Real sports cars deliver extraordinary driving performance, but usually have a somewhat spartan appearance. For those unwilling to sacrifice any luxury, space or comfort, the Audi S8 has been available since 1996, and as regards acceleration, it can hold its own against the contemporary Porsche 911. The fourth generation of the racy luxury limousine came onto the market in early 2020, with a powerful V8 bi-turbo petrol engine delivering 571 hp (420 kW) and 800 Nm. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h: 3.8 seconds! As such, it is faster than a current 992 model. But can it also compete with even faster super sports cars? With this comparison, ABT Sportslinecomes into play with an extremely attractive performance upgrade.
The software of the high-tech ABT Engine Control unit has been precisely adapted for this model and can unleash a hefty 700 hp (515 kW) from the new S8. Maximum torque increases to 880 Nm. This amazing power is clearly reflected in the new performance figures: Now the traditional standard sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h is achieved in 3.4 seconds. For vehicles equipped with ABT Power and ceramic brakes, an optional top speed increase to 270 km/h is available. The 5.18-metre limousine, weighing over 2.3 tonnes, generally cuts a fine figure, even when cornering. This is down to the meticulously designed standard suspension. The chassis can tilt up to three degrees when cornering, and a camera constantly monitors the next 15 metres, to facilitate active response to any uneven surface.
Aesthetically, the Audi S8 maintains an elegant, understated appearance. Therefore, upon request, ABT Sportsline adds just one discreet carbon fibre rear spoiler. Additional sporty trappings include 20-inch ABT GR or FR wheels. The latter is also available in 21-inch, as featured on the pictured vehicle. The design is a particularly attractive interpretation of the classic five-spoke design. Its diamond-machined outlines and mystic black finish provide an interesting colour contrast. In turn, the GR features a striking concave rim well and a glossy black painted wheel chassis contrasts with a diamond-machined rim flange. The sporty and elegant wheel is also available as an alternative in matt black with an entirely diamond-machined finish.
From inside too, the owner can drop subtle hints to his passengers that they are not travelling in a standard S8. The ABT start-stop-switch-cap and ABT shift knob covermake this possible. A step on the accelerator will remove any doubt.