Audi's third and final "S" model heading to the Frankfurt Motor Show is the luxurious S8 that will be launched on the market along with the S6 and S7 Sportback in the spring of 2012.
As it holds the title of being the 'Big Daddy' of Audi's S range, it was only appropriate that the S8 receive a more powerful version of the newly revealed 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine than on the S6 and S7 models.
The German firm's engineers further honed the 4.0 TFSI pushing output to 520-horses and a constant 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 1,700 and 5,500 rpm.
Power is channeled to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission and Audi's permanent all-wheel drive system, with Audi making claims of a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time of just 4.2 seconds, or 0.6 and 0.7 seconds faster than the 420HP S6 sedan and S7 Sportback, respectively.
The V8 engine features a cylinder deactivation system that can cut down one bank to become a 4-cylinder , as well direct-injection technology, plus energy recuperation and start-stop systems.
As a result and despite a 70HP increase in output over the previous 5.2-liter V10-powered S8, Audi says average fuel consumption has decreased by nearly 23 percent at 13.2 liters per 100 km (17.8mpg US).
To improve handling, the S8 gets a specially tuned adaptive air suspension with variable damping, which can vary the ride height of the body between three levels, and four internally ventilated disc brakes that measure 400mm (15.75 in) in diameter up front and 365mm (14.37 in) at the rear, with carbon ceramic disks offered as an option.
As with other members of Audi's S family, the styling touches on the S8 are subtle. On the outside, apart from the 20-inch alloy wheels shod with 265/40-series tires, the 5.15 meter-long (16.90 ft) S8 gets a different grille treatment, a front apron with a lip spoiler, and a revised rear bumper that incorporates a diffuser and four tail pipes.
Interior modifications include the usual, meaning sport seats, a sport steering wheel and –you guessed it- sportier looking trim.