Audi took the virtual veils off their latest S8 model today. Based on the current generation A8, the 2020 Audi S8 is a mild hybrid aiming directly at the likes of the BMW M760Li xDrive and, to some extent, at the Mercedes-AMG S63. The new car promises to take on the competition with a host of tech upgrades and plenty of power to turn this limousine into a straight line missile, once you press the gas pedal hard enough.
The Audi S8 has a long history and was even powered by a marvelous V10 engine at one point. This time round, Audi decided to go with a mild-hybrid configuration, created around a 4-liter V8 turbocharged engine with 571 PS and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. Of course, quattro all-wheel drive will be standard. The car has a 48V belt alternator starter and an additional lithium-ion battery for its mild-hybrid setup, a battery that allows coasting with the engine switched off.
Furthermore, the new Audi S8 comes with adaptive air suspension as standard. The smart system introduced on the Audi A8 which uses a camera to scan the road ahead and adapt to it to keep the passengers comfortable will be used on the S8 as well. It will also be able to adjust each wheel independently to make the car stiffer or more comfy, depending on the situation. There’s also rear wheel steering available as well as a torque vectoring rear diff.
Visually, the S8 is not very different from the non-S model. It has slightly different air vents up front, a modified front bumper and, the biggest giveaway, four tailpipes at the back. You can get 21″ wheels as well as carbon brakes on the 2020 Audi S8. The car will go on sale later this year and the US will only get the long wheelbase version. The starting price will most likely be over $100,000. Its most direct rival is the BMW M760Li xDrive.
The Bavarian land missile however has a V12 under the hood, with 585 HP and 850 Nm (627 lb-ft) of torque. It will do 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Unfortunately, Audi didn’t provide any acceleration numbers for the S8. However, considering how close the specs are, it could be able to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 4 seconds as well.