2015 Audi S8

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Audi S8 receives only minor feature adjustments, highlighted by a standard head-up display and a new sport exhaust system.

If regular flagship luxury sedans don't quite get your blood pumping, Audi offers a solution: the 2015 Audi S8. The S8 is based on the regular A8 flagship and provides the same elegant driving experience, but it's got a huge helping of turbocharged V8 horsepower piled on top. The lap of luxury has perhaps never been this exciting.

How many horses, you ask? Try 520 of them, harnessed to a smooth and quick eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi says that's enough to take this big sedan from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, and we don't doubt it. Equally remarkable is the exceptional refinement this V8 displays -- it's powerful right off idle and stays nearly silent during highway cruising. And should you desire to pilot the S8 on your favorite curving road, the pinpoint control afforded by the S8's exclusive sport-tuned air suspension may fool you into thinking you're driving a car two-thirds the size.

Exterior Highlights
High-performance full-size luxury sedan available in a single well-equipped trim level

The 2015 Audi S8 is a high-performance full-size luxury sedan offered in a single well-equipped trim level. Unlike the A8 on which it's based, the S8 does not offer the option of a longer-wheelbase variant.

Standard features include 21-inch alloy wheels, summer tires, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, full LED exterior lighting (headlights, running lights and taillights), automatic high beam control, a top-view parking camera system with front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, a power trunk lid, soft-close power doors, keyless ignition and entry, diamond-stitched leather upholstery, four-zone automatic climate control, 22-way multicontour front seats (with massage, heating and ventilation functions), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and power rear side and rear window sunshades.

Infotainment features include a driver information center with a 7-inch screen between the gauges, a head-up display, Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system with an 8-inch central screen, a navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and an iPod interface. Also standard are Audi Connect (including enhanced Web-based navigation and information services, plus mobile WiFi capability), a blind-spot monitor and a basic collision mitigation system that includes pre-collision preparation measures and secondary automatic braking after a collision has been detected.

Some S8 options are grouped into packages. The Driver Assistance package features adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go functionality) and a more advanced collision mitigation system with automatic pre-collision braking and active lane-keeping assist. The Cold Weather package includes a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and a rear seat pass-through. The Full Leather package extends the already generous standard leather upholstery, while the Audi Design Selection packages include the Full Leather package and bundle unique trim elements into cohesive interior treatments.

Individual option highlights include different wheel designs, a sport exhaust system, a solar sunroof (which powers a ventilation fan to keep the car cool), a rear seat entertainment system (with dual screens and an additional MMI control panel), night vision assist (with pedestrian and animal detection) and a 19-speaker, 1,400-watt Bang & Olufsen surround-sound audio system.

Excellent cabin design, top-grade materials, expert craftsmanship, exceptional comfort, 22-way adjustable front seats, MMI interface

Much like the A8 it's based on, the S8 has an excellent cabin design. Top-grade materials unite with expert craftsmanship and assembly to form one of the finest interiors in the automotive world. Comfort is exceptional, thanks to 22-way-adjustable front seats with numerous functions that ensure drivers of all shapes and sizes will find their happy place. Rear seat passengers won't feel left out either, as there's a wealth of head- and legroom for taller adults.

Audi's MMI interface is a boon for technophiles, as it controls a multitude of functions with its high-resolution screen and slick knob-based control layout. The menus may take a little more getting used to than some other high-end infotainment systems, but once you're acclimated, complicated tasks can be executed with ease. Also included is a remote touchpad that allows you to trace letters with your fingertips as a way of inputting or finding phone, music or navigation data. The price of the premium Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system may cause some initial sticker shock, but discerning ears will note that it is one of the finest audio systems on the market.

Standard safety features for the 2015 Audi S8 include antilock disc brakes, stability control, front and rear parking sensors, a top-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, a collision alert (which detects potential collisions and engages certain passenger protection features), front seat side airbags, rear seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and Pre-Sense Basic and Rear (providing pre-crash vehicle preparation and post-crash automatic braking).

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