- Flagship variant of the A8 remains sole derivative South Africans can purchase
With just over 12 months having passed since the premiere of the updated Audi A8, the South African arm of the Ingolstadt marque has confirmed pricing of the sole derivative available on local soil, the flagship S8.
A nomenclature revived three years ago for the current D5 generation A8 that entered production in 2017, the Four Rings’ traditional rival for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series will stick to the mono option ahead of its likely replacement being announced at some stage.
Aesthetically, Audi has made a number of key but not easy-to-spot changes, namely fitting the S8 with a model specific front bumper, reshaped headlights with standard Digital Matrix OLED LEDs, a wider Single frame grille decked out in gloss black with a mesh pattern and vertical air inlets on the flanks of the bumper itself.
Mounted on 21-inch S alloy wheels, the S8’s rear fascia revisions comprise restyled OLED LED light clusters and a new bumper with a faux diffuser insert. The exterior is rounded off by a new colour option called Firmament Blue Metallic.
Little fiddle inside
Dimensionally unchanged from the A8, the still all-aluminium made S8’s interior adaptions are minor and restricted to a new Heads-Up Display, Audi’s latest MIB3 software with Hey Audi voice activation function integrated into the 10.1-inch MMI infotainment system and, taken from the A8L, the optional rear seat package made-up of reclining seats with pneumatic cushions, a heated footrest with massaging function and two 10.1-inch displays.
Also included with said package is quad-zone climate control, a massaging function for the seats themselves and a cooled centre console furnished with a control module for the mentioned displays, foldout tables and fragrance dispenser. The rest of the interior continues unchanged with the standard inclusion of the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit Display instrument cluster, the supplementary 8.6-inch climate control display, brushed aluminium inserts, Valcona leather with diamond stitching, alloy pedals, the S steering wheel and the flagship Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Underneath and upfront
Underneath its skin, the S8 retains the sports tuned self-locking differential and five mode Audi Drive Select system, but receives a new predictive air suspension that softens the ride in the equally new Comfort+ mode, while upping the firmness when switched to Sport. The only model in the A8 range to come with the setup as standard, the suspension also lowers the body by up to 50 mm to aid entry while increasing it by the same amount when on the move.
Upfront, the combination of the twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI V8 paired to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system remains unchanged with rated outputs of 420kW/800Nm. An eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox is once again entrusted with sending the amount of grunt to all four wheels. Equipped with the same uprated brakes as before, the S8 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h.