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

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.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?