Audi Plus-sizes S8 to 445kW, 700Nm
Ingolstadt, Germany - BMW has its 760Li, Mercedes the S65L AMG; now the Fellowship of the Four Rings has trumped them all with the S8 Plus.
While we think it unlikely that there will ever be an RS8, just as BMW is not expected to create an M7, but this, we reckon, will more than plug the gap.
The S8 Plus flexes its muscles courtesy of an uprated four-litre TFSI petrol V8 that's been tweaked with modified exhaust valves, a model-specific ECU with re-mapped charge pressure and speed settings, a special turbo with revised inner geometry for better top-end boost and an authoritative (read loud!) exhaust system.
The result is an extra 63kW - up to a class-leading 445kW - backed up by 700Nm (750 on overboost!) giving it a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h - which that can optionally be lifted to 305km/h as part of the dynamic package, which is standard issue in Germany.
The six-litre V12 from Affalterbach still has more power (463 v 445kW) but can’t match the new top dog for either acceleration to 100km/h (4.3 v 3.8 seconds) or top speed (298 v 305km/h) while the 400kW BMW 760Li lags in all respects.
EIGHT SPEEDS PLUS QUATTRO DRIVE
The S8 Plus lays down the law via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive with sports differential, modulated by adaptive sport-tuned air suspension and dynamic steering, and reined in when necessary by standard-issue carbon-ceramic discs with special callipers finished in dark grey and carrying the Audi Ceramic logo.
In Germany, the car comes with 21 inch rims - specially designed for the S8 Plus, wearing 275/35 gumballs. It will not be made in long-wheelbase versions however.
It’s just as striking in visual terms, with a standard-fit boot-lid spoiler (available in carbon fibre or body colour) as well as carbon-fibre side air vents and front splitter.
The side mirror housings are in your choice of carbon fibre or gloss black, while the grille, side air-inlet radiator honeycombs and window trim strips are all finished in gloss black.
Or you can choose the S8 styling package, featuring S8 logos front and rear, and V8 T badges on the front wings.
MATRIX LED LIGHTING
The matte-effect silver paint on the car in the pictures is exclusive to the S8 Plus, which is also available in any of the standard S8 colour choices.
Matrix LED headlights, each with 25 individually controlled elements that light the road without causing glare problems are standard in Germany and optional elsewhere.
The interior is finished in black leather with red contrast stitching throughout, including the black alcantara headlining, set off by brushed aluminium and piano black trim elements, stainless steel pedals and special grey-faced instruments.
The Audi S8 plus will be available in Europe at the end of November, starting at a base price of €145 200 and in right hand-drive from early 2016 in Britain, starting at £97 700, each the equivalent of about R2 million.
Audi SA says it has no plans at present to release the S8 Plus in South Africa. Pity.
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