Just recently, we saw some spy photos of the upcoming Audi S8 caught testing at the Nurburgring. In the photos, the test car was barely camouflaged, so we were able to see everything about it. And it sure looks more aggressive than the standard car, which is encouraging. However, we weren’t really sure what sort of engine would power it. We had a good idea but nothing for certain. Now, Autocar is reporting that our suspicions were correct.
According to Autocar, the upcoming Audi A8 will use the same 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged engine as the Porsche Panamera and make 535 hp. That’s 15 extra horses over the previous-gen standard Audi S8, not the S8 Plus, which made 605 hp. What’s interesting is that its 535 hp is significantly lower than that of its rivals, such as the 603 hp Mercedes-AMG S63 and the 600 hp BMW M760Li. Having said that, the Porsche Panamera punches way above its power figures would suggest, so we expect the S8 to do the same.
That engine will be paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive and it will most likely have the new Audi A8’s trick suspension and rear-wheel steering. So it should be damn quick and handle well. Though, we’re hoping that it handles with a bit more verve than the standard A8, as that car is a bit too numb to be exciting.
Either way, it should handle better than the old car, as the new one will be significantly lighter, thanks to far more extensive uses aluminum and carbon fiber. And, as far as we’ve tested, every new Audi built on the new MLB platform has far surpassed its previous generation of car. We don’t expect that trend to end with the S8, we’re just hoping that it has the handling chops to hang with its very impressive rivals.