The mighty new 420kW Audi S8 is now available in Mzansi
The new 2021 Audi S8 has arrived in SA and, boy, is it a monster.
Beneath that stylish, understated exterior lurks a whopping great 4.0-litre V8 engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The latter apparently helps to improve fuel consumption, but if you've got ammo to buy a S8 in the first place, well, do you really care?
Anyway, force-fed by two turbochargers this unit produces an impressive 420kW and 800Nm worth of torque that is delivered to all four wheels via a snappy(ish) eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. Is it fast? You're damn right it is – Audi claims the S8 will romp its way to 100km/h in a mere 3.8 seconds. That's bordering on supercar quick. Maximum speed is limited to 250km/h.
Ballistic straight-line performance aside, the new S8 also packs cutting-edge chassis technology, including Audi's "Predictive Active Suspension" that uses the car's forward-facing camera to scan the road ahead for bumps and potholes. If it detects any asphalt irregularities it prepares the standard air suspension system to act accordingly. The upshot of this a notably smoother ride. Powered by the 48-volt mild-hybrid system it can also compensate for excessive pitch (like heavy braking ) and roll (aggressive cornering).
Other highlights include four-wheel steering for better slow speed manoeuvrability and improved high-speed stability plus Audi's famed "Sport Differential" that actively transfers torque between the rear wheels during fast cornering. Steel brakes are standard although it might be a good idea to spec the optional ceramic anchors considering the S8's heft.
Inside the cabin of this Ingolstadt flagship you will find all manner of gizmos, including Audi's double touchscreen MMI infotainment system. Set in the centre console, the top one handles things like media and navigation and car settings while the bottom one takes care of climate control. It also serves as a keyboard for entering GPS destinations and so on. Also fitted as standard is a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, Audi phone box and ambient lighting package, Audi virtual cockpit plus digital instrument cluster. Up front is a pair of leather comfort sports seats that are heated and ventilated.
Price-wise the new Audi S8 will set you back R2,484,000. This includes all taxes as well as a standard five-year Audi Freeway Plan.