The Audi S8 is a large vehicle with large dimensions. Its width, including the mirrors, is well over 80 inches, while its width without them is an expansive 76.6 inches. The height is 58.6 inches, and the overall length is 209 inches, with a wheelbase of 123.2 inches. The S8's curb weight is unsurprisingly high, weighing in at a whopping 5,302 pounds.
Audi's updates for the 2021 model year are rather subtle, which should come as no surprise given that the 2020 Audi S8 was a complete overhaul of everything that came before it. Audi adds 21-inch wheels wrapped in summer rubber as standard for 2021. Heated front armrests, in addition to heated seats and steering wheel, are now standard. The optional Black Optic package also receives new 21-inch wheels.
When comparing the S8 to the ordinary A8, it's practically impossible to tell the two apart. Sure, the S8 gets brushed aluminum-look mirror caps and some minor massaging of the front and rear fascias and side sills, but nothing screams performance.
The LED headlights in the front can be accompanied by OLED taillights in the rear, which can be animated to highlight how far this technology has progressed over the last generations. A panoramic sunroof is standard, however similar items are also available on the base A8. The quad-exit exhaust design is the most evident indication that this is a S model.
The S8 comes in only one configuration, but it's a good one. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine and a 48-volt mild-hybrid electric system produce a total of 563 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Despite its massive weight, Audi claims that the S8 will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, though real-world testing has revealed that it is actually faster, completing the sprint in around three and a half seconds.
Although the top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, this premium vehicle is about more than just speed. The S8 handles remarkably well thanks to a sport rear differential on the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 in the S8 is one that Audi frequently employs, and one drive in the S8 demonstrates why.
This engine has a broad powerband that allows it to easily overtake almost anything without having to downshift. It's also rather good off the line, thanks to the mild-hybrid electric system, which does a decent job of masking any trace of turbo lag. Almost every inch of the interior is covered in a luxurious blend of exotic and high-quality materials. The inside gets even more amazing when you look at the minute elements.
A fully digital driver information display is wonderfully supplemented by another pair of climate control panels and the standard four-zone climate control system.