Su­per­car power from Audi’s su­per S8 saloon

South Wales Echo - - MOTORS -

WHEN it comes to a wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing there’s lit­tle to touch the new Audi S8 plus.

At a quick glance it looks more like a very up­mar­ket saloon than a high per­for­mance su­per­car, geared to ap­peal to the busi­ness­man or woman who, if not at the top of their pro­fes­sion are cer­tainly well on their way.

And that’s the group that the Audi A8, on which this car is based, is also aimed.

But those ex­ec­u­tives who want some­thing rather more ex­treme un­der the bon­net go for the more sport­ing S8 – or if they re­ally want ul­ti­mate power the S8 plus.

For this classy but un­der­stated saloon boasts a 4.0-litre twin tur­bocharged V8 en­gine pro­duc­ing a colos­sal 605ps or 595bhp.

That’s enough to rocket it from stand­still to 62 miles per hour in just 3.8 sec­onds and on to a lim­ited top speed of 155 miles per hour.

With a price tag just shy of £100,000 it’s not for ev­ery­one. In fact even the stan­dard 520ps S8 only ac­counts for 10 per cent of the to­tal A8 mar­ket with the S8 plus com­mand­ing just three per cent of that, so you don‘t see too many of them around.

Even if you did you prob­a­bly wouldn’t no­tice be­cause while they carry S8 badg­ing there is no “plus” badge to high­light just how spe­cial they are.

Most man­u­fac­tur­ers pro­duc­ing a car with this sort of per­for­mance would be adding spoil­ers and body kit ga­lore to shout about its prow­ess but Audi prefers to play it cool.

There are dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures, like unique 21-inch al­loys wheels and a car­bon fi­bre front spoiler lip and side flaps but you need to know your cars to pick up on them.

It’s only the driver who re­ally ben­e­fits from a saloon which is a match for al­most any­thing on the road when it comes to sheer bru­tal per­for­mance.

Drop the gearshift into sport mode and hit the ac­cel­er­a­tor and this beauty just takes off, pin­ning you into the back of your seat.

But the nice thing is how it does it in such style, com­fort and si­lence.

Of­ten cars boast­ing this sort of per­for­mance, while be­ing en­joy­able, can be hard work. The S8 plus de­liv­ers as much per­for­mance as any­one could ever de­sire but in the most civilised man­ner.

And if you opt to drive it in a less fre­netic man­ner it’s quite happy to pot­ter along on the school run or weekly shop­ping trip and ac­tu­ally re­wards you by cut­ting power to four of its eight cylin­ders.

Hit the ac­cel­er­a­tor again, how­ever, and the re­sponse from all eight is in­stant.

As you would ex­pect from a car of this price the in­te­rior is very plush in­deed, with black val­cona leather com­fort sports seats and pi­ano black in­lays on the doors.

The car also came with a head-up dis­play (an ex­tra £1,340) show­ing speed, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion in­struc­tions etc in the wind­screen so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road, a good fea­ture with a car this quick.

The eight-speed tip­tronic gear­box is ul­tra smooth and seam­less and can be used in nor­mal drive mode, sport or man­u­ally us­ing the pad­dles be­hind the steer­ing wheel.

There are a mul­ti­tude of choices when it comes to set­ting the ride and han­dling and you can even se­lect the ex­haust note at the touch of a but­ton.

The S8 plus is cer­tainly a car which of­fers ex­ec­u­tive style com­fort, lux­ury and space in a car which can be set to your own in­di­vid­ual re­quire­ments and mood on the day.

It of­fers easy driv­ing in a car whose per­for­mance takes your breath away.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.