New Audi S8 lands down under

Australian orders are now available for Audi's new flagship luxury saloon.

Introduced in 1996, Audi's S8 has always been the flagship of Audi's luxury range.Featuring a variety of engines and setups over the years, the ideology has remained constant - Quattro AWD, groundbreaking luxury, technology and performance.

The new S8 is no different, with a rigid aluminium chassis, incredible luxury and a 4.0 TFSI V8 engine fed with two twin-scroll turbocharges producing 420kW (563hp) of power and 800Nm of torque.

Audi Australia states that "the all-new Audi S8 is the technological flagship, the halo of our sedan range and the ultimate in luxurious performance."

The new S8 arrives with the most advanced suspension system for sale in Australia, an active system that is monitored by sensors and camers around the car to perfect razor-sharp handling in dynamic mode, and unmatched smoothness with auto-levelling/leaning in comfort mode.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox sends the immense power to four wheels via a torsen Quattro system, which is set at a 40/60 front/rear split from default - however the gearbox is able to direct up to 85% power to the rear for when cornering. This is then distributed at a rear differential, which can send almost all power to either rear wheel, ensuring maximum handling capacity in all conditions. All-wheel steering enhances the car's cornering at low speeds, and maximising the S8's turning circle around tight city streets.

Also featuring one of the most advanced headlight systems on sale in Australia, the S8's front facing lights are dubbed 'HD Matrix LED', with a laser high beam. This adds 138 individual light diodes with 32 adjustable LEDs which sense the road ahead, dimming as necessary. A powerful laser beam can also be activated at speeds of over 70km/h, which Audi states doubles the viewing distance of high-beams.

The interior is a tech and audiophile's dream, with a feature rich display, the Audi standard virtual cockpit plus, and even a touchscreen display for climate control. The 730W 17 speaker sound system made by Bang & Oulfsen makes for precision 3D surround sound performance.

Audi's 8 has never cut corners in quality, and the new S8 doesn't change this. Using Audi's Valcona leather (a step up from Nappa leather), all seats themselves are enshrouded in luxury, electrically adjustable with built-in heating and cooling.

Driver assistance packages are standard on the new S8, with park assist, a 360˚ camera, and advanced radar cruise control with a range of autonomous features from lane-change assist to collision avoidance assist.

The S8 will arrive at dealers in Australia from October, with a base price of $260,000 before onroads.

- AutoNews Australia

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