Just when the rest of the world is going 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder on us, we can apparently count on Audi to go balls out with a monster V8. The new S8 flagship sedan has broken cover in its gloriously conservative self with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 under that sexy hood. Just when we thought it might get a supercharged V6, Audi delivers the tasty 8-cylinder goods and does not disappoint.
The 2020 Audi S8 isn't messing around with 571 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque to put the power down to all four wheels with its quattro all-wheel drive system. There's also a 48-volt mild hybrid system that adds a dose of efficiency to those buyers who care about such things. Audi hasn't released information on the 0-60 time, but we expect to be in the low-to-mid four second range, if not faster. The top speed is governored at 155 mph. We're guessing it can be lifted for speeds approaching 200 mph.
The S8 has tons of power, so the handling has to be commensurate. The S8 has an active suspension system, four-wheel steering, and a sport differential. Adaptive in the S8 essentially means the suspension will automatically adjust depending on road conditions and selected drive mode. Each wheel can adjust independently, and the S8 will even elevate when occupants enter and exit. The S8 also has a "Comfort+" mode that actually leans the vehicle's body into a curve by up to 3 degrees in order to reduce the feeling of G-forces in turns.
The S8 also gets powerful 10-piston front brake calipers with optional carbon ceramic rotors that will likely cost thousands for a car like this. The composite brake discs are lighter and more powerful than standard cast-iron versions and dissipate heat better for less fade under hard driving. The brake setup should provide confidence for a vehicle that's likely to weigh in at close to 5,000 lbs (the standard A8 is 4,751 lbs).
In terms of styling, the A8 upon which the S8 is based is already quite handsome, but a performance version has to stand apart. Though nothing radical has been done to the body, it does get some changes including a more aggressive lower front fascia and side sills, S silver mirrors, and what appear to be real quad exhaust tips (unlike the SQ5's fake exhaust ports). Of course, there's S8 badging on the front and rear of the car, so everyone knows you paid more and should not be trifled with.
No release date has been provided, nor has pricing been disclosed for the U.S., but U.K. pricing is 100,000 Britsh Pounds or the equivalent of close to $126,000. The last S8 (2018) cost about $115,900, so that's a rather chunky price jump. We think Audi has made the S8 one of the best performance luxury sedans around since its inception back in 1996, and the tradition of building a superfast but conservatively styled super sedan continues with the 2020 S8.