JOHANNESBURG - Audi has launched its new S8 in South Africa, as part of an avalanche of new S and RS badged performance products that have trickled into local showrooms during April.
Priced at R2 484 000, the S8 TFSI quattro now takes pride of place as Audi’s flagship sedan in South Africa. This is in fact the first time that we are seeing the latest-generation of Audi’s largest saloon in South Africa and it’s interesting to note that the ‘regular’ A8 models are not destined for our shores.
But surely the S8 is all you need in a super-limo?
The newcomer is powered by a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 420kW and 820Nm, and the engine features Audi’s 48-volt mild hybrid system which is said to save up to 0.8 litres of fuel for every 100km.
And while this certainly is a big saloon, Audi has pulled out all the stops to make it as agile as possible, with features such as predictive active suspension, sport differential and dynamic all-wheel-steering - a combination Audi says is unique in its class.
The active suspension system works in conjunction with the adaptive air suspension and can lift or push down each wheel separately, thanks to a set of electromechanical actuators, and it can do so predictively by using the vehicle’s front camera to keep an ‘eye’ on the road ahead. This system, according to Audi, “greatly reduces” pitch and roll during acceleration and braking.
The sport differential, meanwhile, actively distributes torque between the rear wheels during fast cornering, directing more power to the outside wheel in order to minimise understeer.
Inside, the S8 features Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, head-up display and dual screen MMI touch operating system as standard, and customers also get to enjoy Audi connect functionality, which includes numerous car-to-X services that draw on the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
Further to that, numerous driver assistance features are available, including adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, swerve assist and turn assist.
The S8 comes standard with a five-year Audi Freeway Plan.