Being an Audi and wearing S or RS moniker has never been easy. Pushing engine far away from the front axle, terminal understeer that follows, made an M absolutely dominant on the track, while recent AMG moves may even turn the tide in its favor on the same front. Furthermore, the arrival of hot Caddys and Jags as handling game changers, along with Lexus’s recent and evident determination to offer sport along with luxury, made the whole situation even more complicated. But at least in one occasion, S managed to shine brighter of them all. Even brighter than full-blooded M or AMG labels, which are not even destined to be tackled by it, as that was always RS’s assignment. We are referring to 2018 Audi S8 Plus and here are the reasons proving our ground even for today, despite same hot version of new A8 generation is soon to arrive.
LIGHT AND BRUTAL
Those two words describe in short this bestial uber-luxury limousine. S brought 520 hp, but Plus built up later to astonishing 605 hp. All made possible by 4.0-liter V8 with two turbos, which also aid in achieving 553 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 mph dropped to 3.3 seconds which none of its rivals can match, apart from monstrous Panamera Turbo with or without S and especially in that hybrid disguise. Add to mentioned vicious exhaust melody full of menacing gurgles, and we have brutal part covered. About that light part now. Full-size luxury sedan weighing 4611 pounds is surely not a svelte thing, but its road behavior makes you believe so. It feels vigorous, precise and nimble totally shaming manners of its traditional German rivals. It’s still not Panamera, but it belongs to a nice squad of agile stuff, next to XJR and Quattroporte GTS. And it definitely doesn’t come as thirsty, giving the circumstances, with 16/25 mpg (city/highway) of fuel efficiency.
|2018 Audi S8 Plus|
|Dimensions And Weight|
|Engine And Transmission|
|Power/torque||605 hp/517 lb-ft|
|0-60 mph||3.7 seconds|
|Top speed||155 mph|
|Competitors:Panamera Turbo and Maserati GTS|
2018 AUDI S8 PLUS EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
You may not easily recognize S8 Plus on the street over regular A8. But excessive visual flare on these premises is unwelcomed and it doesn’t exist with rivals also.
What you get is mildly tweaked front bumper around side intakes and quad exhaust at the back. As a “plus”, if you “opt” for “Black Optic Plus” package, you’ll get an additional garnish in the blacked-out grille and exhaust tips, dimmed tail lights, carbon coated mirrors, decklid spoiler and rear diffuser. Unique 21 inch alloys also contribute with sportier aspirations with their design.
On the inside, you will notice brand’s signature diamond pattern for seats, contrast stitching and available carbon-fiber veneers. That is if you choose them. Otherwise, you can go for regularly styled chairs and wood inserts, leaving only badges and aluminum pedals as a sign of recognition.
SWEEPING THE COMPETITION
Despite 2018 Audi S8 Plus model is probably living its last year, giving that new generation arrived, despite it looks rather visually obsolete inside and out, it still has enough strengths to sway you on its side if you want fast and ultimate luxury today, without the willingness to wait for successor’s arrival. Once again, it’s savagely fast, zealous and athletic, and it comes as a plain bargain. Utter bargain! At $116k for a start, it comes ridiculously cheaper than around $150k AMG S63, M760i, Panamera Turbo and Maserati GTS. Let’s not go even into the pricing territory of Panamera Turbo S or E-Hybrid, let alone well over $200k priced AMG S65. The only thing as financially economical as this Audi is Jag’s XJR asking just three grand extra. But, despite it has enough dynamic abilities to bring to the table, interior refinement decidedly lags behind this German and trashing unpredictability of JLR’s (Jaguar Land Rover) infotainment systems happens so often that it became a cliché already. Now you know why you don’t have to wait for that replacement.