2008 Audi S8 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Audi S8 Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Audi S8 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.2 L V 10-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 450 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Audi S8

  • Although the 2008 Audi S8's impressive overall performance still falls short of some rivals, its combination of weather-beating all-wheel drive, stealthy exterior styling and considerably lower price make it a solid choice for a premium luxury sport sedan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Turbine-smooth and potent powertrain, plush and roomy cabin, loaded with luxury features, tasteful styling upgrades don't scream "performance model."

  • Cons

    Still not as fast or athletic as some rivals, soft brake pedal feel.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Audi S8 receives minor upgrades. The exterior sees restyled foglights and taillights as well as side mirror-mounted turn signals, while the cabin receives more aluminum accents and the addition of satellite radio and heated rear seats to the standard features list.

Full 2008 Audi S8 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Audi S8 receives minor upgrades. The exterior sees restyled foglights and taillights as well as side mirror-mounted turn signals, while the cabin receives more aluminum accents and the addition of satellite radio and heated rear seats to the standard features list.


Get a bunch of wealthy car enthusiasts talking about ultra-performance sedans and they'll typically start spewing four-letter...well, just four letters: AMG and M. The former refers to Mercedes-Benz's in-house tuning division and the latter to BMW's. However, there's another letter worthy of inclusion among those "19th hole" conversations: S. As in Audi's S badge, which signifies a performance-enhanced version of a given model.

Having been around more than a few years now, Audi's S team has baked up a number of sweet automotive pastries, among them the S8. Certainly the 2008 Audi S8 is most tempting, as it comes stuffed with a Lamborghini-derived V10 engine along with a roomy, handsome cabin and every luxury feature one could want.

The S8 is a high-performance version of the standard-wheelbase A8 (as opposed to the longer "L" version), and sends its 450 horsepower to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission and Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Car geeks may note that the V10's peak output isn't as high as it is in the high-strung Lambo Gallardo, as it has been tuned for a broader powerband that's better suited to a luxury car. No worries about performance -- this executive express can sprint to 60 mph in the mid-5-second range and will effortlessly run at autobahn speeds all day long.

More than just a powerhouse engine, the S8's features list also includes a sport-tuned adjustable air suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, upgraded brakes, unique styling tweaks (including distinctive front and rear fascias) and aggressively bolstered, multiadjustable front sport seats.

Of course, potential buyers will want to look at all their options. Hardcore driving enthusiasts will probably gravitate toward a BMW Alpina B7, which boasts blistering performance along with sports-car handling. Mercedes-Benz offers the S63 AMG with more than 500 hp, though like the B7, it's considerably more expensive than the Audi S8. If quietly clicking off miles at a rapid clip is more one's style than clipping apexes, there is the Jaguar XJR, which charms with its classic styling and plush cabin. With its sexy Italian style and Ferrari-sourced V8, the Maserati Quattroporte is another strong choice.

The 2008 Audi S8 sits squarely in the middle of this group, not as overly sporty as the B7, though more so than the Jaguar. Compared to all but the XJR, the S8 lists for around $20 to $30 grand less. In the real world of city traffic and a 70 mph maximum speed limit, the finely crafted Audi S8 doesn't give much away to its pricier rivals. And let's face it; those well-to-do folks chatting it up at the country club didn't get to be that way by ignoring value.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Audi S8 is a high-performance version of Audi's A8 luxury sedan. The S8 comes one way -- loaded. Standard features include unique front and rear fascias, 20-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon adaptive HID headlights, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity. Additional standard features include a sunroof, a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, auto-dimming mirrors, two-tone leather seating, heated/power front seats, heated rear seats and a Bose audio system (with satellite radio and a glovebox-mounted CD changer).

Options include keyless start, adaptive cruise control, rear climate control, a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, front-and-rear park assist with a back-up camera, power door-close assist, upgraded leather upholstery and a power rear sunshade.

Powertrains and Performance

The Audi S8's 5.2-liter V10 makes 450 hp and 398 pound-feet of torque. That thrust is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that allows manual gearchanges via paddles behind the steering wheel. We've clocked the 0-60-mph sprint in 5.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control and a full complement of airbags (side curtain, front-seat side, rear-seat side and dual front knee) are all standard. A front and rear park-assist system is optional.

Interior Design and Special Features

Beautifully designed and furnished, the Audi S8's interior is hard to fault. Alcantara covers the ceiling and rear package shelf, and along with leather, aluminum and wood accents lends a sumptuous feel to the cabin. Double-paned side windows contribute to the hushed ride while devouring interstates, while the 16-way adjustable sport seats provide long-trip comfort and twisty road support in equal measure. Audi's MMI (Multi Media Interface) control for the climate and audio systems is fairly intuitive, unlike the systems in its homeland competitors. Trunk capacity stands at 15 cubic feet, while a ski pass-through adds versatility.

Driving Impressions

Crack the whip and the V10 engine pulls hard from idle to redline without letting up. The power delivery is so linear that the performance is deceiving -- the S8 is even quicker than it feels. The automatic provides smooth and quick changes, although it can hesitate a bit when prodded for a downshift. Take matters into your own hands via the steering-wheel shift paddles and the transmission responds quickly to your commands.

The S8 rides slightly lower on a sportier variation of the A8's adaptive air suspension. It still offers four suspension profiles to choose from -- Automatic, Comfort, Dynamic and Lift -- but each level rides a bit firmer compared to the standard A8 setup. In any mode, the handling is confident with minimal body roll, and the ride quality is impressive, especially for a car wearing 20-inch alloy wheels.

The only dynamic downside to the 2008 Audi S8 is brake pedal feel. Though the S8 certainly has capable stoppers (halting the 4,600-pound sedan in 112 feet from 60 mph), brake pedal feel is too soft upon initial application and somewhat out of step with the solid, confidence-inspiring sensation of the chassis as a whole.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

The perfect car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi S8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A)

This is the perfect car for someone who needs a large sedan. It has loads of space, a huge trunk, its performance is quite astonishing, yet its appearance does not give it away as blatantly as say an AMG Merc. The quattro makes it possible to drive in any weather. The car also has two personalities: a tame, comfortable luxury sedan and a sports sedan with high-revving (up to 7000 RPM redline) shifts in 'S' mode. Finally, it has the best interior I have ever sat in and its MMI is much simpler to use than either BMW or Merc's systems.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car, infuriating controls

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi S8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A)

Fantastic car. Great handling, styling and quality. The MMI controls will drive you insane. The simplest function becomes very complex. Turning on the heated seats, solar shade, etc. The navigation system - thought was broken. Numerious major addresses in major cities could not be found. Turns out for 2008 you don't enter the city, but the county of location. That is insane, Florida has like 50 counties. No idea, where one starts and stops.

Just as good as the

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi S8 quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (5.2L 10cyl 6A)

To say that the S8 lags behind the other luxo-cruisers is only revealed by a few clicks on the stopwatch. In real world application, with its 4x4 drive system, I have found the S8 to be far - vastly - more confidence inspiring than the others. You never feel at the limit or out of shape in the S8 as it seamlessly governs oversteer, understeer and anything else you can throw at it. When I drive the S Class extremely hard, I can get it inside out such that the ESP feels confused. I would even venture to say that in the canyons near SLC, I can drive the S8 faster than its competitors. Its limits are just far more accessible than with the others.

Talk About The 2008 S8

2008 Audi S8 Discussions See all Started By

I purchased a used 2001 Audi S8 in Feb. 2008 from a Dealer near me (100 Miles away) that specializes in German Imports. The original owner was a FANATIC about keeping his cars in PERFECT condition. (F...

value for a 24 month lease of a 2008 Audi S8 with 10,000 miles per year are .00263 and 55%, respectively. The numbers for an otherwise identical 36 month lease are .00263 and 47%. The numbers for a...

The upcoming R8 will practically be a halo supercar with a giveaway price tag. It will receive astonishing reviews that will further bolster Audi's image. The S8 will also help. A new A8 will be ou...

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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