Audi S8 Origins
The S8 was considered to be Audi’s flagship sedan model and the third of the manufacturer’s S line to be introduced to the U.S. Unfortunately, Audi was unsuccessful in keeping the S8 thriving from year to year, so consumers were never certain that the car would continue to reach U.S. showrooms. Audi opted to take a three-year hiatus from development, extending from 2004 to 2007, and then pulled production again in 2010 with minimal warning. Despite the fact that the S8 was sold with little consistency, Audi has continued to market the model as a luxurious automobile with superb sport-performance qualities and design.About the Audi S8
The Audi S8 took cues from the A8 but is known for its advancements both on the interior and exterior along with its size within the category. Improvements in the styling, wheels, suspension, and various other components shifted the S8 into the spotlight, making it an exhilarating driving option for Audi enthusiasts. From the revolutionary quattro all-wheel–drive system to the most recent superior V-8 engine in the 2012 model, Audi continues to surpass consumers’ expectations. Over the years, the Audi S8 has also been know for its larger size, but the most recent advancements in chassis materials allow the model to reach top speed without compromising quality or luxury.Modern Audi S8s
Those following the history of the Audi S8 can welcome back the 2012 model that offers countless improvements and upgrades, from the 4.0-liter V-8 engine to the Valcona leather-interior accents and superior Bang & Olufsen sound system. In terms of mileage, the 2012 Audi S8 boasts a combined 23 mpg fuel economy, a considerable improvement from its 2009 13/19 mpg city/highway predecessor.
Starting with the exterior, the Audi S8 can be found in one of 13 different color options with two unique shades specifically made for the S model—Prism Silver and Daytona Gray. The S8 features a roughly 500-pound aluminum frame called the ASF, or Audi Space Frame, that helps to curb fuel costs without losing power or speed. This increase in speed can also be attributed to the V-8 engine, which is now capable of 520 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. The S8 can also reach 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds on its 265/40-series tires and 20-inch alloy wheels.
While behind the steering wheel, drivers can choose from Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency, or Individual modes, thanks to the S8 drive select system that controls the adaptive air suspension with active damping. Leather details from the sport-inspired seats to the carefully wrapped steering wheel are just a few of the luxurious interior design features one would expect from the S8. Other standard features include a 360-degree camera to assist with parking, a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 19 speakers, LED headlights, massage functions within seats, and a DVD player. Upgrades and optional features include Audi side and lane assist.Audi S8 Evolution
In the early 2000s, the S8 offered 360 hp through a 4.2-liter V-8 engine and a standard five-speed automatic transmission. The four-door sedan also featured heated lumbar seats, power accessories, and park assist. In addition, it offered leather upholstery and other luxurious amenities, ranging from dual-zone climate control to an AM/FM/CD audio experience. Small and subtle upgrades were made yearly until the Audi S8 was pulled from the marketplace in 2004.
2007 was the year American car buyers were reintroduced to the Audi S8 and its second generation. The body saw slight updates, but dramatic improvements were in the 5.2-liter V-10 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, which reached 435 horsepower. In 2008, Audi reached out to its parent company Volkswagen who added the engine that was used in the Lamborghini Gallardo, increasing power to 450 ponies. Audi also progressed by adding the quattro all-wheel–drive system to the 2009 model.
The 2009 S8 continued to grow and adapt to include perks such as a park-assist system, power trunk, back-window sunshade, heated steering wheel and rear seats, and adaptive cruise control. Optional amenities include a solar-powered, vented sun roof; four-zone automatic climate control; and a luxury audio system from Bang & Olufsen.