2020 Audi S8

2020 MODEL
$129,500
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7.7

Overall Rating

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2020 Audi S8 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 10, 2020
Swapnil Kulshrestha's image

Swapnil Kulshrestha

Automotive Journalist

Imagine a car that makes you feel surrounded in the lap of luxury every time you get inside it. The enchanting touch of fine materials all over, the soothing support of high-quality seats, and the calmness of an insulated cabin. Admirable, right? 

Now think of a sporty beast, dancing at your tune. That engaging show of power. The jazz around the corners. The fierce presence. Captivating, right? Now, what if we told you that you can get the peace of a luxury car and the charm of a sporty vehicle in just one ride? Surprising, right? 

See detailed review »

Pros

Enthralling performance

Authoritative acceleration

Nimble handling

High on technology

Cons

Low on cargo space

Difficult to differentiate from a standard A8

What's New?

The car is all-new for 2020


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$129500

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

155 mph

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

244 cu.in.

horsepower

563 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

590 lbs.-ft. @ 2500 rpm

transmission

8 Speed Automatic

chassis

frame type

Unibody

brake rotors (f/r)

15.8/15.8

dimensions

wheelbase

123.2 in.

length

209 in.

width

83.9 in.

height

58.6 in.

capacity

passenger volume

115.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.2 cu ft.

payload capacity

970 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.8 sec.

standing ¼-mile

11.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

14/24/18 mpg

highway range

520.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. /50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr. /unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr. /unlimited


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Audi S8 Interior video
2020 Audi S8 Review video
2020 Audi S8 Exterior video

Styles

2020 Audi S8 in Seville Red Metallic color 2020 Audi S8 in Terra Gray Metallic color 2020 Audi S8 in Moonlight Blue Metallic color
Seville Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

9.0

Engine And Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

4.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Competition

8.9

Final Verdict

7.2

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Audi S8 Base

Base

power
563 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
18 combined

$129,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (4.0L 8cyl 8A) Starting at $129,500 MSRP (14/18/24) 563 hp @ 6000 rpm, 4 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
8 Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.7

Overall Rating


Well actually not, presenting the 2020 Audi S8 L *drumroll*. The 2020 Audi S8 L is a standard A8, that just got its higher education on a racetrack. The Audi S8 houses a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine, which along with a 48-volt mild-hybrid configuration can generate 563 hp, along with 590 lb.-ft. Of the spinning force. 

The Audi S8 L is a sports model for the flagship A8 range from Audi. The prices for the S8 L start from a (very)hefty tag of $129,500. In a world where the scope for the sedan is shrinking with each passing day, the S8 L marks its soil and goes against some high-octane competitors, such as the BMW 7-series, the Maserati Quattroporte, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo. So will this new entrant be able to defy the terms set by these veterans? Scroll down and find an answer.

2020 Audi S8 Sedan Front View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Rear View

9.0/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

4.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.0/10
Interior

 

7.0/10
Exterior

 
 

8.9/10
Competition

 

7.2/10
Final Verdict

 

2020 Audi S8 Features

9.0/10

The Audi S8 is a stand-alone trim that is on offer only in one configuration. The ride obtains power from a 4.0L V8 engine and houses some state of the art tech features such as cylinder deactivation, predictive active suspension and much more. 

Trim

Audi S8 L

MSRP (AWD)

$129,500

Key Features

Quattro sport rear differential 

 

The five-link front and rear suspension

 

Tiptronic automatic transmission

 

Panoramic sunroof with blackout sunshades

 

Four-zone automatic climate control

 

20-inch 5 double-spoke alloy wheels 

 

Bang & Olufsen 16 speaker premium sound system

Which trim to go for? 

Since the Audi S8 is a standalone trim, no real scope of getting choosy here. However, the S8 packs in all the bells and whistles that you’ll need or you’ll expect from a car of this range. 

2020 Audi S8 Engine and Performance

8.0/10

The Audi S8 L swaps the standard A8’s six-cylinder engine with a 4.0L V8 engine. This V8 is further assisted by a pair of turbochargers, that help the sport sedan belt out 563 ponies, along with 590 lb.-ft. Of the spinning force, which kicks in at 2000 rpm. 

Moreover, the S8 also gets a mild-hybrid configuration, roping in a 48-volt battery pack that aims at enhancing the engine’s effectiveness and efficiency. The S8’s power figures are a huge bump over the standard Audi A8. The standard Audi A8 generates 335 hp and 325 lb.-ft. Of torque, in its standard V6 configuration. However, there is also an optional twin-turbo V8 on offer, fabricating 453 hp and 444 lb.-ft. Of torque. 

Models

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

MSRP

$129,500

$157,700

$124,990

$153,000

Engine

4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 6.6L Twin-Turbo V12 3.8-Liter Twin-Turbo V8  4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 
Drivetrain AWD AWD RWD AWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic W/OD Auto-Manual 8-Speed Auto-Shift Manual W/OD Auto-Manual

Power

563hp@6,000rpm 600hp@5,500rpm 523hp@6,800rpm 550hp@5,750rpm

Torque

590lb-ft@2,000rpm 627lb-ft@1,550rpm 524lb-ft@3,500rpm 567lb-ft@1,960rpm

All the “Sedan 8” models form the “House of the Rings” employ an 8-speed automatic transmission in order to consummate its transmission tasks. However, what’s the highlight of this transmission show is that this 8-speed arrangement is not your regular chic, instead, it’s a quick-shifting ZF automatic transmission, that accounts for better efficiency, and sleeker gear shifts. 

How fast is the Audi S8 L?

The Audi S8 L is more than just a standard A8, injected with steroids. The ride packs in a great deal of brawn underneath its hood. The 563 ponies generating twin-turbo V8, along with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, when paired with a quick-shifting ZF 8, can throw this ride from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds. 

2020 Audi S8 Sedan 0-60 MPH In just 3.8 sec

The Audi S8 can go the quarter of a mile distance in 11.9 seconds at a speed of 118 miles per hour. The ride also gets an electronically capped top speed of 155 mph, which is 25 mph more than the standard A8’s peak speed.

Model

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

0-60 MPH

3.8 sec

3.5 sec

4.7 sec

3.3 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

11.7 sec

12.9 sec

11.7 sec

Top Speed 155 MPH 155 MPH 179 MPH 188 MPH

Engine

4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 6.6L Twin-Turbo V12 3.8-Liter Twin-Turbo V8  4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 

The BMW M760i’s V12 engine works its magic, making this Bimmer the fastest in the segment. The BMW M760i can go from 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds. Though the Porsche Panamera Turbo exhibits a slightly better 0-60 performance than the Bimmer but considering the curb weight of both the rides, we will award the M760i this title. The Audi S8 L posts great off the mark figures as well, followed by the Maserati Quattroporte GTS which seems kind of slow when compared with the segment standards. 

What about the braking performance of the Audi S8 L?

The Audi S8 L is as good a halter as a sprinter. The ride equips 15.8-inch brake rotors on the front-end wheels and caters to the rear-end with rotors that have 13.8-inch of diameter. The front brake calipers have 10-pistons, which can make this salon depreciate from 60-0 mph in a distance of just 105 feet. 

There is also an option of carbon-ceramic brakes, available for the S8 L, which the company claims to be around 21 pounds lighter as compared to the standard iron rotors. 

Model

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Brake Rotors Front

15.8"

14.7"

15.0"

16.1"

Brake Rotors Rear

13.8"

14.5"

13.8"

15.0"

Curb Weight

5302 lbs

5159 lbs

4189 lbs

4398 lbs

60-0 MPH

105 ft

109 ft

103 ft

104 ft

When seen in the reference to this comparison chart, the Maserati Quattroporte GTS posts the best in class stopping figure, decelerating from 60-0 in a distance of just 103 feet. However, the catch here is that the Maserati is also the lightest offering of this segment, with a curb weight of just 4189 pounds. The Porsche Panamera Turbo, following the same cult, comes to a halt in 104 feet. The real rivalry, however, remains between the Audi and the Bimmer as these two are the heaviest vehicles in this comparison. The Audi S8 L performs much better than the Bimmer with a stopping distance of 105 feet, as compared to the M760i’s 109 feet. 

What about its driving dynamics?

The Audi S8 L is a one-stop-shop for luxury, showered with a sprinkle of performance (a lot of sprinkles). The S8 L replaces the A8’s 6-cylinder engine to make way for a 4L twin-turbo V8 powerhouse. The results? Well, they are beyond impeccable. The S8 L’s 563 ponies are awakened as soon as your foot makes the slightest impact contact with the throttle pedal. Add the 48-volt mild-hybrid configuration to the picture, and the S8 is seen sprinting, with ultra-sharp throttle response and without the least of the turbo-lag. 

2020 Audi S8 Sedan Front view

S8 L’s handling is a leap towards excellence when compared with the A8’s handling. There are a number of prodigious underpinnings that help the S8 perform so great. For instance, the predictive active suspension is a standard feature of the S8. This arrangement lets the ride raise and lowers each wheel independently to control movement according to various situations. 

The Audi S8 L performs well when left in a bunch of corners as well. Different drive modes alter the ride’s configuration, but what remains the same is controlled body movements, precise steering wheel, and agile handling. 

2020 Audi S8 Fuel Economy

4.0/10

The Audi S8 L is definitely a ride that will ask for the hardest of your efforts to maintain the legal speed range. The V8 power-mill of this ride is potent and powerful, which can make it sprint quite easily. 

The Audi S8 L may get perceived as a serious fuel-chugger, but it definitely is not. The auto-marquee claims a city mpg of 13, and a highway mpg of 22, summing up these figures, we get a combined mpg figure of 16, which is respectable for a ride of this dimension. 

Model

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

MPG (City)

13

13

15

18

MPG (Highway)

22

20

22

25

MPG (Combined)

16

16

17

21

Fuel Capacity

21.7 gallons

20.6 gallons

21.1 gallons

23.7 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

282/477/347 miles

268/412/329 miles

317/464/358 miles

427/593/497 miles

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

N/A N/A N/A N/A

What backs this claim is a number of avant-garde technological feats of the ride. The 48-volt mild-hybrid is a major factor that increases the efficiency of the S8. Moreover, S8 L’s efficiency is also characterized by features such as cylinder deactivation and highlights such as lightweight construction and smooth aerodynamics. 

2020 Audi S8 Interior

8.0/10

The Audi S8 draws much resemblance from the A8 when it comes to cabin aesthetics. Open the door and you are greeted with a cabin that looks like a tech expo, rolling upon a set of wheels. The cabin keeps things simple, with a user-friendly layout, and a character that screams “Audi”. 

The cabin houses big displays in the focal stack and for the instrument panel. 

2020 Audi S8 Sedan Front seats

There are not many changes in the S8, and its insides look just as classy as the regular A8, exuding elegance and poise. Though there are some elements that differentiate the S8 from the A8, such as the “S” badging on the steering wheel and carbon-vector dashboard inlay. 

Model

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

4

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.3/59.1/41.5

39.9/59.2/41.4

N/A

N/A

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.5/57.6/44.3

38.9/57.7/44.4

N/A

N/A

The Audi S8 is a sport sedan, but this notion does not compel it to sacrifice on the terms of comfort. The S8 offers a ton of space in all directions for the front and rear passengers, likewise. The front seats of the S8 have standard heating support and can be switched between 18 different power adjustment.

Creature comforts on offer in the Audi S8 L

The Audi S8 is an ideal sport salon that serves its occupants with a leisurely and laid back ride. The S8 houses a number of convenience features that make it one of the best in class luxury sedans. Some of the most noteworthy interior features on-board the Audi S8 are: 

  • Four-zone automatic climate control
  • Active climate control shutters
  • Heated four-spoke multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles
  • Power tilt and telescopic adjustable steering column with memory
  • Carbon Vector upper inlays and Dark Matte Brushed Aluminum lower inlays
  • Dual-pane acoustic glass
  • Panoramic sunroof with blackout sunshades
  • Ambient LED interior lighting
  • Valcona leather seats with diamond stitching
  • Heated and ventilated 22-way power Comfort Sport front seats
  • Air quality system

What about utility?

The Audi S8 is an absolute performer, nailing the coffin of competitors in almost each and every aspect, but the point where things get shaky for the Audi S8 L is the cargo capacity. The S8 takes a beating from all its competitors in this facet. The Audi S8 offers just 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which is pretty petite for a sedan of this segment. 

Model

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Cargo Capacity

12.5 cu.ft.

18.2 cu.ft.

18.7 cu.ft.

17.6 cu.ft.

The Maserati Quattroporte GTS offers the best in class cargo volume with more than 18.5 cubic feet of space, waiting for you to load it up with your stuff. The BMW M760i rakes in the second spot with 18.2 cubic feet, followed up by the Porsche Panamera Turbo with 17.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The Audi S8 L lags behind by a big margin with just 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space on offer.

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

The Audi S8 comes fitted with an MMI infotainment system that beams all the information on a 10.1-inch focal touchscreen panel. This system is one of the best in business, all credits to Audi’s association with NVIDIA, which results in presenting the information in the form of crisp graphics, that respond rapidly to your touch inputs. Some of the most prominent tech features that the Audi S8 hosts are: 

  • Audi virtual cockpit
  • MMI Navigation plus
  • Voice control
  • Audi Connect 
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • MMI Radio Plus
  • Bang & Olufsen Premium sound system with 17 speakers
  • HD Radio
  • Sirius XM
  • Bluetooth
  • Audi phone box 
  • Homelink 
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Dashboard

2020 Audi S8 Exterior

7.0/10

The Audi S8 looks much like a regular A8, except for some touches that lend this ride a sporty character. The front, just like the A8 is dominated by a massive grille that houses a 6-horizontal bar mesh. This grille is further enclosed by a set of slim LED headlamps. The elements that will help you recognize an S8 over the A8 from the front-end is the incorporation of an “S” badge and bigger side vents. 

2020 Audi S8 L Sedan Three Quarter View

From the side, the S8 looks exactly the same as an A8, carrying forward the typical long sedan silhouette. In the side profile, the only element that distinguishes the S8 from the A8 is the presence of silver mirror caps, and lowered ride height. 

Model

Audi S8 L

BMW M760i

Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Porsche Panamera Turbo

Curb Weight

5302 lbs

5159 lbs

4189 lbs

4398 lbs

Length

209.0"

207.4"

207.2"

198.8"

Width

76.6"

74.9"

76.7"

76.3"

Height

58.6"

58.2"

58.3"

56.1"

Ground Clearance

N/A

5.3"

N/A

N/A

Wheelbase

123.2"

126.4"

124.8"

116.1"

The rear part of the ride is carried forward from the A8 with very minor changes. Highlights such as the trunk lid spoiler and the thin light bar, that runs across the width of the trunk hood are exactly similar to the A8. However, there are certain components that take home the sporty profile for the S8, for instance, a set of round exhaust pipes and the presence of the “S8” badge under the left taillight. 

What are those eye-catching features?

The Audi S8 is a handsome car that looks classy yet sporty at the same time. Some of the exterior features that help this offering from the Audi do this double-timing thing are:

  • 20" 5-double-spoke S design wheels
  • Singleframe grille
  • S-model quad exhaust outlets
  • HD Matrix-design LED headlights
  • LED taillights with dynamic indicators
  • Auto-dimming, power-folding, heated exterior side mirrors with memory
  • LED turn signals integrated into the exterior side mirror housings
  • Aluminum-optic exterior side mirror housings
  • Power soft-closing doors
  • Power trunk, open/close
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Side View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Side View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Rear View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Rear View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Front view
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Front view
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Rear View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Rear View
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Mirror
2020 Audi S8 Sedan Mirror

2020 Audi S8 Safety

The Audi S8 packs in some serious action and can take your breath away with the high-octane performance it has to offer. However, the auto-marquee has also paid full attention towards making the S8 safe enough, so that the knack of spirited driving never proves fatal for anyone. Some of the most noteworthy safety features that the S8 has to offer are: 

  • Advanced Airbag Protection System with 9 airbags
  • Safety package front, with front center airbag and illuminated safety belt buckles
  • Front passenger occupant detection for airbags
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) in rear seats
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with secondary collision brake assist and traction control (ASR)
  • Rearview camera
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD) and brake assist
  • Tire-pressure monitoring system
  • Electromechanical parking brake

2020 Audi S8 Competition

8.9/10

Audi S8 L vs. BMW M760i

The BMW M760i is the most expensive and the most powerful vehicle of this comparison. The BMW M760i is the only ride in this segment that offers a V12, instead of a V8, which belts out 600 hp along with 627 lb.-ft. Of torque. These power figures can make this Bimmer sprint from 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds, thus making it the fastest sedan on offer. However, this sportiness does not mean you need to compromise on utility. The Bimmer offers a great deal of cabin and cargo space. 

2020 BMW M760i Sedan

Audi S8 L vs. Maserati Quattroporte GTS

The Maserati Quattroporte is one of the most reasonable sedans that are available on pedestals in this range. The prices for the Quattroporte GTS start from $124,900. The Maserati Quattroporte GTS houses a 3.8L V8 engine, which can generate 523 hp and 524 lb.-ft. Pf torque. This ride, sprints from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, which is a decent figure, but not as good as the figures pulled off by other offerings of the segment. The Maserati Quattroporte also kinds of disappoints us in terms of cabin aesthetics and interior quality. 

2020 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

2020 Audi S8 Final Verdict

7.2/10

The Audi S8 is a perfect infusion of comfort and performance. This offering from the house of Audi can pull off both the character pretty well. It can drive you around the town with utmost comfort, as you stare out the rear window, while your chauffeur handles the steering wheel and can also tempt you enough to take the control in your hands and hit the open road to satisfy your adrenaline cravings.