Audi S8 TFSI quattro

571ps tiptronic

Audi S8, 2021, front
Audi S8, 2021, side
Audi S8, 2021, nose
Audi S8, 2021, front
Audi S8, 2021, side
Audi S8, 2021, rear
Audi S8, 2021, rear seats
Audi S8, 2021, interior
Audi S8, 2021, tail
Audi S8, 2021, rear
Audi S8, 2021, front, upright

IF the Audi A8 seems a tad too sensible and the R8 is simply too much of an extravagance, the S8 could be the perfect solution - if you have a Lotto win stashed away somewhere that is.

That's because this dynamic four-door saloon, now in its fourth generation, provides all the luxurious comfort expected from a limousine-styled vehicle with the added benefit of blisteringly quick driving dynamics.

The entry-level S8 that we tried was priced at £97,140 (£101,405 with options) and powered by arevised V8 twin-turbo 4.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with cylinder-on-demand technology, plus the introduction of a mild hybrid system that adds a 48-volt motor to the mix.

With 571ps of power and 800Nm of torque, it can complete the 0-62mph dash in just 3.8 seconds and has a top speed that is electronically-limited to 155mph. And there is a newly recalibrated eight-speed automatic gearbox too, along with paddles for extra driver fun.

Viewed from any angle, the S8 is definitely an attention grabber with its sweeping lines, distinctive grille, soft-close doors, smart alloy wheels, HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lights, along with Audi high beam for superb night time driving, and folding mirrors can be heated and feature a kerb side function for the passenger side so alloys don't get scuffed when parking.

The feature-rich interior oozes class with high-end red Valcona leather upholstered seats that are power-operated, a pitch perfect 17-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system Audi Music Interface with Audi Connect that comes with a three-year subscription to Amazon Alexa, Audi Phone Box with wireless charging and a smartphone interface with Audi safety connect and e-call for emergencies.

There is a 10.1-inch high-resolution display screen with sharp graphics where features such as the navigation are accessed. And there is a separate 8.6-inch screen for all the climate control functions plus the Audi Virtual Cockpit screen behind the steering wheel that can be personalised to taste.

When it comes to performance, the S8 is a car that hits 70mph on motorways in the blink of an eye and cruises effortlessly for miles on end. Yet, despite its somewhat large dimensions, stretching 5.17 metres in length and weighing in at just over two tonnes, the vehicle is beautifully agile out on the faster country lanes.

There are drive modes called Efficiency, Auto, Dynamic, Comfort+ and Individual that are altered via the drive select control and these result inadjustments to the suspension, steering assistance, engine and transmission management.

In addition, the Dynamic All-Wheel Steering provides direct feedback with improved stability at higher speeds.

The quattro all-wheel drive system means the S8 is well grounded and the ride quality is excellent too thanks to the car's Predictive Active Suspension system that automatically adapts to bumps and dips along the way.

Although there is no S8 model with long wheel base, there is bundles of room in the back of the car for a trio of adults to sit comfortably. The boot can swallow 505 litres of luggage, but as the rear seats don't fold forward at all, there is no way to increase the storage capacity.

There are, however, lots of handy compartments scattered throughout the car, including a lockable and cooled glovebox, front cup holders along with another two in the fold-down rear central armrest, practical door bins, seat back pockets and a deep central cubby box.

Despite the S8 being a large car to park, there is a Park Assist and Parking Aid Plus system that forms part of the standard driver assist systems to help squeeze into tight spaces.

And the list of safety features on this car is comprehensive too with the likes of adaptive cruise assist with stop & go plus speed limiter, a head-up display, camera-based traffic sign recognition, tyre pressure monitoring, 360-degree wide angle cameras, HD Matrix LED headlights, all-wheel drive with sport differential and a full suite of airbags.

An optional extra on our car was the City Assistance pack, costing £1,375, and that introduced a number of safety systems such as Audi pre sense front, Audi pre sense rear, Audi pre sense side, intersection assist, lane change warning, exit warning and cross traffic assist rear.

FAST FACTS

Audi S8 TFSI quattro 571ps tiptronic

Price:£97,140

Mechanical: 571PS, 3996cc, 8-cylinder, twin turbo petrol engine with 48-volt motor and 8-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph:3.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 24.4

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 263g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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