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New S8 a twin-turbo V8

2011-08-31 13:14

SUBTLE FOUR-DOOR SUPERCAR?: S8 is a study in understated elegance, quite the opposite of AMG’s S63 and S65 products.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Audi
Model S6/7/8
Engine 4-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 308-, 382kW
Torque 550-, 650Nm
Transmission Seven-speed DCT, eight-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 4.8-, 4.2 sec
Blame John Frankenheimer.

If the American director had not taken up Audi’s offer to use of its first generation S8 for the car chase scenes in his 1998 action thriller Ronin, establishing the S8’s image as the ultimate limousine comfort getaway car, the idea of a four-ringed hooligan luxury car would probably never have caught on…

Well it did, and, as the Frankfurt auto show is now only two weeks away), Audi’s released technical specifications of its latest S-line cars, the S6, S7 and S8.


All these new Audi S-models (S6, S7,S8) are to be powered by the same twin-turbo, four-litre, V8, a mechanical engineering joint venture with the VW Group’s British subsidiary Bentley.

The S6 (its Avant sibling) and S7 get a 308kW/550Nm version of the engine, figures close to the outgoing 5.2-litre V10  derivatives – which were good for either 320 or 331kW. Performance is predictably rapid (0-100km/h in 4.8sec), yet with the ability to run on only fourcylinders when required, the new S6 claims to average an impressive 9.7 litres/100m.

The new S8’s peak outputs of 382kW and 650Nm (comfortably) best the 5.2-litre non-turbo V10 which put 331kW under the bonnet of the previous S8.

Capable of a 4.2sec 0-100km/h sprint, the new S8 (despite its gargantuan limousine dimensions and appropriate level of luxury equipment on board) is claimed to return an entirely reasonable 10.2 litres/100km on the combined cycle; a vast improvement over the previous V10's 13.2.

All three S-line twin-turbo V8's will gain a three-stage adaptive damping system (median ride height is 10mm lower than non-S Audis), with the less-powerful S6/7 models driving all four wheels courtesy of Audi’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The S8’s 650Nm is gauged as being too much for the seven-speed S-tronic transmissions so it swops gears with a modified version of Audi’s eight-speed auto…

SENSIBLE SUPERCAR: The S6 Avant is perfect for those with three kids who always need to be at opposite sides of the city at virtually the same time…


In terms of styling, the go-faster details include standard 19" alloy rims for the S6/7 (S8 rides on 20", with the option of 21", to accommodate its massive 400mm front brake rotors).

A single-frame grille with aluminium accents (and double-lined horizontal slats) embellishing the external mirror housings and sills round of a rather subtle range of styling upgrades for the S-line luxury performance cars from Audi.

Standard kit and cabin bits for the S8 include multi-way (powered) sports seats (exclusively designed for the S8 application), a leather trimmed multifunction sports steering wheel (featuring contrasting colour stitching) and a collection of S8 emblems in the instrument binnacle.

Xenon+ headlights with all-weather running lights, diode tail lights, an electro-mechanical parking brake, driver information system with colour display and an MMI radio with Bluetooth and 10 speakers are standard on the S6/7.

Options (across the range, for S6/7/8) include adaptive cruise control, overtaking warning, lane deviation warning, night vision, a 360-degree parking camera and an epic, orchestra-qualify 1400w, 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.

An impressive range of new performance cars. If you think the gap between 308kW S6/7 and 382kW S8 is a tad too large, well, the new RS6 remains a work in progress...

The new S-line luxury Audis are expected to arrive in South Africa during the second half of 2012.

Latest from Frankfurt 2011.


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