The 2002 Audi S8 full-size sedan is the high-performance version of Audi’s flagship sedan, the Audi A8. As a new generation of these sedans is due for the 2003 model year, few changes were made to the Audi S8 for the launch of the 2002 model lineup.
While the 2002 Audi S8 looks remarkably similar to the Audi A8, modifications to the engine and suspension ensure that this is a more performance-oriented car than the company’s flagship sedan. With its aluminum body and modifications under the hood, the 2002 Audi S8 is a lot more nimble than its counterpart, and drives more like a much smaller car.
Body styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 4.2-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic Tiptronic
Models: Audi S8 Quattro
Very little was changed for the launch of the 2002 Audi S8. In fact, almost all changes were made to the standard and optional features included with the sedan. New for the 2002 model year was an in-dash six CD changer as a standard feature. A tire pressure monitoring system and OnStar system are new options now available. The stability control system and navigation system software was updated, and new interior and exterior colors were introduced.
From the outside, the 2002 Audi S8 has an elegant yet conservative design that is the same as the Audi A8. The body is constructed from aluminum to provide a lighter, yet more rigid chassis that has improved handling and better gas mileage. A lower grille, twin exhaust pipes, unique badging, and aluminum alloy and chrome trim provide visible cues that differentiate the 2002 Audi S8 from the Audi A8. The 2002 Audi S8 comes fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels.
The interior of the 2002 Audi S8 is as spacious as the Audi A8. Five passengers can comfortably be seated in the cabin with plenty of head and legroom in the front and rear. The cargo area in the trunk is also as big to accommodate plenty of luggage within it.
Luxurious comfort is the key to the interior of the 2002 Audi S8 with leather seats and sumptuous wood trim. Standard features include power front seats with 14 different settings and four memory positions for the driver’s seat, power sunroof, dual climate control system with two sun sensors, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel that adjusts on entry and exit, and an in-dash six CD changer. The front seats have extra bolstering to provide plenty of support for passengers. Controls are clear and easy to use, and replicated on the multifunctional steering wheel.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Audi S8 is powered by the same 4.2-liter V-8 engine, but it has been modified to improve power output to 360 horsepower and torque to 317 lb-ft. Not only has the engine been modified, but the suspension is a stiffer, all aluminum suspension that improves handling, as well as reducing the weight. Finally, the brakes are larger than found in the Audi A8.
The only transmission is a five-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission, which can be controlled by paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The 2002 Audi S8 is equipped with the Quattro all-wheel drive system to provide maximum road adhesion no matter the road conditions.
The modified engine provides plenty of power to the 2002 Audi S8 making this a fast car, both from a stop and while making maneuvers at speed. The precise steering and lighter weight make the car responsive and have improved handling. Although the suspension has been tuned to be firmer, the ride is still comfortable and quiet.
Safety equipment included as standard in the 2002 Audi S8 consists of anti-lock brakes with electronic brake pressure distribution that ensures maximum brake capacity whatever the road conditions or the load. Electronic differential locking provides traction control at low speeds, and the electronic stability control system maintains the vehicle’s line by correcting under or over steering. Front and side airbags for front and rear passengers, and full-length side curtain airbags round out the standard safety equipment. A tire pressure monitoring system is available as an option.
EPA Fuel Economy
Audi S8: 13/20 mpg city/highway
- Powerful sport-tuned engine
- All-wheel drive
- Light weight of vehicle improves gas mileage and handling
- Roomy cabin and cargo area
You Won't Like
- Bland exterior style
- Expensive price tag
A sport-tuned sedan with the roominess of a full-size car and the performance and handling of a smaller sedan.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A8
- BMW 745
- Jaguar XJR
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class