In Depth

Audi S8 2019: design, specs, prices and UK release date

German carmaker ditches diesel for V8 petrol power

Audi has taken the covers off a new sportier version of the carmaker’s flagship A8 executive saloon. 

The upcoming S8 will be equipped with a petrol V8 engine, as the German company shifts away from the diesel motors found in most of its recent S-badged cars. 

But the new four-door performance model does retain the standard model’s luxury edge, with features including an active noise cancellation system to block out road and wind sounds. 

The S8 is expected to make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs from 12 to 22 September. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the new model:

Price and release

According to Auto Express, the S8 will go on sale later this year, with prices expected to start at around £100,000. 

Design and interior

Although the new model looks similar to the flagship car, a few tweaks give the executive saloon a sportier edge. 

These include a front bumper with a pair of silver brake cooling ducts located just ahead of the front wheels, mirroring the design of Audi’s other S-badged models. 

The revisions at the rear are even more subtle, with only a quad-exhaust system and diffuser distinguishing the new S8 from the A8. 

Insider, the seats get “pneumatically adjustable side bolsters”, which appear to offer the support of a sports seat without compromising the comfort of the standard “comfort customised contour” design, reports Autocar

And along with the active noise cancellation system, the S8 also features the standard A8’s “connected technology”, which includes a traffic light countdown timer in some cities. 

Engine and performance

Don’t let the S8’s subtle looks fool you - the big draw of this car is hidden under the bonnet. 

Audi has opted for a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that produces an impressive 563bhp and 590lb-ft of torque, Car magazine reports. 

Power is channeled to all-four wheels, and while the carmaker has yet to give an official 0-62mph time, the S8 “won’t exactly be slow”, the motoring mag adds. 

The power unit is assisted by a mild-hybrid system, which switches the car over to electrical energy in certain scenarios. When the vehicle is ready to go electric, the throttle pedal gently vibrates to alert the driver to take their foot off the accelerator. 

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