The Germans do big sedans so well, and the S8 is an excellent example of how engineers from the land of the Autobahn can build a full-size car that handles as well as something half its size.
Of the "big three" German luxury car makers, only Audi and Mercedes-Benz do true high-performance versions of their flagship sedans; BMW makes an M760iL, but it's not an M-car the way the M3/4 and M2 are. Benz, on the other hand, does two AMG versions of its S-Class, one of which boasts a V12 making 621 hp.
Audi's biggest car starts out as the A8, but replacing that 'A' with 'S' means a serious performance boost: the S8 shares its sibling's 4.0L twin-turbo V8 but gets engine management that allows it to crank out 605 hp (in 'plus' trim, which is the only one available in Canada for 2017) and 517 hp (or 553 in overboost mode). That engine comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard Quattro all-wheel drive.
Fuel consumption ratings haven't been set for 2017, but the 2016 version of this car was estimated at 14.8/9.1 L/100 km (city/highway).
S8 Plus standard exterior features include 21-inch wheels, LED taillights, hands-free power trunk, LED daytime running lights, headlight washers, LED headlights, integrated all-weather light function and power-folding auto-dimming side mirrors.
Interior and convenience items include a head-up display, sunroof, power-assisted door closers, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation, satellite radio, Alcantara headliner, heated leather mu-fu steering wheel with electric tilt-and-telescope adjustment, heated front and rear seats, electric sunshades for rear window and rear doors, Audi MMI Touch with hand-writing recognition, colour driver information display, intelligent keyless entry with push-button start, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, Audi drive select, Valcona leather seating, 18-way ventilated front seats with four-way lumbar and massage function, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 14-speaker Bose stereo, Bluetooth and garage door opener.
Safety safety kit comprises Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, Audi pre-sense plus, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, top-view camera, high beam assistant, front and rear parking assist and Audi pre-sense rear.
Audi's 2017 MSRP for the S8 Plus is $135,500. Key among available options is a Dynamic Package that adds a sport exhaust, ceramic brakes, high-gloss black and carbon-fibre exterior trim and a 305-km/h speed limiter for the not-significant price of $16,500.
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