The flagship Audi S8 limousine will be available in South Africa before the end of the third quarter in 2012. It will feature an all-new, 4.0-litre, TFSI V8, with twin-turbo induction and direct injection technology from the latest Bentley Continental GT. Yes, those fed up with force-fed engines providing efficient performance rather than outright speed, could bemoan the S8’s downgrade from a V10, but Audi say the S8’s new V8 speaks for itself in terms of figures.
The V8 TFSI cranks out 381 kW and 680 Nm. Refreshingly for an Audi, peak torque is available in one of their flattest curves yet, all the way from 1 700 r/min to 5 500 r/min. Allied to an 8-speed transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive, the S8 will launch to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds and all the way to a limited top speed of 250 km/h. Thanks to Audi automatic engine stop/start technology and a cylinder on demand system that regulates four of the eight cylinders, performance is available at the expense of just 10.5 L/100km. An improvement over the 13.5 L/100km of the old V10-powered S8, that also made 50 kW less power.
To guarantee maximum stateliness in their flagship, Audi will employ ‘ANC’ or Active Noise Cancelling, which broadcasts an anti-phase sound through the speakers into the cabin to eliminate intrusive resonance. Electronically controlled engine bearings are programmed to ‘counter pulse’ with the engine to cut out low frequency noise and vibrations through the lightweight, aluminium body.
Standard equipment should include Audi’s rear sports differential and drive select system, with optional extras including carbon ceramic brakes that saving 5kg on each rotor, as well as a sports body kit. Audi South Africa hasn’t hinted at the S8’s local pricing, but we cannot wait to sample the new V8 TFSI engine.