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 and for a highly civilized experience. A dichotomy of vehicle qualities pulled together with elegantly muscular design.
- Standard turbocharged V8 delivers incredibly quick acceleration
- All-wheel drive assures solid all-weather capability
- Clean design and high-quality materials throughout the cabin
- Drives and handles like a much smaller sedan
- Offered in only one very aggressive trim
- Less rear legroom than in its German competitors
- Not as much trunk space as you might expect for a car of its size