2001 Audi S8 Road Test & Review & Car and Driver

22 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2001 Audi S8 Road Test & Review & Car and Driver

Scarcity, thy number is For reasons unclear, Audi’s big A8 have sold dismally in the since the model’s inception in The company sells only a thousand annually — last year.

By way of comparison, as many Prowlers as poor, Plymouth licensed 12 months Jeez.

Of A8 variants, there now three: There’s the $63,740 A8, with which we enjoyed a blissful long-term relationship 1998) and which finished in our Dowsters comparo (November Shortly thereafter, Audi our carping about back-seat when it whipped out the longer-wheelbase A8 L (June 2000). And now there’s the depicted here — the S8, in short-wheelbase guise only with the S denoting Audi’s division, analogous to Benz’s AMG and Motorsport.

Gluing that prefix to the is nearly a 12-grand operation. a chunk, but the investment earns a bump in grits — courtesy of a new intake manifold, cams, lower-friction followers, and a restrictive exhaust. The package’s new suspenders comprise thicker bars, 30-percent stiffer and shocks with 40-percent compression.

Ride height is sliced by 0.8 — somehow imbuing the with a squatter and seemingly bulbous countenance, suggesting menace than luxury. And Dunlops are fitted, replacing the 17-inch Continentals on our Dowsters A8. that, the S8 offers larger-diameter all around and Brembo calipers up which, we’re trashy to admit, we wish were red.

That’s because the S8 announces its pedigree in the subtlest of AVUS-inspired six-spoke wheels and a of brushed-aluminum mirrors that jut out a like sore thumbs and a lot Prince Charles’s ears.

If the under-the-skin upgrades fail to neighborly envy, casually that your Audi’s not only 40 valves but also airbags — possibly to peg the seismometers at Cal State — and an of acronyms that would even Web developers: ABS, EBD, EDL, ESP, DSP, ASR, and ALR.

But things first. Let’s about the newfound power. The S8 60 mph in 5.8 seconds — a 1.2-second over the A8, a 0.8-second improvement the A8 L. And the car now swallows the quarter-mile in 14.4 at 99 mph — meaning this posh luxury sedan is as as a Honda S2000.

Audi S8

At 0.88 g, skidpad grip is way up, too a huge improvement over the mediocre 0.77 g and a useful beyond the A8 L’s 0.81 g. And from 70 mph now requires only 173 rather than the A8’s 202 feet and the A8 L’s 180 feet.

Around town, the rejuvenated V-8 is as and docile as a dairy cow. manifests in the same seamless and arc — there’s just of it at all engine speeds, from to liftoff. And the five-speed automatic off wide-open-throttle upshifts that are as and flowing as any in our experience — at a 7000 rpm, no less.

all of this is attended by an exhaust right out of a Bocelli aria half Lotus Esprit V-8 half Mustang Cobra bellow. True aural

Downshifts, unfortunately, are less Two- and three-gear kickdowns are to develop, as if the S8 were urging you to a moment before somebody an eye. Of course, you can mitigate the by shifting manually, courtesy of Tiptronic rockers on the steering But even those are peculiarly to encourage upshifts and discourage

Odd.

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