Audi has revealed the next-generation S8, the higher-performance version of its flagship luxury sedan. Like the last model, it is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, but this model gets a power boost to 571 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The previous model made 450 hp and 444 lb-ft of torque, while the S8 Plus turned up the wick to 605 hp and 517 lb-ft.

Thus far, Audi has only shown the European version of the S8 (as seen in the pictures), which rides on the available shorter wheelbase that we don’t get in the United States. Cars headed for these shores will use the same long wheelbase as the 2019 Audi A8.

Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive is standard. The 4.0-liter V-8 features twin turbos, iron-lined cylinders in an aluminum block for smoother operation, a 48-volt mild hybrid system that can enable coasting and fast restarts for the stop/start system, and cylinder deactivation that shuts down four cylinders in light-load driving. The coasting function may not come to the U.S. Audi says the top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

The German luxury brand is throwing all of its suspension and chassis technology at the S8. The European model gets the predictive active suspension standard. It uses cameras to read the road and electromechanical actuators to pull up or push down each wheel independently. This allows Audi to create a smoother ride, and control pitch and roll due to acceleration or braking more effectively. A new Comfort+ mode also takes advantage of this system by leaning the car as much as 3 degrees in turns—so as to keep it flat and reduce lateral acceleration on occupants. The system can also raise the car by 2 inches to make entry easier.

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

2020 Audi S8 (European version)

Dynamic all-wheel steering is included in the S8; it offers a variable ratio for the front steering and can steer the rear wheels opposite of the fronts at low speeds for greater agility and with the fronts at higher speeds for improved stability. Audi’s sport differential, which can move torque along the rear axle in corners, is also standard. Audi says these features will together create a car with neutral handling or minimal oversteer.

Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional. These brakes may be big at 16.5 inches up front and 14.6 inches in the rear but the weigh the same 21 pounds per wheel. The front brakes have 10-piston calipers.

Exterior elements that call out the S8 from the A8 include available 21-inch wheels, quad tailpipes, trim on the front bumper, side sills, and mirror housings.

Otherwise, the S8 is much like the A8, with a full array of safety and driver-assistance features and Audi’s latest dual-screen infotainment system.

Look for more information soon about pricing and standard and optional equipment for the U.S. market version, as the S8 arrives as a 2020 model.

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