2018 Audi S8

2018 Audi S8 Review

The 2018 Audi S8 delivers power, refinement and style in welcome excess.
author
by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Few sedans are more powerful than the 2018 Audi S8. With 605 horsepower courtesy of its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and an optional 190 mph top speed, the S8 falls into an elite group. Combined with standard all-wheel drive, the resulting acceleration can make some supercars envious.

As preposterous as its abilities may seem, the S8 remains an understated machine. It is a flagship luxury sedan, after all, and in this role comfort is as big of a priority as performance. Like the A8 on which it's based, the S8's interior boasts extensive leather upholstery and attractive materials throughout. From its smooth-riding air suspension to its extensive number of standard features, the S8 delivers on every front.



What's new for 2018

Aside from small changes in option packages, the S8 is unchanged for 2018.

We recommend

The 2018 Audi S8 is only available in the Plus trim. As such, picking an S8 just comes down to what options you want. The Executive Plus is an obvious choice since it adds extra safety features that you'll likely appreciate having, such as lane departure warning and forward collision warning. We'd take the Dynamic package, too. It's more for the bragging rights associated with owning a sedan with a 190 mph top speed rather than any particular benefit coming from the package's carbon-ceramic brakes.




Trim levels & features

The 2018 Audi S8 is a full-size, high-performance luxury sedan that is available only in Plus trim. It employs a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (605 horsepower, 517 pound-feet of torque) that is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard.

As Audi's flagship sedan, the S8 comes well equipped with standard features, including 21-inch wheels, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, LED exterior lighting, a top-down parking camera system, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a panoramic sunroof, a power trunklid and soft-close doors. Interior amenities include keyless entry and ignition, a head-up display, diamond-stitched leather seating, four-zone climate control, 22-way power-adjustable front seats (with massage, heating, and ventilation), and power rear window sunshades. The infotainment system is accessed through an 8-inch retractable center display, and it's supported by a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound system. Satellite radio is included, but the S8 continues to have Audi's proprietary music interface instead of a regular USB port.

Last year's Cold Weather and Driver Assistance packages have been combined into the Executive Plus package, which includes lane departure warning and intervention, traffic-adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and rear-seat pass-through. The Dynamics package fits the S8 with carbon-ceramic brakes and increases the car's top-speed limiter to 190 mph.

Notable stand-alone options include a night-vision camera system and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The rest of the S8's packages are related to customizing the sedan's color and trim combinations.



Trim tested

Although we've driven the related A8 sedan, Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

Driving

Combining an absurd amount of power with the refinement one expects from an executive luxury sedan makes for a highly enjoyable, if unusual, driving experience. Whether you're cruising along on the freeway or facing a red light with an empty street ahead, the Audi S8 always delivers satisfaction.

Comfort

The adaptive air suspension deftly balances sporty handling with a smooth ride. We also like the heated front seats that offer 22-way adjustment and massage. Rear occupants will appreciate the additional adjustment provided by four-zone climate control.

Interior

Though its design is a few years old, the S8's interior still displays an attention to detail and cohesion in design. If a surface isn't high-quality leather or an attractive trim piece, it's probably simulated suede. And it's all customizable.

Utility

A power, hands-free trunk makes it easy to load and unload, though the S8's 14.2 cubic-foot trunk isn't particularly generous for this class of car. The interior boasts plenty of cubbies and pockets for smaller personal items.

Technology

The S8's MMI infotainment system is reasonably easy to use, but it's dated compared to the latest version of MMI available on other Audi vehicles. The proprietary music interface isn't nearly as versatile as having a USB port to plug in your phone. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not available.

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.