The S8 has famously combined the refinement and composure of the A8 with the ferocity of a mega-output V8 and now it’s come in for an important upgrade
Audi has revealed a facelifted 2022 S8 quattro that modernises Audi’s flagship vehicle and enhances its sheer capability as a performance limousine.
Unveiled overnight alongside the A8 and A8 L, the S8 debuts a new but familiar front and rear appearance that most notably includes a wider grille with a more textured design.
The digital Matrix LED headlights are now more precise with 1.3 million micromirrors that allow the A8 to illuminate the lane in front of the driver without blinding construction workers on the side of the road.
Audi has blacked out the chrome appearance of the S8, and at the rear, buyers will notice the new OLED digital tail-lights with three selectable designs including a dynamic appearance to match Dynamic drive mode.
Chasing Cars reviewed the fourth-generation S8 last year and it became one of the few cars to be awarded a 9.5/10 rating – and these latest updates seek to enhance its proven combination of luxury and performance even further.
Under the bonnet remains the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid system, producing 420kW of power and an enormous 800Nm of torque from 2050-4500rpm. Drive is transferred through an eight-speed torque-converter automatic and quattro all-wheel-drive system, with a rear sport differential standard in S8.
While engine outputs have not changed since the current-shape S8 launched in Australia in 2018, it’s hardly lacking grunt and retains the ability to launch its considerable mass from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds.
Thanks to redesigned bumpers, the S8’s previous length of 5179mm has grown by around 10mm in the standard-wheelbase model, which has historically been offered in Australia. Width (1950mm), height (1470mm) and wheelbase (3000mm) remain unchanged.
To counter some of this size, the S8 retains the all-wheel-steering system as standard on international models, which will undoubtedly be the specification for Australia as well.
The S8’s air suspension has been upgraded to work in conjunction with a new predictive active suspension system that aims to enhance driving dynamics by loading and unloading the weight on each wheel with electric motors.
Buyers interested in pushing their S8 to its limits will also be able to add an optional ceramic brake package.
The S8’s interior features two displays in the centre of the dash measuring 10.1- and 8.6-inches in size, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display in front of the driver.
While the fundamental interior design remains the same, the S8 receives sportier seats than the A8 and a 23-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system is available.
The top-shelf sound system can be optioned alongside dual 10.1-inch HD screens in the rear seats that can be controlled by a phone-sized touchpad in the rear armrest to take video calls or stream a movie.
Audi has bolstered the list of active-safety features to around 40, including a night vision function and 360-degree monitoring and crash avoidance systems. The S8 even uses its air suspension system to raise up one side of the car to better protect a driver in a collision.
The current price of $259,877 (before on-road costs) for the pre-facelifed S8 is expected to rise with the update, but more information on the Australian price and specification will be available closer to the launch date in mid-2022.
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