Photography and video by ©2017 Toni Avery
The Audi S8 Plus breaks most conventional thinking about luxury sedans. While the auto industry has trended in the direction of high-horsepower luxury four-doors for a while now, a good number of them make an entrance with exotic or wild-leaning looks. The S8 veers away from that and takes the sleeper route. After driving this, I’m curious to test more high-performance offerings from Audi.
This Audi is equipped with a 4.0 L TFSI V8 engine producing 605 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque (553 with overboost) mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive and stopping power provided by ceramic brakes.
Looking at the S8 from the outside, you might not expect it to have that much power or to be able to get to 60 MPH in under 4.0 seconds (3.7 to be exact…that’s nearly as quick as a 991.2 C4S 911!). It gets up and goes so quickly you forget you’re in a 4,685 lb. car.
There are four different drives modes to choose from in the TTS. There’s Comfort Mode that is perfect for long trips that adds optimized steering and a closer shift pattern to help provide a more comfortable drive.
Dynamic Mode provides tighter steering, even more precise throttle response and gear changes happen much higher in the rev range allowing for a more aggressive, performance focused feel. It also sounds as though the exhaust valve opens up in this mode, making it my favorite by far.
Auto Mode provides the best of both worlds combining both comfort and performance into an ideal daily driving setting.
Individual Mode gives the driver the ability to select their steering, throttle and transmission up shift preference. For example you can combine Comfort, Dynamic and Auto by choosing your preferred setting from each into your very own custom drive mode.
While I left the car in a standard automatic shifting, I did switch it over to manual shifting but was left wanting a little more control, rather the car would shift up for me prior to when I wanted the gear changed.
For such a large car, it cornered nicely, feeling consistently planted. The ride quality was as smooth as expected, gliding over most any road imperfections.
The ceramic brakes are incredibly touchy, some of the touchiest I’ve used to date (currently tied with the brakes on the Shelby GT350). While they took some getting used to, I felt that the brakes complimented the car’s weight and power well. The package optioned to include these brakes is a little on the pricey side (Dynamic Package running 11k).
The exterior features 21” 5-double-arm wheels in a high gloss black finish, carbon fiber rear lip spoiler (included in the Dynamic Package), sport exhaust with black tips (included in the Dynamic Package) and is finished in Mythos Black metallic.
The outside of the S8 is quite nondescript and gives the illusion that this is just another sedan. But the carbon fiber lip spoiler, and ceramic brakes bring out that high-performance edge that Audi enthusiasts will identify with.
The inside of the S8 features black leather seats with Aras red stitching, carbon fiber twill red upper inlays, a piano black shifter (Audi Design Selection Package), Audi Active Lane Assist, Audi Pre Sense Plus and Audi Adaptive Cruise Control (Driver Assist Package), rear seat pass-through, heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel (Cold Weather Package) and massage front seats.
The inside of the S8 is one of the most plush I’ve tested, while each Audi I’ve driven has been nicer than the last. Driving the S8, it feels quite large and more like a luxury cruiser than the high-horsepower performance car it is. The massage seats caught me off guard initially, but I ended up using them every time I got in the car. The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System (optional) delivers such clean and crisp surround sound filling the large cabin of the S8.
Every surface, material and texture used in the S8 was perfectly up to the expectations one would have with a car of this price point. It’s one of the most comfortable cars I’ve tested and would be great for long distance road trips.
2017 Audi S8 Plus:
Base Price: $115,900
Mythos Black Metallic, Black Interior Arras red stitching, Dynamic Package (carbon
fiber rear lip spoiler, ceramic brakes, top speed limiter increased (190 MPH),
sport exhaust tips), Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, Black
optic exterior package, Audi design selection (black with Arras red stitching, carbon
twill red upper inlays, full leather package, piano black shifter),
Driver Assistance Package (Audi active lane assist, Audi pre sense plus, Audi
adaptive cruise control), Cold Weather Package (rear sear pass-through,
heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel), Piano Black
Shifter, Front Filler Panel, 21″ 5-double-arm Wheels in high-gloss black
Price with Options: $147,050
Destination Charge: $950
Total Price: $148,000
Fuel Economy: 15 City, 24 Highway, 18 Combined
GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2017 Audi S8 Plus an overall rating of (out of 5 total):