Top Gear Revisits the D2-Generation Audi S8

The D2-gen Audi S8 — the original S8 — holds a special place in the hearts of many enthusiasts. The reason it’s so revered is entirely to do with its usage in the movie Ronin, in which the Audi S8 is used in a great car chase sequence in the south of France. However, without the benefit of nostalgia, is the D2 Audi S8 actually any good?


Top Gear recently had the chance to revisit the original Audi S8, to see if it’s as good on the road as we think it is in our heads.


Back in the early ’00s, the Audi S8 was packing a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8, not to be confused with the 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that powered the Audi S4 of the era. Two different engines entirely. The S8’s engine make 346 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque and was paired with a five-speed automatic transmissions.


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So what’s it like all these years later? Top Gear was able to get their hands on a very clean D2 Audi S8 and seemed to be impressed with its ride/handling. Sure, its performance is severely lacking compared to a modern S8 but it makes up for that with character. A current Audi A8 would probably even eat the S8’s lunch but the old S8 is smooth and engaging to drive.


It also looks great, with its near-perfect proportions and simple lines. It’s the sort of design that’s gotten better with age and will likely continue to do so. While the inside is handsome its interior design will well, its wood trim dates it. That sort of wood trim just isn’t cool anymore.


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As an Audi enthusiasts, it’s hard to not recommend the Audi S8. Sure, it won’t be as reliable as something cheaper and more durable from Honda or Toyota but it will be more enjoyable to actually own.


[Source: Top Gear]
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.