Does a German luxury sedan really need an exotic, high-revving V-10 engine? That is a bit like asking if Hugh Hefner really needs three girlfriends. Neither question is an issue of necessity, but rather a matter of personal preference.
Whether or not we actually needed a four door sedan with a Lamborghini engine, we nevertheless asked for and received one. We also requested the Bang and Olufsen advanced sound system ($6,300); suede leather headliner ($4,900); a $3,500 premium package with electric rear sunshades, rear camera, heated rear seats; adaptive cruise control ($2,100); solar sunroof ($790); satellite radio ($550); rear climate control ($600); and electronic rear seat lumbar support ($350). Altogether, the bill came to $113,910. Audi delivered the fully loaded “Quartz Gray Metallic” S8 in April 2007, and our job immediately became trying to test out every one of the car’s finer points over a yearlong endurance evaluation. With so many goodies, it would take almost a year to get to all of them (I wish!).
The S8 is still not the most expensive or even the most powerful sedan in Audi’s lineup. The A8L W12 boasts the same 450 hp, but its 428 ft lbs of torque bests the S8 by 30 ft lbs. But the A8l costs 25 thousand dollars more than the S8′s base price of $92,000.
Engine: 5.3 liter V-10
Power: 450 hp at 7,000 rpm
Torque: 398 ft lb at 3,500 rpm
Fuel economy: 14/20 mpg
Base price: $92,000
Fully equipped price: $113,910