2008 Audi S8

2008 Audi S8

About the Car

2008 Audi S8

The Audi S8 is the supreme athlete in the luxury class. With its combination of 10-cylinder FSI power, permanent and particularly sporty quattro four-wheel drive, and Audi Space Frame, the Audi S8 occupies a unique position within its competitive field of high-performance sedans. The outstanding potential of the 10-cylinder powerpack finds its counterpart in the dynamically tuned sports suspension, high-performance brake system and sporty yet elegant design.

Sports appeal is firmly anchored in the genetic code of the Audi brand. In the case of the S models, however, sportiness is a declared principle, combined with comfort, aesthetics, elegance and uncompromising quality. The Audi S8 with its 5.2-liter V10 FSI engine combines all of these strengths to produce passion and superiority.

A 10-cylinder engine is the ideal design for sporting aspirations. Although an eight-cylinder engine would be even more compact, to make it into the five-liter class would require large, heavy pistons and connecting rods, which would impair its ability to rev freely. It is no coincidence that competitors generally have concentrated simply on high torque with their large-capacity V8 engines, rather than attempting to squeeze sporty performance out of them, too.

Spontaneous response

Other advantages of the high-speed V10 design are quite clear. The engine fascinates with its spontaneous response and short reaction times. It produces a throaty sound when accelerating and yet has a beefy torque curve even at low speeds. All in all it forms the perfect synthesis of sporty driving enjoyment and comfort on long journeys.

The 450 hp V10 in the Audi S8 also belongs to the new generation of V engines from Audi, all of which feature a standard 90-degree angle. The crankcase of the Audi 10-cylinder powerpack is made from an aluminum alloy. This technology renders separate cylinder liners superfluous; the liners are instead honed directly from the material by exposing hard silicon crystals. The connecting rods are made from forged steel and the pistons from an aluminum alloy.

Performance and pulling power

The V10 in the Audi S8 uses FSI gasoline direct injection, which has impressively demonstrated its dynamic potential in motor sport. The R8 racing car featuring this technology represented Audi five times at the 24-hour Le Mans race and captured four victories. The common rail injection system delivers the fuel directly to the combustion chambers in precisely metered amounts.

The powerful 10-cylinder engine has been optimized for high torque as well as high engine power. From as low as 3,000 to 4,000 rpm it delivers 398 ft. lbs. to the crankshaft. More than 90 percent of the torque is available at 2,300 rpm. The V10 imparts the luxury sedan with the road performance of a high-caliber sports car. The Audi S8 sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Only a short while later it reaches its governed top speed of 155 mph, also facilitated by its low drag coefficient.

With its innovative Audi Space Frame, the Audi S8 weighs a mere 4,596 lbs., including the dynamic and sure-footed new-generation quattro drive, which boasts asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution.

Running gear underlines dynamic character

The center differential distributes 40 percent of the torque to the front and 60 per cent to the rear. This slightly rear-biased split underlines the dynamic character of the Audi S8. The new Audi S8 is equipped with a six-speed Tiptronic transmission as standard. In keeping with the character of this sporty top-of-the-line model, the final ratio of the automatic transmission is lower than on the Audi A8, and the sedan still is capable of forceful acceleration even in sixth gear.

With regard to the running gear, the Audi S8 relies on adaptive air suspension sport, the optional sports suspension for the A8. On the Audi S8, however, the characteristics of the air springs and the shock absorbers integrated into the air spring bellows are somewhat firmer. With a further reduction in rolling and pitching movements, the sporty top model behaves with even greater agility and maneuverability, but it is as stable and safe as ever. The elastokinematics of the rubber mounts in the axles have likewise been modified in keeping with the character of the Audi S8.

The Audi S8 leaves the factory with newly developed cast aluminum wheels with a parallel-spoke S design. Their dimension is 9 J x 20, and the summer performance tires are size 265/35 R20.

The Audi S models always have epitomized high performance and refined sports appeal. The same applies to the Audi S8. It lends the design of the A8 a dynamic edge. This prestigious sedan already is inherently light and elegant in character. Its aesthetic appeal reflects its exceptional position as a sports model in the luxury class. The Audi S8 cuts a supremely athletic figure, but it never looks aggressive. The most striking changes are to be found at its front end. The eye-catching singleframe grille bearing the S8 badge is in platinum grey, and its double vertical struts have a chrome-look finish.

An ambience of luxurious sportiness

Besides the 20-inch wheels with the new S design and special brakes, four details on the side sections indicate the potential of the V10 engine: badges on the wings and the front brake callipers, door handles with aluminum trim strips and aluminum-look exterior mirror housings. The S8 badge at the rear, an integrated rear spoiler, a subtle light-refracting edge in the apron and an exhaust system with four oval tailpipes complete the range of optical modifications.

The Audi S8 also adds various specific accents to the luxurious interior. The Audi S8 sports seats, which have a wide range of adjustment features, have two-color upholstery with stitching in a contrasting color. The color combinations underscore the ambience of luxurious sportiness. Other interior details distinguish the sporty top model from the A8. The highly-polished door sill trims bear S8 badges, and the inlays on the door and center console are made of Vavona Gray wood or carbon fiber. The three-spoke multifunction steering wheel features color-contrasting stitching and aluminum-look paddles as well as an S8 badge.

The innovative lighting technology known as adaptive light, including LED daytime running lights, is standard equipment on every Audi S8. Here the adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights are coupled with static turning light and dynamic cornering lights as well as separate LED daytime running lights, as on the Audi A8L W12 quattro. As well as adaptive light technology and 20-inch wheels, the standard specification incorporates other comfort and convenience equipment items. These include new, noise-insulating double glazing for the windows, a DVD navigation system and BOSE Surround audio system with CD changer. The door armrests, the center console, and the seats in the Audi S8 are upholstered in leather. The standard access and authorization system known as advanced key permits the driver to open the Audi S8 without having to take hold of the key. The driver then can switch on the 10-cylinder powerplant by pressing the Start button and immediately enjoying its inimitable sound.