The brand new Audi S8 TFSI quattro became available in South Africa today. For most, that’s just a thing that happened. For others — those with loads of cash or a really excellent car allowance — it’s a call to hit the dealership as soon as possible.
How can you tell which list you’re on? Well, if you’ve got nigh-on R2.8 million just lying around doing nothing, then the Audi S8 might well be the vehicle for you. Your home probably already has solar power, so a stunning V8 sedan in the driveway is the next way to drive the neighbours nuts.
S8 your Audi craving
Is it really worth spending almost R3 million on a vehicle? Even one packing a 4.0l V8 engine capable of sending 420kW of power and 800Nm of torque to the wheels? Actually… yes. A zero to 100km/h dash is complete in 3.8 seconds. It’s not blistering but it’s pretty fast for a fossil fuel burner like this. Not that you have to do as much burning as you’d think. There’s a Cylinder on Demand system fitted, which intelligently cuts back the Audi S8’s active cylinders from eight to four. Given the price of fuel at the moment, that’s a great addition.
Outside, Audi’s packing Digital Matrix LED headlights. You know, the kind that sear faces off if you drive towards them at night? Each light is broken up into 1.3 million pixels, is subject to a high degree of control, and the S8 can also “emit a carpet of light that illuminates the driver’s own lane particularly brightly”. Around back, the rear cluster of lights uses OLED technology.
You expect excellent engineering from a vehicle like the Audi S8. Less certain is in-vehicle technology but the German automaker has that lane covered as well. Driver and passenger seats are highly adjustable, as usual. For a fee, drivers can install the same tech in the rear seat. But it’s the interior instrument cluster that’s of most interest.
The Audi S8 used the Audi connect operating system to power two displays — 10.1in and 8.6in. MMI Navigation is standard across the range. A heads-up display is always a nice feature, but Audi’s supplementing its usual touch controls with something fresh — voice navigation. You’d best get used to saying ‘Hey Audi’ because that’s how you will control some internal functions. As long as it doesn’t respond to some rando saying ‘Hey Audi, unlock the doors’, it’ll probably prove to be an excellent addition.
All in all, the new Audi S8 TFSI quattro sounds like an excellent slab of German machinery. It’s available in South Africa from today, if you happen to have the scratch to spare. If you buy one, swing by the office. We’d love to check it out.