Good morning, I’m planning some secret prison misdemeanours and I would like some wheels to get me throughout the border, stat.
You’re in luck: right here’s the brand new Audi S8. Not that you just’ll have seen. It’s troublesome to consider any automobile you’ll be able to spend £100,000 on, packing a 563bhp wallop, that instructions this little consideration.
To recap, the S8 is the quickest model of Audi’s A8 limo. It’s the four-ringed reply to the BMW M760Li – besides it kind of isn’t, as a result of BMW’s final barge has a V12 engine. The S8 makes do with 4 fewer cylinders. In order that makes it a lowly 750i rival.
Maybe then it’s a poke within the eye for the Mercedes-AMG S63. Hmm, undecided about that. We’re between S63s in the mean time, with the brand new S-Class but to obtain the hot-rod V8 remedy, however earlier expertise tells us that S63s are loony bits of package that sacrifice a beneficiant dollop of the S-Class’s plushness once they sprout quad exhausts.
And naturally, Audi’s a member of the VW group household, which already has the likes of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S and Bentley Flying Spur on its books. An S8 isn’t actually allowed to be as decadent, or as neck-straining, as these beasts.
So, erm, what’s the purpose of an S8?
I’ve to say, at first I actually couldn’t work it out. The V8 coughs out a pleasing however distant (and autotuned) burble if you happen to actually clog, it, however more often than not, the S8 is so silent it’d as effectively be electrical. Besides in fact, if it was, it might be quicker.
The S8 takes 3.9 seconds to launch from 0-62mph, by which level a Tesla might be a speck on the horizon. Nonetheless, sub-four for a 2.2-tonne canal boat is swift sufficient to make your passenger swallow their tongue if the S8 is uncorked with out warning.
What’s extra, if you happen to actually begin working the delightfully unstressed twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 – which develops hundreds extra energy within the likes of Audi’s personal RS6, to not point out the Lamborghini Urus and several other Bentleys – then the spectacular 27mpg cruising financial system freefalls.
Even with a mild-hybrid system doing its greatest to maintain a reserve of electrical energy on board to permit the engine to modify off when coasting, you’ve acquired to be well-behaved to coax way more than 400 miles from a tank, leaning on the cylinder deactivation mode that shuts off half the engine. Come to consider it, Tesla reckons it’s getting near that endurance too…
However it’s a 155mph La-Z Boy armchair. Absolutely that’s acquired to depend for one thing?
It does trip with exceptional cushy-ness (German engineer’s time period, that) for a automobile on 20-inch rims. Possibly evidently means now we’re getting used to placing up with SUVs using on 21s, 22s and even 23s. This factor is mainly a settee on castors.
Really, it’s because of some very intelligent suspension. It’s a predictive system that scans the highway forward with cameras after which prepares every wheel for the pothole you haven’t noticed but. It’s not ultra-consistent, however a few occasions I swear the S8 made a velocity bump utterly disappear. It simply damped it out utterly. Different occasions, it didn’t time the response fairly proper, so there was a shudder.
It’ll additionally lean into corners. Solely a few levels, so don’t anticipate to be grazing your elbow on a cats-eye like a Ducati rider. Largely, it simply feels uncannily flat within the bends. The identical system is deployed to boost the automobile by 50mm when the door is opened, so it’s simpler to hitch your Bloomberg rich-list bottom out and in. It’s a basic case of German techno-overkill.
It’s additionally uncannily peaceable. Not simply the engine, however the wind and tyre noise too. This technology of A8 makes use of the identical tech as a pair of these posh noise-cancelling headphones to mute disagreeable frequencies of highway hum, so it soaks up the miles like a four-engined airliner.
Ahh, I’m stress-free simply studying this.
There are issues. Audi’s current plot to Touchscreen All The Issues means the S8 majorly lacks a way of event inside. It merely doesn’t really feel opulent sufficient. What’s good for an A6 or Q7 driver, which have just about precisely the identical inside, isn’t so intelligent on this supposed flagship, which is as austere and featureless as an Abu Dhabi skyscraper.
Maybe just a few extra choices would assist. Our check automobile lacked a designer label hi-fi, therapeutic massage seats or an on-board foot spa with panpipe backing quartet within the rear seats. You’ll be able to’t even get the S8 with a long-wheelbase within the UK.
Similar goes for the surface, I see…
Bland, proper? After all the giganto-grille is chromed to inside an inch of its life, and also you get 4 exhaust pipes jutting out the bum, however in any other case the S8 has exactly zero presence. An A4 S-line appears to be like punchier.
However then, that is the place the S8 begins to return good. It isn’t making an attempt to seize each pedestrian by the ear lobes, elevate them three ft into the air and bellow “I AM VERY POWERFUL AND FAST, YOU KNOW” of their face. That’s what the BMW, the AMG, and the Porsche do. The S8 has all of the visible clout of an airport taxi, however that’s what makes deploying its silky thrust all of the extra amusing. There’s a way of ‘ahem, want I say extra?’ as you blast alongside.
…which you’ll be able to’t actually do in your neck of the woods, can you?
Truthful level. The S8 is wasted on Britain, with our 70mph velocity limits. It effortlessly surges off roundabouts and out of cities browsing its deep reserves of torque, however the present is over all too quickly. This can be a automobile by Germans, for Germans. One thing discreet and tasteful you’d unthinkingly loll into on the finish of a day within the workplace, level down the autobahn with two fingers on the steering wheel, cowl two miles a minute for half an hour, then park up and instantly neglect all about it.
Good for slipping unnoticed by way of the prison underworld, then…
High Gear doesn’t condone utilizing an S8 or every other uber-limo for works of organised crime, in fact. Vehicles like this aren’t going to be allowed to exist for for much longer. It’d be a disgrace to overlook the final of the V8 barges since you’re locked up at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
563bhp, 590lb ft
8spd auto, AWD
0-62mph in 3.9sec, 155mph
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