2024 Audi S8 evaluate | CarExpert


Probably the most disappointing factor in regards to the Audi S8 is that Australia is undeserving of one thing this good.

Our roads – and extra poignantly, our velocity limits – merely don’t enable a driver to expertise this automobile’s potential and credentials.

So, this factor? It’s distinctive. Ridiculously luscious and splendid, alarmingly highly effective and frightfully costly. 

I don’t know why you’d purchase it, however I completely perceive why you’d wish to contemplating there isn’t prone to be one other petrol S8 mannequin like this, because of the inevitable push in direction of EVs.

So, in case you can, do you have to? Let’s discover out.

How a lot does the Audi S8 value?

The asking worth is $273,400 earlier than on-road prices. Let that sink in.

It’s not as costly as a V8-powered Mercedes-Benz S-Class – the S 580L model of that limousine is an eye-watering $332,760. And there’s no V8-powered 7 Collection from BMW supplied in Australia anymore – even so, a turbo-six 740i is $272,900.

So, whereas it’s costly, it’s not that costly in comparison with its rivals. In actual fact, the following closest factor to it is a Porsche Panamera GTS, which additionally has a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 funnily sufficient, nevertheless it prices $317,900. If it have been my cool three-hundred grand, I’d be sooner spending it on an Audi RS6 Avant ($232,200), which is faster, extra sensible and extra raucous to drive. Hearsay has it, that’s why it has an R in its title.

You’ll discover out beneath what you get in your hard-earned, however simply know that the usual vary of paint choices no-cost – so, Sensible Black Stable, the metallic selections of Mythos Black, Firmament Blue (pictured), Extremely Blue, District Inexperienced, Vesuvius Gray, Florett Silver, Glacier White and in addition Daytona Gray pearl are $0 choices. There’s additionally a broader vary of Audi Unique Exterior paint finishes for $7500.

This specific take a look at automobile was additionally fitted with the Sensory Package deal, a $19,000 choice that contains full leather-based trim with distinction stitching, Bang & Olufsen encompass sound system, heated rear seats, cooled rear seats, massaging rear seats, and electrical rear seat adjustment with lumbar help. 

Value as examined? $292,400 plus on-road prices – eep!

What’s the Audi S8 like on the within?

Earlier than you even get into the automobile, it rises as much as greet you – with the air suspension growing the peak of the automobile by as much as 50mm to make ingress and egress a contact simpler.

Nevertheless, this automobile has exceptionally massive door sills, and each myself and my associate tripped over them not less than as soon as whereas stepping in. As soon as in, you may shut the door (which has delicate shut performance) and settle into the luxurious house on provide. 

The cabin design may finest be summed up as opulent with out being ostentatious, although some might discover the carbon trim a bit excessive for his or her tastes.

Nevertheless, it’s an S mannequin, so it ought to have sporty bits in equal measure to luxurious stuff, and it performs each components of that argument fairly properly. 

It’s not as blingy as a S-Class inside, however I truly assume that performs to its benefit, as a result of there are some understated however wonderful inclusions on the know-how entrance, together with a high-resolution 10.1-inch color show up prime, which covers smartphone mirroring (wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), sat nav and media controls (together with a digital TV for while you’re sitting round ready for passengers), and there’s a decrease 8.6-inch contact display screen with local weather buttons and different controls, and it has a stunning haptic suggestions – as long as you hit the button you propose to, which could be laborious while you’re driving. 

The seats are exceptionally snug, and the therapeutic massage perform – with a number of totally different modes, together with issues like Waves, Circles, Revitalise and Stretch – makes lengthy distance driving a breeze. Belief me, I did a visit from Sydney’s west to Orange and again in a day with this automobile, and received out feeling bodily effective.

I’ve come to actually recognize the ambient lighting inside the cabin, and it’s pleasant in the best way that it illuminates the color that you just regulate the temperature (blue for colder, purple for hotter). The lights on the edges of the dashboard and onto the doorways can even flash purple if there’s something in your blind spot, or if the automobile is attempting to forestall you from exiting into the trail of oncoming visitors. 

Additional, there may be matrix lighting know-how on provide within the cabin as properly, and it actually does make for a very simple automobile to extract a small little one from at night time, as I did a number of instances throughout my week with it. 

And one other characteristic that I wasn’t certain about at first however got here to understand over the week was the door handles, which characteristic a easy light-touch motion to open the door, so that you don’t need to reef the deal with. Very civilised. 

The supplies are of an especially prime quality, and the contact factors are all fantastically completed. There is a superb degree of consideration to element, and nothing actually appears or feels misplaced. Nevertheless, I do discover it to be an fascinating quirk of the A8 and S8 household is that the driver-side entrance door has a special design to the passenger facet, with out as helpful a seize deal with. That’s as a result of it has extra controls on provide, however it’s just a bit bit bizarre.

Talking of controls, I like that there’s a quantity dial, and the carbon inlay on the gear selector is gorgeous to behold.

I additionally actually appreciated that on one of many very chilly days that I drove this automobile, the central armrests characteristic heating – one thing that I by no means knew that I wanted, however it’s a actually welcome addition. 

As for storage within the entrance, there’s a cut up lid coated centre console bin with a wi-fi cellphone charger cradle (nice for preserving your cellphone out of sight and out of thoughts – when it really works, which it did intermittently fail to do with my iPhone 14 Professional), whereas close to the gear selector is a pair of cupholders. The doorways have massive bottle caddies, and there are small coated storage bins within the armrests of the entrance doorways as properly, nevertheless it actually isn’t setting any requirements in relation to storage.

Nicely, regardless of the actual fact it is a very massive automobile, it isn’t the roomiest automobile on this planet for taller rear seat occupants. At 182 cm or 6’0”, I had sufficient house to sit down behind my very own driving place, however some a lot smaller automobiles as of late have significantly more room on provide. And that was with the rear seat set within the ‘sitting’ place – if I hit the recline button, I ended up with my knees laborious towards the seat forward, or splayed both facet of it.

The plain answer, in fact, is to rent a small statured driver. Not an issue that I’ll ever have in my life!.

There are three seats within the again, though it’s positively designed as a four-seat automobile. The outer seats with their adjustability are very a lot sculpted to go well with particular person occupants, and anybody sitting within the center shall be uncomfortable. There’s an enormous transmission tunnel intrusion as properly.

The centre console space does fold all the way down to reveal further seat changes and a touchscreen for a number of the automobile’s consolation controls (lighting, media, local weather, shades and so on). There’s additionally a pair of USB-C ports in there, and in case you want it, the center part can even push all the way down to accommodate load-through entry to the boot.

Within the backseat, you additionally get – unusually – a pair of 12-volt retailers in a flip-down part within the centre console zone, and so they look very very similar to they’re designed to harness cigarette lighters. There’s quad-zone local weather management as properly, with directional air vents between the entrance seats, and within the B pillars.

There are storage pockets on the backs of each seats, and bottle holders within the doorways, in addition to a pair of come out cup holders in that centre console fold down part (which is fantastically damped when opening and shutting, by the best way). 

And you probably have (very fortunate) youngsters, they’ll recognize that there are ISOFIX factors within the window seats and three top-tethers as properly.

Now, boot house is nice for a sedan, with 505 litres of cargo house for the sneaky weekend away. There’s a hump in direction of the entrance of the cargo space, which does eat into the house slightly bit, and within the S8 you miss out on a spare wheel – only a restore package, right here.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

A heavenly symphony of combustion.

That’s one strategy to describe the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 petrol engine underneath the bonnet of the S8, which produces 420kW (6000rpm) and 800Nm (2050-4500rpm). That’s sufficient to propel it from 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.8 seconds – practically as quick because the bonkers Audi RS6 Avant, which claims 3.6 seconds.

It additionally incorporates a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which might shut down the engine when coasting; in addition to a cylinder on-demand perform that may reduce it again to 4 cylinders underneath mild hundreds.

It has an eight-speed automated transmission with paddle shifters, and naturally quattro all-wheel drive which, in regular driving, splits 40:60 entrance:rear, however can ship as much as 85 per cent of engine torque to the rear.

On the subject of gasoline consumption, the official mixed cycle determine is 10.5 litres per 100 kilometres, and over an in depth take a look at drive (greater than 500km) I noticed a real-world return of 12.2L/100km, which I used to be effective with contemplating the efficiency potential of this automobile.

Within the phrases of Snake from The Simpsons, “she wants premium, dude!” – 95 RON minimal, thanks, however as in case you’d put something apart from 98 RON in a automobile like this (it’s complicated, as each requirements are listed on the within of the filler cap). Gasoline tank capability is 82 litres.

How does the Audi S8 drive?

As I stated at first, this automobile is arguably an excessive amount of for Aussie roads.

Autobahn luxo-barges like this are made for powering down the freeway at speeds that might see you locked up for a decade in Australia – in plenty of methods, it appears a waste to purchase one thing like this.

However that’s a dumb argument, as a result of if you would like good issues which might be quick, enjoyable, make you are feeling good and you’ll afford them, good for you – devour, my pretties!

Anyway, it’s a dreamy drive. There’s mammoth ranges of grunt from this powertrain, which is employed in plenty of different Audi (and VW Group) fashions, and it truly is a improbable factor, while you’re driving it the way it needs to be pushed.

There’s a subdued warble that provides strategy to a extra attractive in-gear wail as you speed up, and it actually does discover the horizon quicker than you’d assume. This automobile gathers tempo so effortlessly it is going to make you would like you had the old school velocity alert system like my mother and father had of their VR Commodore.

I imply, there’s a system like that in case you’re actually apprehensive, and you’ll set the velocity limiter so that you gained’t lose your licence in case you get caught letting this factor get the higher of your sensibilities; nevertheless it actually is supremely quick, and it by no means feels such as you’re going as fast as you’re.

The eight-speed automated is easy and shifts neatly, although I did discover that in light-throttle conditions that the powertrain may very well be slightly lazy to re-engage, because of the 48-volt mild-hybrid system making the automobile coast each time attainable to assist save gasoline. You’ll be able to simply go away it in Dynamic mode if that’s not your bag.

The predictive adaptive air-suspension, which makes use of a digicam system to ‘learn’ the highway forward and regulate the suspension to supply the very best trip consolation and management attainable, is a improbable little bit of tech. You’ll be able to really feel the entrance finish stand up and prepared itself for a velocity bump, and the rear juts up and aligns as you crest the rise. It’s an odd sensation, as if the automobile is hovercrafting its manner over obstacles.

Nevertheless it’s additionally very efficient when it really works. It’s finest at coping with raised parts within the highway forward, however doesn’t accomplish that properly in relation to adjusting for deep divots or ruts. Even so, the trip in these conditions remains to be superb for a automobile that’s this large, this heavy (2295kg incl. 75kg driver), and is using on 21-inch wheels with licorice-like 35-profile tyres.

One factor that’s seemingly at odds with the sheer measurement (5190mm lengthy, 2998mm wheelbase) is the four-wheel steering system, which makes it really feel unnaturally agile in tighter corners.

It nearly feels just like the automobile pivots manner earlier than you assume it ought to, and it’s not the ‘purest’ of driving experiences.

Nevertheless, that four-wheel steering system does allow it to show in a tighter radius at decrease speeds, which means you may full U-turns and parking strikes in far much less house than you’d assume, for a automobile this massive.

What do you get?

S8 highlights:

  • Matrix LED headlights
  • Night time imaginative and prescient help with marking lights
  • OLED tail lights
  • 21-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear privateness glass
  • Purple brake calipers
  • Configurable twin exhaust
  • Predictive Lively Suspension 
  • Air suspension
  • Dynamic all-wheel steering
  • Semi-automatic parking help
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit Plus cluster
  • Head-up show
  • 10.1-inch + 8.6-inch touchscreens
  • Twin 10.1-inch rear shows
  • Digital TV
  • Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 23-speaker 1920W Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system
  • Valcona leather-based upholstery
  • Heated, ventilated, massaging entrance seats
  • Color-adjustable ambient lighting
  • Carbon vector and darkish brushed aluminium inlays
  • Stainless-steel pedals
  • Prolonged leather-based upholstery bundle
  • Matrix LED rear studying lights
  • Energy outboard rear seats
    • Heated rear seats
    • Reminiscence perform
  • Energy sunblinds
  • Electrical sunroof
  • Rain-sensing wipers

Is the Audi S8 protected?

Identical to the A8, there’s no official crash take a look at security score for the Audi S8.

Nevertheless it has an in depth checklist of security know-how fitted:

  • Autonomous emergency braking
    • Low, excessive speeds (as much as 250km/h)
    • Pedestrian detection
    • Bike owner detection
    • Intersection help
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane preserve help
  • Protected exit warning
  • Rear cross-traffic help
  • Encompass-view cameras
  • Encompass parking sensors
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
  • Site visitors jam help
    • Steering, accelerating and braking in visitors jams
  • Emergency help
    • Can monitor and react to an unresponsive driver
  • Night time imaginative and prescient assistant
    • Can detect people, massive animals

It additionally has twin entrance, entrance facet, rear facet, full-length curtain and front-centre airbags.

How a lot does the Audi S8 value to run?

There’s a five-year, limitless kilometre guarantee plan.

Audi will cowl upkeep for 5 years or 75,000km in case you pay for a five-year service plan, which is $4520. Intervals are 12 months or 15,000km – whichever comes first. 

In the event you preserve your automobile with Audi’s supplier community, additionally, you will obtain annual top-ups for roadside help.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Audi S8

I believe I’ve made it clear that that is an exceptionally good luxurious quick machine.

It’s plush, highly effective and potent, and whereas it might not completely nail the “limousine” a part of the transient when it comes to outright rear-seat house, it actually is a good automobile… and sure the final of its type.

Click on the photographs for the complete gallery

MORE: The whole lot Audi S8


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