The Audi A8 has always been an alternative choice among the big luxury sedans, its mission somewhat muddled. So where does that leave the Audi S8 Plus?
It’s the Ingolstadt answer to AMG-ized Mercedes and the most powerful big BMW and Jaguar sedans, though it stops short of being an Audi RS-something. Is that really a problem, though?
I’ve been driving the 2016 Audi S8 Plus for a few days and here are some initial thoughts.
Down to the matte
Matte paint is usually an expensive option that just makes me gag, but the Florrett Silver paint on this S8 is very cool. And it had better be, considering it adds $6,000 to the options tab.
Also the matte finish hides dust and grime surprisingly well, which is nice when there’s a brush fire about 40 miles from your house.
Recommended carbon fiber dose
The extra carbon fiber and black trim everywhere, however, doesn’t float my boat. A $5,500 package adds it to the mirror caps and another $5,500 pack puts it all cover the dash. Spotting a trend?
A photo posted by Zac Estrada (@zacestrada) on Aug 23, 2016 at 9:00pm PDT
After driving a few other S-ized Audis recently, the S8 Plus gets more of the treatment with a, you guessed it, $11,000 Dynamic Pack that includes carbon ceramic brakes and a 190 mph top speed to unleash those 605 horses… somewhere.
When provoked, the S8, which comes with a 597hp (605PS) twin-turbo’d 4.0-liter V8, is pretty athletic for its size. But you don’t even have to switch modes for it to calm down when you just want it to waft. The air suspension makes things super comfortable in back, my passengers told me. And noise is pretty minimal, even from the exhausts.
Ringing it up
The S8 Plus starts from $114,900 (excluding a $925 destination fee) in the States. And the price as tested? $154,000. So at least it’s still cheaper than a new R8.
I’ll be forming many more opinions about the S8 Plus soon, but in the meantime, give me your questions in the comments below.
Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops