The S8 is the brand's performance iteration of the A8 luxury sedan, powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine with two twin-scroll turbochargers, generating 420kW and 800Nm.
Paired with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, power is delivered to the road via Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
This drivetrain launches the 2230kg vehicle from zero to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds, and allows it to reach a top speed of 250km/h.
The car is over five metres long, and has a 12.5-metre turning circle.
Torque is distributed asymmetrically under normal driving conditions (40 per cent to the front and 60 per cent to the rear), however up to 85 per cent can be directed to the rear wheels for improved handling when desired.
Predictive active suspension technology also debuts as standard on the S8, employing a range of vehicle cameras and sensors to monitor road conditions, and adjust suspension settings accordingly.
In ‘Comfort Plus’ mode, it reduces the effect of g-forces by leaning into the pitch and roll movements of the car. Handling is also improved by the vehicle’s dynamic four-wheel steering system.
Cylinder on demand (CoD) technology (which shuts down four cylinders when they’re not required), a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system, and engine stop/start help to improve fuel efficiency.
A combined fuel consumption figure of 11.4 litres per 100 kilometres is claimed. The 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system – which Audi says reduces fuel consumption by 0.8L/100km – can recover 8kW of power while under light throttle or coasting.
READ: 2021 AUDI S8 REVIEW
Inside the cabin, the interior is upholstered in Valcona leather and six trim colour schemes are offered.
An integrated 17-speaker 730W Bang & Olufsen 3D premium sound system is standard, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a head-up display and MMI touch-response infotainment system provide the driver with necessary information in real time.
Parking assist, 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, exit warning, rear cross-traffic assist, adjustable speed limiting, and lane-change warning are all featured as standard.
Buyers can choose from eleven exterior colours, which are available as non-cost options.
Pricing in Australia will start from $260,000 plus on road costs, and you can read our Australian first-drive review at the link below.