The 2020 Audi S8 comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine that makes 571 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 103 hp and 103 lb-ft compared to the standard A8’s version of this engine. A 48-volt hybrid system is standard, and the torque routes through an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive.
The German luxury brand is throwing all of its suspension and chassis technology at the S8. The European model gets the predictive active suspension standard. It uses cameras to read the road and electromechanical actuators to pull up or push down each wheel independently. This allows Audi to create a smoother ride, and control pitch and roll due to acceleration or braking more effectively. A new Comfort+ mode also takes advantage of this system by leaning the car as much as 3 degrees in turns—so as to keep it flat and reduce lateral acceleration on occupants. The system can also raise the car by 2 inches to make entry easier.
In the front, we can see the same massive grille that’s wider at the center and slim LED headlamps flanking the upper section. The grille features the same six horizontal slats as seen on the A8, with only the “S8” badge signaling that this is a different model. It’s the bumper that makes the S8 stands out, thanks to the revised side vents that are bigger. It also features revised chrome trim and a slightly sportier splitter. Audi kept most features unchanged, including the trunk lid spoiler and the thin light bar that runs across the entire width of the fascia. Unique features here include an “S8” badge just under the left-side taillight and a pair of round exhaust pipes on each side of the lower apron.
S8 comes standard with a sport differential and dynamic all-wheel steering. The latter allows independent adjustment of the steering angles at the front and rear axles, with benefits including a tighter turning circle at low and medium speeds and enhanced stability at high speed.