengers.
Boot space is good, larger than rivals and it does fit plenty of bags and suitcases with ease. There is also a nifty hands-free boot opening system if you’re laden down with no free hands.
The S8 plus is priced from £97,715, over £15,000 more than the S8. If you’re looking for plenty of performance with saloon practicality then this is the car to go for.
Not surprisingly running costs won’t be low, Audi predict a combined 28.2mpg with it emitting 231g/km of CO2. It will fall into VED band L so will cost £500 annually. If you’ve nearly spent £100,000 for a car then I doubt you’ll be worried about high running costs.
In a segment which sees the likes of the Jaguar XJR 5.0 V8 and the Mercedes-AMG S63 as its main rivals, not only is it more powerful but it looks likely that it will have the best residual values in its class too.
Quality is always high with Audi models, cabin materials in the S8 plus are well-made, trim aluminium inserts are finished to a high standard and with full Nappa leather and Alcantara the model screams premium.
The Audi A8 has been around for twenty years and in that time reliability has been good with no major issues and owners have only found servicing costs to be high.
The Audi A8 has never been tested in the Euro NCAP ratings but other models all score highly, so the S8 plus comes with airbags, an Electronically Stability Program, ISOFIX points, a tool and first aid kit, a tyre pressure monitoring system and it has adaptive cruise control which features their pre-sense front detection to stop any collisions.
The Audi parking system now has a bird’s eye view, which is ideal as it’s a big car to park! Security comes in the form of a Thatcham category 1 alarm and immobiliser.