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Most American buyers aren’t familiar with the Audi S8. The “S” brand has only been sold sparingly on vehicles in North America, despite it being the premier flagship luxury sedan for Audi. The S8 is Audi’s most luxurious (and largest) sedan. It’s a combination of raw power, high performance, innovative safety, and premier opulence wrapped into a singular package – all for just over $100,000.
The 2013 S8 is an all-wheel drive performance sedan powered by a 4.0 liter twin-tubrocharged V8 engine which generates an impressive 520 horsepower and 479 foot-pond of torque. Despite the massive power, the S8 still manages to pull 19 MPG combined city/highway. A sport tuned suspension system and all-wheel drive ensure a calm and smooth driving experience – even at top speeds.
While the S8 is a beast under the hood, the interior is nothing but extravagance. Featuring a combination of subdued and sophisticated finishes and colors, the cabin of the S8 is classy – to say the least. The front seats massage, heat, cool, and adjust in twenty different ways – depending on the occupant’s needs. Active noise cancellation ensures a seemingly quiet ride. An impressive 19-speaker audio system enhances the interior driving experience. An optional rear DVD entertainment system and ample legroom ensures all passengers are catered to. A multimedia interface controls all of this – and while the learning curve might be a bit steep for some, the rewards are well worth the effort to master this navigational system.
The S8 is available in just one trim level. Yet, it’s list of standard features and options are remarkable. Most options are available in package form and are varied. Several stand-alone options are available. Safety features are lengthy and inspiring and include: stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, top-view camera, front and side airbags, front and rear parking sensors, rear-side seat airbags, full length and curtain airbags, and optional blind-spot warning and lane departure systems are also available.
Driving the S8 is an experience. It’s like ensconcing oneself into a plush luxury apartment on wheels. No expense is spared to ensure a safe, extravagant, and powerful driving encounter. Luxury finishes and the highest performance is an expectation, not a perk, from the S8.
The Audi S8 is powered by a twin turbocharged 4.0 liter V8 engine with 520 horsepower and 479 foot-pound of torque. Standard features include: power trunk, mirrors, and doors, keyless entry, sunroof, LED headlights and turn signals, automatic high beams, leather upholstery, automatic climate control zones for the entire vehicle, power tilt steering, front and rear park assistance, adaptive air suspension, 21-inch alloy wheels, navigation system, Bluetooth, auxiliary audio input, Bose surround sound stereo system, CD player, satellite radio, an iPod interface, and Audi Connect.
Options are plentiful and include: a Cold Weather Package with heated seats and steering wheel, and rear pass-through with a ski bag; a Driver’s Assistance Package which features adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning system, blind-spot monitor, and a Pre-sense warning system. Several additional and singular options are also available and include: wheel designs, rear DVD entertainment system, upgraded sound system, and night vision assist.
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Nimble, powerful, and quick luxury performance with less interior space than the S8
Higher price tag, but more engine options and superior interior performance
Similarly priced option with a V8 hybrid, but improvement in overall mileage
Versatile, power V8 motor and exceptional driving experience, but manual transmission and upgrades are expensive