Audi surely has a knack for building fast saloon cars. Take the S8 for example. It started life as a humble limousine with a decent V6 engine, maybe a V8 as well. Then there’s lashings of leather enveloping the occupants while the supple ride and handling waft you from point to point. Sounds brilliant, no?
This sensible, stately saloon is then given multiple doses of steroids where the boffins at Audi stiffen its aluminium space frame to handle the power and torque of the 4.0-litre bi-turbo mill that’s lifted from the Bentley Continental GT3-R. This engine, believe it or not, makes a scarcely believable 596 hp and 750 Nm of torque on overboost (700 Nm on regular driving).
This thundering V8 unit has been extensively modified and gains a special engine management control with speed and charge pressure boosting to complement its modified exhaust valves. The inner geometry of the turbocharger has also been optimised for improved efficiency, and giving it a green hand is the eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
As a result, the S8 is able to catapult itself from standstill to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 305 km/h with the electronic speed muzzle removed. Stopping this hunk of metal is a job tasked to the fade-resistant carbon fibre reinforced ceramic brakes that sits on a set of sticky 275/35 R21 tyres – yes, 21-inch wheels hold it all in place.
Like all Audi S models, the S8 gets the brand’s AWD Quattro system with a sports differential that splits torque between the rear wheels for optimum directional stability. Apart from the mechanics, one other distinctive difference from the pre-facelift D4 model is the new pair of LED Matrix headlights which uses mapping data from the MMI Navigation and other sensors to individually dim or illuminate the 25 individual LEDs as and when they are needed.
Inside however, the S-Sports comfort sport seats comes with with 22-way adjustability and memory that are exclusively upholstered in black leather with contrasting Arras red quilted stitching and piping can be had as an option. The headlining and rear parcel shelf wrapped in black Alcantara too, are cost options.
When you’re not shaming supercars and smoking them in between the lights, there’s a 14-speaker BOSE surround sound system for the discerning audiophile. An advanced parking system with top view camera should help you out in tight parking spots. The bottom line? It costs £97,700 or RM592,928 without taxes and duty.