2020 Audi S8 Adds Power and Handling, Retains Reserved Teutonic Looks

Anthony Magagnoli
by Anthony Magagnoli
2020 audi s8 adds power and handling retains reserved teutonic looks

The Audi S8 has always been the Q-ship of choice for those who wanted a luxurious sports sedan that flew under the radar of untrained eyes. For the 2020 model year, Audi increases the output to 563 horsepower, but retains the understated nature of the cosmetic upgrades.

Though the pictures shown are of the European short-wheelbase S8, only the long-wheelbase version will be arriving on U.S. shores. Sent to the Quattro all-wheel drive system through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, the twin-turbo V8 engine is supplemented by a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The combined power of 563 hp and 590 ft-lbs is an increase of 103 hp and 103 ft-lbs over the standard A8’s twin-turbo V8.

While the A8 offers active anti-roll bars, they are tuned to further reduce body roll in the S8 application. Additionally, rear-wheel steering and a torque-vectoring rear differential are standard, while carbon-ceramic brakes are optional.

Exterior enhancements are limited to refined bumpers, side skirts, and dual exhaust outlets at the rear. Interior enhancements add diamond-stitched leather to the sport seats, as well as carbon fiber and matte aluminum to the trim work.

Audi has not confirmed whether the nitrous system from the S8 in the movie Ronin will be available in the 2020 model, but base pricing is expected to start well over $100,000 when the car goes on sale later this year so you’d think they could afford to include it.

While it may lack some power vs the competition from BMW and AMG, the more reserved Audi serves as the choice of a self-content owner who drives a sport sedan for their own pleasure, rather than for the attention from others. But, if past history is to predict the future, an S8 Plus may follow to play in the over 600 hp sandbox.

[Images: Audi]

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  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jul 05, 2019

    The prior gen of Audis had better grille and headlight designs. They even kinda muffed up the A7/S7 which was (prior-gen) the best-looking Audi model. 1,330 A8/S8's sold during the 1st half.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jul 08, 2019

    The one piece taillight doesn't work here, but otherwise I like it. Then again, I'll never afford it so the point is moot.

  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.
  • El scotto None of them. The auto industry is full of people with huge egos. It's a case of huge ego = never ever being wrong.GM: The true believers end up at Bowling Green. A fast rising GM executive that just didn't quite make it: Truck & Bus, Fort Wayne isn't really that far from Detroit!Ford: Billy Ford once again, and it seems perpetually, convincing his doubtful relatives not to sell their preferred stock. I give VW a 50/50 shot at buying out Ford; a family buying out another family.Tesla: Straight from Elon: "My Tesla has hidden compartments for handcuffs, ask my latest girlfriend where they're located"Stellantis: Get used to flying to Schiphol. You'll have luggage, lots of luggage.None of the Big 3 will ever admit they were wrong. Tesla will just keep gaining market share.
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]
  • SCE to AUX "Despite the EV segment having enjoyed steady growth over the past several years, sales volumes have remained flatter through 2023."Not so. How can EV sales be increasing and flatter at the same time?https://insideevs.com/news/667516/us-electric-car-sales-2023q1/Tesla and H/K/G are all up for EV sales, as are several other brands.
  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.