2017 Audi S8

2017 Audi S8 Review

The 2017 Audi S8 is a special breed of luxury car packed full of speed, style and comfort.
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

A luxury sedan that will outrun a Corvette? Yes, it exists and it's called the 2017 Audi S8. It also has a plush cabin, a quiet ride and enough room for full adults to ride in complete comfort. It's an impressive feat that few manufacturers can pull off.

The S8, available only in its more sporty Plus model form for 2017, comes powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 tuned to produce 605 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque (a short burst of 36 extra lb-ft kicks in if you floor it). This passes through an eight-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to all four wheels through Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The S8's most notable trait is no doubt its engine, but other things elevate this car above common luxury standards. An adjustable suspension with air springs and adaptive dampers, special sport steering calibration and a torque-vectoring rear differential allow the S8 to carve impossibly tight lines through twisty roads. Yet when you desire comfort, the S8 can soften system response for a highly civilized experience. A dichotomy of vehicle qualities pulled together with elegantly muscular design.

What's new for 2017

The standard Audi S8 was phased out toward the end of the 2016 model year, so for 2017 the S8 Plus is the only version available. New interior color combinations are also available this year.

We recommend

For 2017, the Audi S8 is available only in Plus trim, upping the horsepower and torque levels of its turbocharged V8 engine, and sharpening its steering and suspension tuning. It comes very well equipped from the start, so packages and options will be for those with the most discerning needs. However, if you spend any amount of time in traffic, we'd recommend the Driver Assistance package that comes with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and collision avoidance and mitigation.

Trim levels & features

The 2017 Audi S8 is a high-performance full-size luxury sedan that's only offered in the more powerful, sporty and very well-equipped Plus trim. Under the hood sits a powerful turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (605 horsepower, 517 pound-feet) that connects to a shiftable eight-speed automatic transmission and an advanced all-wheel-drive system. However, unlike the Audi A8 sedan, the S8 is not offered in a long-wheelbase variant.

Standard features on the S8 Plus include 21-inch alloy wheels with high-performance tires, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, Audi Drive Select (selectable drive modes that alter steering assist, suspension, throttle and transmission calibrations), comprehensive LED exterior lighting (headlights, foglights, taillights and turn signals), automatic high-beam control, a surround-view parking camera system with front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a collision mitigation system, a sunroof, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, a power trunklid, soft-close power doors, a trunk-mounted lip spoiler, and automatic headlights and windshield wipers.

Inside the S8 features keyless ignition and entry, diamond-stitched leather upholstery, four-zone automatic climate control, 22-way power-adjustable multicontour front seats (with massage, heating and ventilation functions), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a faux suede headliner, and power rear side and rear window sunshades. The infotainment system, including navigation, is still one of the easiest to systems to use. An 8-inch central screen is controlled by an intuitive dial and a host of menu shortcut buttons, but it also features voice recognition and handwriting-recognition technology, helping to keep eyes on the road. A 7-inch driver information is located within the gauge cluster along with a head-up display that keeps all relevant information within the driver's line of sight. Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 14-speaker, 630-watt Bose surround-sound audio with a CD/DVD player, satellite and HD radio, and an iPod interface are standard. Also included is Audi Connect with enhanced web-based navigation and mobile Wi-Fi capability.

If you're looking for more than what's mentioned above, the S8 Plus does have some available packages. The one we'd recommend most is the Driver Assistance package that comes with adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go functionality), a more advanced collision mitigation system (Pre Sense Plus) and active lane keeping assist. The Dynamic package includes lightweight ceramic brake rotors, a carbon-fiber rear lip spoiler, a sport exhaust and a top-speed increase to 190 mph. The Cold Weather package adds a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and a rear center seat pass-through for long items such as skis. The Full Leather package extends leather-wrapped surface coverage, while the Audi Design Selection packages include the Full Leather package and various trim accents such as wood and carbon fiber. And lastly the Black Optic package features gloss-black exterior accents and carbon side-view mirrors.

Some individual options include different wheel designs, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, night-vision assist (with pedestrian and animal detection) and a 19-speaker, 1,400-watt Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.