Part of growing up is learning that you can’t have everything. But modern luxury car makers are challenging this idea, especially since performance and comfort can be contradictory traits. The Audi S sub-brand, unlike the powerful RS lineup that comes from the Audi Sport division, is dedicated to breaking the production code for models with sporty edge without compromising comfort. The new Audi S8 2022 is no exception.
Since Audi introduced the full-size sedan globally in 1996, the German automaker’s performance and luxury pioneer has been. A few years into its fourth generation, the S8 is receiving a mid-cycle refresh with major improvements aimed at giving affluent buyers a two-in-one driving experience. We drove the updated 2022 Audi S8 on some beautiful roads in Southern California to see just how effective the updates could be.
The company has reworked the exterior design of the 2022 Audi S8 to better fit the rest of the brand’s lineup. Wearing a new grille with a contrasting L-shape pattern; It bears some resemblance to the hexagon pattern found on the grille of the Audi Sport RS models. The S8 also receives new LED headlights that can project animated patterns on the floor or walls to greet or say goodbye to the driver. Meanwhile, the OLED taillights change patterns depending on the selected driving mode.
The interior has not changed much. The fourth generation S8 was introduced for 2020, so the cabin still looks like brand new. There’s plenty of screen real estate, a necessity in the luxury sedan segment these days, and Audi’s dual-screen infotainment setup receives a new, faster processor as part of the 2022 model update.
Mechanically, the biggest change to the 2022 Audi S8 is the available predictive adaptive suspension ($6000). It’s air suspension supplemented by an electromagnetic system, and it uses a front camera installed near the rearview mirror to read the road and anticipate bumps, potholes and other imperfections to improve conditions for vehicle occupants. It can react within 300 milliseconds, Audi says, increasing or decreasing the load on each joystick in order to make it easier to ride. We’ve tested this system on potholes along a driving route, and as long as we have an unobstructed view of the road ahead (if your eyes can see it, the car can, too, Audi says), the S8 practically floats over potholes thanks to a radical new suspension system.
Rear steering is also a new standard feature for the 2022 Audi S8. The rear wheels can be raised 5 degrees, reducing the S8’s turning radius by 3.6 feet to just 38.7 feet, which Audi says is the same as the A4 compact sedan. Not only does this make the S8 extra handy in tight parking spaces, but it also makes the big car feel much smaller on tight, winding roads.
What is the same?
The 2022 Audi S8’s powerful 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine extends by a face-lift, which is fine with us. It produces 563 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque that is sent to the Audi quattro all-wheel drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Audi says the 2022 S8’s engine will hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds, and on our driving route, the S8’s engine felt smooth and its gearbox provided crisp, clean shifts.
Sleek handling and powerful brakes complement this massive acceleration. The steering is light, even in the Audi Sport Dynamics driving mode, but precise. Shutting off power from the large six-piston front brakes and single-piston rear brakes is plenty to pull the long-wheelbase sedan quickly from highway speeds.
Predictive adaptive suspension and rear steering work together to keep the S8’s body in control on the back roads. As we stopped to take a break from driving and back off to admire the car, it was almost unbelievable how big the car looked on the outside compared to how squished around the driver the back roads were. It moves like a proper GT but has the agility of a much smaller vehicle. If the steering were just a stiffer smidge, a sporty sedan would be more attractive.
Although the 2022 Audi S8 is extremely fast and has tremendous cornering ability, flipping the driving mode to Comfort + completely changes the nature of the luxury sedan. It makes steering lighter, reduces throttle response, and raises and lowers the suspension. Predictive adaptive suspension features a ride quality that ranks among the best in the luxury sedan class, and the cabin is whisper-quiet, making the Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System sound more powerful than you might expect.
Is Audi S8 safe?
Like other full-size luxury sedans, the 2022 Audi S8 is light on standard driver-assist safety technology. It comes equipped with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning. An upgrade to the Executive Package adds adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous functions, traffic sign recognition, side and rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.
In the event of an impending T-bone side collision, the Audi S8 equipped with predictive active suspension can take advantage of the electromagnetic system’s rapid response time by raising the air suspension by 3.1 inches in just 0.5 seconds. Audi says this improves the chances of a collision in such a way that the body of the car better absorbs the kinetic energy of the collision. To monitor imminent accidents, the S8 uses its array of cameras and sensors that provide a 360-degree corner view and handles the rest of the active safety monitoring tasks. It’s common in this segment for vehicles to lack standard safety features, but when properly equipped, the 2022 Audi S8 boasts some great technology.
In the end
Pricing for the 2022 Audi S8 starts at $118,995 (including destination tax and gas consumption tax), and the car we tested was flat for $135,595 with all of its optional equipment. Most buyers shopping for cars in this segment won’t tire a bit here and there, but Audi has strategically priced the S8, priced between the Mercedes-Benz S500 and S580 models and the BMW Alpina B7 and Porsche Panamera Turbo S downgrade.
Be aware, the 2022 Audi S8 lacks a little in the customization department. Audi offers the car in eight exterior color options, three wheels, three interior colors, and one color-vector carbon option. Its competitors offer more configurations, allowing customers to make their cars a little more customized than is possible now if they opt for the 2022 Audi S8.
Regardless, the 2022 Audi S8 is optimized for performance without sacrificing any of the luxury attributes of the regular A8. It is loaded with technology and has the potential to beat most off-line traffic. In fact, the flagship Audi still has plenty of wind in its sails and explains that, sometimes, you can actually have it all.
Look well! More details?
|2022 Audi S8 to specify|
|layout||Front-wheel drive, 4WD/5-lane, 4-door sedan|
|engine||4.0L / 563 HP / 590 lb-ft Twin-Turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8|
|transition||8 speed automatic|
|curb weight||5350 lbs (MFR East)|
|Length x width x height||204.3 x 76.6 x 58.1 inches|
|0-60 mph||3.8 seconds (middle east)|
|EPA FUEL ECON, city / highway / comb||14/23/17 mpg|
|EPA scope, comb||369 miles|
|for sale||right Now|