A member of the exclusive "600-Plus-Horsepower Club," the 2017 Audi S8 distinguishes itself as a full-size luxury sedan, rather than a raucous, fire-breathing sports car. While the S8's engine draws the most attention, Audi's flagship sedan gives away nothing in comfort, convenience and handling. The S8's advanced suspension makes it a legitimate world-class sport sedan and its interior quality matches anything the competition offers.
For 2017, Audi phases out the standard 520-horsepower S8. That leaves only the top-of-the-line S8 Plus, introduced last year as the only S8 available in America. The only noteworthy change is the addition of new interior color selections, including black leather seats with red stitching.
The S8's twin-turbocharged V8 spits out 605 hp and 517 pound-feet of torque (and can be prodded to a temporary 553 lb-ft by an overboost function). It's linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters driving all four wheels through Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The S8 returns an EPA-estimated 18 mpg (15 city/24 highway).
The sport-tuned, adjustable air suspension delivers impressive cornering ability for a large executive sedan. And though it can hold its own on a twisting road, the S8 is at its best on an open highway, where the suspension settles down for a smooth, comfortable and controlled ride.
With typical design cues from the Audi family tree, the S8's exterior style may not captivate onlookers, but its spacious cabin rivals that of a private jet or European sports yacht. Leather, wood and other upscale materials abound, capped by features including heated and cooled front seats with massage functions, multi-zone automatic climate control and a premium sound system.
Technology includes an easy-to-use infotainment system with navigation, a head-up display, Bluetooth connectivity and Audi Parking System Plus, which provides an overhead view of the car and sensors that warn the driver of nearby obstacles. The standard S8, available in only one trim level, is equipped so generously that most buyers won't need to add much. But those seeking increased performance and luxury features, or additional driver assistance systems, can choose from several packages and options.
Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Audi S8 that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.