There are only a few more powerful sedans than the 2018 Audi S8. With its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that produces 605 horsepower and a maximum speed up to 190 mph, the S8 is in an elite group. Combined with standard all-wheel drive, the resulting acceleration can make some supercars left in the dust.
As unreasonable as its ability may seem, the 2018 Audi S8 remains understated. This is a flagship luxury sedan, and comfort plays a big role as performance. Like the A8 sedan on which it’s based, the S8 interior offers extensive leather upholstery and upscale materials throughout. From smooth-riding air suspension to plenty of standard features, the S8 provides all the luxuries you desire.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Audi S8 is a full-size, high-performance luxury sedan that is available in single trim levels.
Standard features for the S8 Plus includes keyless entry and ignition, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, 21-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors, a top-down parking camera system, a panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors and a power trunklid.
Inside, you’ll get four-zone climate control, a head-up display, 22-way power-heated adjustable front seats with ventilation and massage function, diamond-stitched leather seating and power rear window sunshades.
The infotainment system is accessed through an 8-inch retractable center display controlled by an intuitive dial and a host of menu shortcut buttons, but it also features voice recognition and handwriting-recognition technology, helping to keep eyes on the road. Bluetooth, a 14-speaker, 630-watt Bose surround-sound audio with iPod interface, a CD/DVD player, HD and satellite radio are standard. Also included is Audi Connect with enhanced web-based navigation and mobile Wi-Fi capability.
If you’re looking for more features, the 2018 Audi S8 does have some optional packages. The Executive Plus package adds forward collision warning and mitigation, traffic-adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and intervention, a heated steering wheel, rear-seat pass-through and heated rear seats. The Dynamics package adds carbon-ceramic brakes and increases top-speed limiter to 190 mph.
Stand-alone options include a night-vision camera system and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The rest of the S8 packages are related to customizing the sedan’s color and trim combinations.
Powering the 2018 Audi S8 is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that generates 605 horsepower and 517 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sent that power to all four wheels via a standard all-wheel-drive system.
In performance testing, the 2018 Audi S8 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds, an extremely quick time for any car, especially in this size. A top speed of 190 mph when equipped with the optional Dynamics Plus package.
Despite its high-performance, the 2018 Audi S8 somehow manages a respectable EPA fuel economy estimate of 18 mpg combined (14 city/24 highway). Only a few cars are as fast and frugal as Audi’s largest performance sedan.
As the A8 is the base, the 2018 Audi S8 has an excellent cab design. High-quality materials combined with expert craftsmanship and assembly produce one of the best interiors on the market. Comfort is extraordinary, thanks to 22-way-adjustable front seats with heating, massage, ventilation and memory functions. The rear passengers will also enjoy a lot of comfort, as there is plenty of headroom and legroom for taller adults.
One of the biggest shortcomings in the 2018 Audi S8 is the lack of trunk space. With 14.2 cubic feet, its cargo capacity is less than some midsize sedans and well behind what the same-sized rivals offer.
Release date and price
The 2018 Audi S8 is expected to become available for pre-order very soon. Official pricing will start at $116,875 or $23,900 more than the standard 4.0T A8.
Key competitors include the Maserati Quattroporte ($105,200 to $148,300), Jaguar XJR (starting from $118,995) and Porsche Panamera ($79,150 to $201,550).