2022 Audi S8 unveiled

2022 Audi S8 unveiled

11/02/2021

With a new AMG S-Class imminent, Audi's flagship saloon gets a fresh look and new tech

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, November 2, 2021 / Loading comments

What with everything else in the Audi line up, it can be easy to forget that something as traditional as a luxury saloon still retains a place in it. But the A8 remains the nominal flagship, as it has done for more than a quarter of a century. With the current D5 generation approaching five years old – and a new Mercedes S-Class just launched – the A8 has been treated to a facelift.

All models now get a slightly altered design, with even more grille (of course), more prominent intakes, “wide chrome clasps” at the rear and a standard digital OLED light bar. Buyers wanting more sportiness for the exterior of their A8 can opt for a new S line exterior package, with existing chrome and black exterior packs also available. Perhaps the most notable exterior change for 2022, however, is the new palette of colours offered for the A8. There’s a new District Green metallic as well as matte colours for the first time: Daytona Grey, Florette Silver, Terra Grey, Glacier White and the District Green as well.

With an unchanged engine line up, the 571hp S8 tops the new A8 range; Audi reckons it offers “inspirational performance in the luxury class”. With 590lb ft as well from the mild-hybrid 4.0 V8, the S8 is capable of 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds. Predictive active suspension – using an electric motor to load or unload each wheel – Audi’s sport diff and four-wheel steering should help keep 17-foot of S8 on the straight and narrow. Or at least as narrow as something this big can fit.

Naturally, the equipment list for the S8 is almost as long as the three-metre wheelbase. Standard kit includes three rear light signatures (that, presumably, the driver will never see), an ambient light package plus for the interior, digital virtual cockpit with head up display, MMI Navigation Plus with the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit, Car-2-X services, Matrix LED reading lights (!), 40 driver assistance systems… you get the idea. An S8 buyer, as always, really won’t want for much. Options remain, however, including screen upgrades for the rear seats (with content including “well-known streaming platforms”, no less), a Park package that can parallel or bay park better than your driving instructor, a relaxation seat package with 18 pneumatic cushions, a foot massage (!) and a new Cognac Brown leather. Which might go nicely with the District Green.

Though a fairly modest update in the grand scheme of things, Audi is confident in the capability of its new A8 range: “The saloon thereby represents the symbiosis of masterful comfort and sporty handling and it, therefore, covers the full breadth of driving experience”, reads the press release, adding that the new A8 “is a high-value technology pioneer.” Speaking of value, it’s notable that the S8 is actually a fraction cheaper than before. When we last drove one it cost £100,030, which has now dropped ever so slightly to £99,650, which will buy a few tanks of super at least.

The A8 range starts at £73k, with sales kicking off next month and deliveries due in the spring. That said, if you make do with two-zone instead of four-zone climate control and blue instead of green, there’s money to be saved on an S8 – even in the current climate. This 2020 S8 is £84,950 with fewer than 5,000 miles, and looks a sumptuous place from which to add to that total. Just don’t forget it will continue depreciating just a little further…


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