Most Audi devotees focus on cars like the killer RS7, the agile RS3, and the world-class R8. They’re all fast and fun cars, but the true dark horse in the race is the performance variant of Audi’s biggest sedan, the S8. An S8 doesn’t get the type of attention an AMG S-Class or 7 Series M car would, but it should.
Maybe it’s because it looks like every other Audi, it’s expensive when new, or people think it’s too large. In actuality, the S8 is shorter than the standard long-wheelbase A8, and oh yea, it can hang with the performance crowd. Here are three reasons to take a closer look:
1. It has a Bentley engine.
In a pre-facelift S8, say 2014, the engine was the same found in the V8S Continental GT and Flying Spur. It was a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 making 520 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque. The Continental S variant got one more horse and an extra 21 lb-ft. At the time, the Continental started at $199,225. The S8 went for $112,500, a relative bargain Bentley.
2. The interior is Bentley jr.
An S8 has diamond stitching on the seats and carbon fiber everywhere, even the gearshift. When seen in proximity to Bentley interiors, it is apparent Bentley has higher design and quality standards, but the Audi still shines. Driving a Flying Spur does make one feel like CEO of the world, but being President of Performance isn’t a bad title to hold, especially at the price point.
3. In 2014, an S8 was faster than an R8.
You read that correctly. A 2014 S8 scored a sub-four 0-60 time. The 2014 V8 R8 was in the fours. The S8 was (and still is) scary fast. Floor it and hang on.
Sure, there are plenty of other reasons to look at a used S8 if you’re a luxe-speed disciple, but principal among them should be the price. All large sedans have values that fall like stones. So three years on, the $112,500 S8 is now around $58K. We found one at Bentley Tysons that’s right in the price range.
There’s one final consideration when shopping an S8. Get an extended warranty. That’s not necessarily because they are problem-filled vehicles. Rather, their previous owners knew exactly what they were getting and no doubt exercised the cars properly. Performance parts are expensive. A warranty will grant peace of mind as you enjoy the car properly.