The 2014 Audi S8 is one of the best cars of the year. The S8 is manufactured with the North American market in mind, so 30 percent of the entire production is sold there. But the new S8 was engineered for both the market and the autobahn. Despite its short wheelbase, the vehicle is huge and its aluminum-intensive body keeps weight to about 4400 pounds, 600 pounds lighter than the S63 AMG.
The former model was powered by a naturally aspirated, 5.2-liter V-10 engine that seemed a little out of place in a sedan. The 2014 Audi S8 has a 4.0-liter V-8 fed by two IHI turbochargers, a smaller but more powerful powerplant – 520 hp from 450 hp. The engine delivers more torque, 479 lb-ft, available from 1700 to 5500 rpm versus 398 in the last car. Top speed is rated at 155 mph and the car reached 60 mph in only 4 seconds, more than one second over the previous model. The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual.
The 2014 Audi S8 has sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, all-wheel drive, massive brakes and 21-inch wheels. The engine has reducing displacement, cutting cylinder count and cylinder deactivation. Unwanted vibration and noise are dampened by a noise-cancellation system. However, the 4400-pounder is not a sports car. Even if you can steer the S8 with the gas pedal on loose gravel, there is considerable body roll. Its sporty mode is very similar to auto and comfort settings. The S8 is not one of the best cars in the world when it comes to sportiness, but we expected a little bit more.
As most Audi cars, the S8’s styling is only subtly differentiated from the regular models. The most notable new features are the grille detailing, standard 20-inch wheels and aluminum mirror caps. The lower air intakes have also been modified and there are now four tailpipes instead of two. On the inside, the 2014 Audi S8 displays an elegant design and impeccable craftsmanship, from the quilted leather to real metal trim. The aluminum pedals and three-spoke steering wheel are a nice touch, and the heated, ventilated and massaging front and rear seats sound too good to be true. There is plenty of room to accommodate five passengers for a first class experience: a rear seat entertainment system, four-zone automatic climate control and speakers that rise from the dashboard on startup.
The S8 comes with many standard features, including heated and 22-way power-adjustable front seats, quilted leather upholstery, a 360-degree bird’s-eye view camera system, a 14-speaker, 630-watt Bose Surround Sound System, a sunroof, full LED headlights, LED taillights, 21-inch alloy wheels, climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system with SiriusXM Traffic, a rear parking camera and front and rear parking sensors.