Gr8 ex­pec­ta­tions

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIVE THINGS - Joshua Dowl­ing

1 First, the bad news. There is USB no port for your phone De­spite start­ing at $330,500 plus on-roads (our as-tested ver­sion is $385,000 with op­tions), there is no USB port for your phone. Con­nect to Blue­tooth or buy a $100 adap­tor from Audi to have your phone link to the car’s screens while charg­ing (Audi says most deal­ers will, er, gen­er­ously thrown this in). Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto (stan­dard on a $14,990 Holden Spark, for ex­am­ple) have not yet been con­fig­ured for this model. 2 There are plenty of other things to oc­cupy your mind The in­te­rior is trimmed in the finest leather and the sports seats are body hug­ging, with­out be­ing too cum­ber­some when climb­ing in or out. And the topend au­dio is awe­some. 3 It steers bet­ter and han­dles bumps bet­ter than other per­for­mance Audis His­tor­i­cally, Audi has made its per­for­mance cars grip hard in cor­ners but the sus­pen­sion was too stiff. When it ex­per­i­mented with soft­en­ing the dampers slightly, the car was like a pogo stick over speed bumps. The S8 Plus is not like that. Audi has fi­nally matched some of the fine-tun­ing magic that Mercedes has worked on its per­for­mance mod­els for some time. The han­dling is sharp — it feels smaller than it is — and the ride is com­fort­able. 4 The brakes are su­perb

At the price, they ought to be. The test car had $25,840 op­tional car­bon ce­ramic discs (the same tech used in F1). Ear­lier ver­sions squeaked or took time to heat up but these are ef­fec­tive from the first touch. Un­less you plan on tak­ing this on a track day, the op­tion may be best left unticked. They’re dearer to buy and ser­vice: $25K gets plenty of re­place­ments of the reg­u­lar pads and discs. 5 The ac­cel­er­a­tion is mind-bog­gling The reg­u­lar S8 does 0-100km/h in 4.1 sec­onds and the claim for the S8 Plus is 3.8. We punched out a quar­tet of 4.0-sec­ond runs back-to-back with a full tank of fuel on a warm day. That’s fast, on an epic scale, thanks to match­ing a twin turbo 4.0-litre V8 (445kW/750Nm) with an eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive. The fastest limou­sine Audi builds, it can keep up with the quick­est Porsches de­spite weigh­ing two tonnes.

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