Sit back, stretch out and power onto an autobahn faster than any other limousine – that seems to be the brief for the new Audi S8 plus.
‘Plus’ is an apt addition, because an extra 63kW of power and up to 100Nm of torque have been found in the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that powers the S8 we’ve seen for a couple of years now. Modifications were made to charge pressure, exhaust valves and the inner geometry of the turbochargers.
On overboost, the engine can provide 750Nm over the standard state 700Nm, while 445kW is the most we’ve yet seen in any application of this powerhaus. The RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback only get a piddling 412kW.
Driving all wheels via an eight-speed automatic, standstill to 100km/h is reached in 3.8 seconds, three-tenths faster than a non-plus S8.
A 250km/h top speed is standard, with a 305km/h limit optional in all countries except Germany where it is standard for a reason that is blindingly obvious.
As with the regular S8, sports adaptive air suspension and dynamic steering are standard, while the main interior differentiator is red-stitched leather.
Meanwhile unique 21-inch alloy wheels with monster carbon-ceramic disc brakes behind them, carbon diffuser and mirror caps, a lip spoiler and darkened grille surround are indicators to other limo drivers that they shouldn’t pick a fight from the lights leading onto an autobahn.
Only a Porsche Panamera Turbo S will keep pace to 100km/h, but it misses the lounging-room bit of the limo brief. Even a Mercedes-AMG S63 with 900Nm and all-wheel drive (not available in Australia) will be two-tenths off the pace of the S8 plus. Any BMW 7 Series is nowhere to be seen.
That leaves (gasp!) a Tesla Model S P90D to keep a four-ring driver honest, if not a rear passenger comfortable.
The Audi S8 plus will come to Australia mid-2016 with an obvious increase on the $279,000 pricetag of the standard S8. No word yet on what that hike is, but even if it nudged a ‘3’ it would still make the S8 plus $100K less expensive than an S63 AMG and $145K less than a Panamera Turbo S.