The 2006 S8 was the first Audi to receive the 5.2-litre, direct-injection-equipped (FSI) version of Lamborghini’s 40-valve V10. Here it makes 444 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, a useful upgrade over the previous V8’s 360, and enough to dispatch 60 mph in 5 seconds flat from a standing start. As in the S6, the Audi V10 doesn’t give the same brutal punch as AMG’s supercharged engines or BMW’s V10, and around town it resembles much in character the previous 4.2-litre V8. It is however a lot more spirited than Audi’s own leading W12.
The S8’s short-wheelbase arrangement, available carbon-ceramic brakes, sport-tuned air suspension, latest generation quattro awd system, 265/35 ZR20 tires and better-bolstered seats also help give it the star-athlete image that it seeks in the A8 lineup. Body roll is all but eliminated, steering feel is surprisingly good and traction is unwavering. Quibbles? The standard brakes have a rather soft initial feel, and the absence of some derivative of the twin-clutch DSG gearbox is lamentable (only a six-speed Tiptronic is available).
The new S8 is in many ways still the darling the old one was: a bit more luxurious, with a little less originality, a little more weight, and a lot more punch! - by Traian Popescu
|Base Price, USD||95,000 est.
||Engine Type||40-valve V10
|Powertrain Layout||Front engine, AWD||Displacement, cc||5204
|Curb Weight, lb||4276
||0-62 mph, sec||5.1
|1/4 mile, sec@mph||-
||600 ft slalom, mph||-
|70-0 mph, ft||-||Top speed, mph||155