The 2013 Audi S8 has taken the BMW M5 route, at least engine wise, and has let go of the previous naturally aspirated V10 screamer opting for a new twin turbo V8. Down on displacement and cylinder you say? Let’s see what you have to say about the increase of 80HP and 110Nm of torque. This should shut down even the fiercest critics.
2013 Audi S8 Review
The S6, S7 and the S8 use Audi’s new 4.0-liter, twin-turbo TFSI V-8. They even sport the same “V8T” badge on the front fenders as well. But the S8 makes 520Hp and 650Nm of torque as compared to the (S6 and S7) which makes 420Hp and 520Nm of torque.
Vorsprung durch Technik (which translates to Advancement through Technology) is Audi’s mission statement and the 2013 Audi S8’s engine is proof of that. Audi has tweaked the S8’s engine by giving it dual air intakes as compared to singe air intake fitted in the S6 and S7, larger turbo compressor which results in higher boost, a revised camshaft and an upgraded ECU mapping. All these plus the refinement in the all aluminum chassis and the short wheel base of the S8 makes it a potent highway weapon.
There are not many cars out on the road which can hold its own against the Audi in terms of style and fitment. The LED headlight fitment does strike a certain terror and respect to anyone looking down their rear view mirrors. There is no need to flash your high beam and move the cars in front on the highways, they just do it rather subconsciously, a mark of great respect out here on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Inside the cockpit, the S8 dons carbon fiber trim and aluminum dressings. The seats are cross stitched to match. The roof lines are in alcantara and so are the door panels. This is an exquisite craftsmanship and an interior which emulates a living space that has been crafted by interior designers. One feels that they have entered the office of Thomas Crown as portrayed by Pierce Brosnan in the movie Thomas Crown Affair.
It has a rear entertainment system and a small refrigerator to keep our favorite beverages chilled, a feature we greatly appreciated after a session of photoshoot.
The S8 feel nimble which belies its weight, the shorter wheelbase also helps out from the other Audi A8’s out on the road. It has an adaptive air suspension which, while flattening out any road imperfections, also stiffens up the suspension up under fast directional changes and reduces body roll. Its active engine mounts provide for seamless feel in gear shift under any conditions.
All this is good but we were only interested in the 4.2 seconds to 100kmph sprint which is claimed by Audi. For a car as big as this, it’s unbelievable!! These performance figures put it in the league of the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG and the Jaguar XKR-S which we had driven before.
Switch the dynamic mode on and everything feels normal. We expected the dials to turn red, maybe even oxygen masks to fall down to aid us in breathing but nothing happened. It all came down as an avalanche, the power that is, when we stepped on the accelerator. The rush, the growl of the engine exhaust note immersed us into the world of motoring heaven. Crisp upshifts from the paddle shifters followed suit and left us grinning from ear to ear. This car is all what Audi has said it would be and even more.
It’s easy on the gas too, highway cruising benefits by as much as 23% from previous generation S8’s thanks to its smart cylinder deactivation. Why waste power when we don’t need it. We shall use it at the right place and at the right time.
The S8 left us all scratching our heads. All the power was put down on the ground without any noticeable loss thanks to Audi’s venerable Quattro system. But it’s the feel afterwards that got us thinking and this just proves one thing. The Audi S8 is a complete package. It has the comfort, space for 4.5 people, travel in luxury and style and scare almost any car on the road. Stop light to stop light drag would now be a part of our everyday life, don’t just believe us try it. Next time you are next to a Mustang GT500, entice him/her for a duel. The 2013 Audi S8 would win it hands down.
|2013 AUDI S8 V8T|
|Rated Output||520 hp at 6000 rpm|
|Rated Torque||650 Nm between 1700 – 5500 rpm|
|Transmission – type of gearshift||tiptronic (8 speed)|
|Fuel Consumption, combined, L/100km||10.1|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.2 s|
|Top speed||250 km/h*|
|Price (AED)||470,000 – 557,800 (As tested)|
Images by Brian Donegan :