2019 Audi S8: Price, specs and release date
Audi releases details of new 563bhp mild-hybrid S8 performance saloon...
On sale: Late 2019 | Price from: £100,000 (est)
The Audi A8 is a highly accomplished luxury car. It's our favourite car in this class if you've got more than £60,000 to spend, in fact, and despite going toe-to-toe with rivals that include the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class, impresses with its extremely comfortable ride, class-leading interior quality and refined engines. For those who want to combine the luxury of the A8 with the thrills of a performance saloon, though, this new Audi S8 may be of more interest.
2019 Audi S8 engine
While the regular Audi A8 is available with two V6 engines – one diesel and one petrol – the S8 will come with the same 4.0-litre mild-hybrid V8 twin-turbocharged petrol engine as can be found in the Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental GT. It kicks out both more horsepower (563bhp) and more torque (590lb ft) than the old version, although Audi has so far only confirmed that the S8's top speed is limited to 155mph. Expect it to cover the 0-60mph in less than four seconds, though.
Don't think the S8 is only about eye-widening performance, though, because its engine also features cylinder deactivation to help you save fuel, while the 48-volt mild-hybrid setup allows the car to 'coast' on electric power for short periods, as well as making the stop-start system quicker in operation.
Also new is a system that scans the road ahead for irregularities such as ruts or potholes, and automatically lifts up or pushes down each of the S8's wheels to compensate. Audi says that its predictive active suspension system reduces body roll significantly over the standard car, and should make crossing continents in the S8 even more comfortable.
Other standard kit includes all-wheel steering, Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system and a sport differential, which sends more power to the S8's outside wheels when your turn a corner, thereby pushing the car into the curve and helping you to corner with more agility.
2019 Audi S8 interior
Inside, there is little to distinguish the S8 from its regular A8 sibling, but new features include massaging, heated sports seats and bespoke trim pieces for the dashboard. Elsewhere, you'll find the same dual-screen infotainment system – now available with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant – as the regular A8, and plenty of high-grade leather.
The A8 isn’t exactly short of equipment, and neither is the S8 – it's packed with a total of 38 driver assistance systems. The S8 features everything from adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance to sensors that, if an imminent collision is predicted, can raise the cars’ ride height by 80mm to bring the bodywork into a better position to absorb the energy from a crash.
2019 Audi S8 price
The regular Audi A8 will currently set you back £71,200, so this performance version will likely start at close to £100,000 when sales begin later this year. Even at that price, though, the A8 will be a cheaper option than the Mercedes-AMG S63 and Porsche Panamera Turbo.
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Best used luxury cars for less than £25,000
Sadly, the new Audi S8's expected price tag means that very few of us will ever get the chance to own one, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't still be hunting for a luxury car. Below and over the next few pages, we've gathered together our favourite luxury cars for less than £25,000.
If you’re after a premium badge, and if you’re spending this sort of money on a used luxury car there’s a good chance that you will be, then you can do no better than a Maserati. As if this striking four-door saloon wasn’t rakish enough, there’s that famous trident badge and that name so redolent of racing success. Inside, all is wonderful wood and leather interior, and it’s packed with all the kit you’ll ever want. It sounds nice, too, and if it’s not quite as good to drive or as comfortable to be in as it looks, consider the fact that you can buy a clean 2012 example of this Italian thoroughbred, with a mere 30,000 miles on the clock, from a specialist dealer for the price of a new Nissan Qashqai. Buy a diesel and you can even afford a 2015 model.
We found: 2012 4.7 S, 30,000 miles, £24,450
9. BMW 7 Series
Another luxury limo stuffed with tech, the 7 Series has always been one of the best of the breed to drive. You can punt it down a winding road with surprising confidence, or cruise down a motorway from its beginning to its end. It’s impressively clean and frugal, too, for a car of this size, with the chosen 730d version boasting a six-cylinder diesel engine of unusual refinement. Inside is a spacious and luxurious interior fit for any captain of industry, with plenty of up-to-the-minute kit. There's a newer, higher-tech 7 Series now on the new and used car forecourts, so this could well be the time to pick up this model. BMW quality is assured, too.
We found: 2015 730d M Sport, 25,000 miles, £23,500
There are few cars more iconic than the imperious Range Rover. Its very name is now synonymous with on-road luxury and unparalleled off-road ability, a 4x4 as likely to be found on a school run in a posh part of London as it is on a hillside in Wales, and a car you can guarantee will be magnificently and uniquely competent at both. You sit high, in comfortable seats with room for five, surrounded by wood and leather. It’ll cruise quietly down a motorway all day long and the ride is relaxing. The only question mark lies over its build quality, or shortage of it, but if you do end up spending a lot of time on the hard shoulder there’s no finer place in which to do it.
We found: 2012 4.4 TDV8 Vogue SE, 40,000 miles, £24,995
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