LikeAutomotive ~ 2015 Audi S8 with 520HP, The Coolest A8 – For many years, one of the core elements of the Audi A8’s appeal was its refined and ultra-classy ‘outsider’ appeal. Versus the once-staid S-Class and now-staid BMW 7 series, the A8 was a breath of fresh air.
For the ultra-luxury limo set of shoppers, the A8 represented a ‘Mac’ type of aesthetic and usability, versus its very PC-type logic and functions of the other big German luxury sedans.
The Audi’s shared German engineering, driving feel and performance instantly put the car ahead of the Lexus LS in many enthusiasts’ minds.
A refined and measured exterior and interior design seemed as lightweight and effortlessly stylish as the innovative alloy chassis was underneath.
2015 Audi S8 with 520HP, The Coolest A8
But all those traits went out the door pretty quickly as the Audi A8 became another default choice for wealthy old ladies, or the husbands who made their car choices on their behalf.
The cool crowd is back with Mercedes-Benz and the AMG S63 – as well as a variety of tasty new entries like the Porsche Panamera, Maserati Quattroporte and even Audi’s own A7.
So where does this leave the A8 and its hot-rod cousin, the S8?
It leaves them in a strange limbo. Definitely, definitely not sexy or cool as the trio of sports saloon cars above. But also not nearly as traditional or badge-status-y as the Mercedes or even the BMW 750Li these days.
An odd duck that the Apple and Mac-types would barely relate with today for 2015. The A8 has gone ultra-traditional with a modest revamp outside and in. Chasing sales – where the A8 does very well actually, with a top-five score among luxury limos in the US – means the 2015 model will offer everything from a front-drive TDI engine to the big W12 in the very fancy A8L… W12.
The sweet spot for speed, handling and sex appeal is undoubtedly still the $115,000 S8 model. Packing the twin-turbocharged V8 from the Bentley Continental GT V8 S, this car is seriously rapid and trying to regain its cool points once again. Black exhaust pipes, a darker tint to all the lighting, available dark blade wheels and other sporty additions help the S8 look low and fast and mean.
The car is also a bit of a bargain versus the S63 and S65 AMG these days – with pricing that is comfortably about $25,000 less across the board.
Excluding all this brand appeal trendiness, the S8 is, of course, a solid performance limo for 2015.
But even for a cold-minded shopper, the S8 lacks the bulls-eye of style and intelligentsia appeal of the celebrated A8 and S8’s of yore.