October 5, 2022
2022 Audi S8 L.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail That is possible the top of an

2022 Audi S8 L.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail

That is possible the top of an period for Audi’s largest, most technology-stuffed sedan. For 2022, the German firm has given its luxe A8 a minor overhaul that’ll see it via the previous few years of its anticipated life. After that, properly, that’s the place it will get fascinating.

The times of purely gas-burning luxurious barges with monster motors are clearly numbered. Each luxurious automobile maker worthy of the label is engaged on some type of absolutely electrical land yacht. Deep-pocketed drivers have additionally turn out to be more and more prepared to purchase an EV too, as Bentley discovered in a current survey of its clients.

Clearly, not one of the huge luxury-car manufacturers is able to cede the small however prestigious (and worthwhile) full-size sedan market to electrical upstarts like Tesla and Lucid Motors.

And so, as supremely competent because the 2022 Audi A8 is, the $99,000 car seems like a stopgap till the corporate launches an all-electric or electrified next-generation mannequin.

Curiously, in Canada, Audi is taking a half step backward on electrification within the brief time period. Right here, the A8 plug-in hybrid (generally known as “TFSI e” in Audi-speak) is being discontinued for 2022. Studying between the strains of firm statements, it seems it didn’t promote properly sufficient. Full-size sedans are a small market, and plug-ins are much more so. It’s a disgrace, particularly as a result of the refreshed mannequin, which will likely be offered in different markets together with Europe, has extra electrical driving vary: as much as 59 kilometres.

The A8 lineup has been minimize down to simply two fashions for 2022: the A8 and the stretched S8 L.

The S8 accelerates from 120 kilometres an hour prefer it’s being carried forth on an infinite wave.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail

The previous has downsized from a V8 engine to a three-litre turbocharged V6, whereas the performance-minded S8 retains its four-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with 563 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.

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The complete-fat S8 was the one mannequin accessible throughout our check drive. It actually seems like a responsible pleasure today, however a pleasure it most actually is.

Coming into a piece of the Autobahn the place your common sense is the one pace restrict, the S8 accelerates from 120 kilometres an hour prefer it’s being carried forth on an infinite wave. The deep rumble from the engine sounds subterranean. The automobile feels unshakable because it hits 240 kilometres an hour. (You’ll be able to nearly see the gas gauge dropping at that pace, which is one in every of many good causes to maintain pace limits on Canada’s highways.)

Extra spectacular than the S8′s outright energy is the way it behaves away from the Autobahn. There’ a lot intelligent engineering within the S8 that, on tight nation roads, it drives like a smaller, lighter automobile. In quick corners, if you anticipate it to checklist towards the surface of a flip, the S8 does the other; its energetic air suspension tilts the automobile towards the within, so it by no means feels as in case you’re going as quick as you actually are. The automobile additionally scans the street and adjusts the suspension for oncoming potholes, which provides the automobile a spooky capacity to clean out dangerous streets. Regardless of the soft journey, the steering is properly correct. If you’d like a sedan to cart you and your three golf buddies round, it doesn’t get a lot better than this.

Then once more, the identical may very well be mentioned of final yr’s S8. The updates to the revised mannequin are minor: a redesigned grille, new lights, and a contemporary choice of paint colors and wheels.

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The infotainment system feels previous, although. When it was launched in 2017, the A8′s crisp dual-touchscreen system with haptic suggestions made every part else appear antiquated. 5 years later, Audi’s system has been surpassed – a minimum of by way of design, if not outright utility – by the tech inside newer flagships just like the Mercedes S-Class.

Again in 2017, the A8 didn’t need to fend off many electrical rivals both. However in the present day – in case you don’t want area in your three golf buddies – Audi’s personal e-Tron GT or the same Porsche Taycan are each way more thrilling to drive. There’s additionally Tesla’s refreshed Mannequin S and the brand new Lucid Air.

Working within the A8′s favour is that it’s inexpensive than electrical rivals, and roughly $20,000 cheaper than the S-Class and BMW 7 Sequence. It could not have the flashiest expertise any extra, nevertheless it affords good worth – if any $100,000 automobile can – and an awesome stability between crisp dealing with and luxury.

Take pleasure in it when you can. Final yr, Audi unveiled the Grand Sphere electrical sedan idea. It’s greater than 5 metres lengthy with a loungelike inside and an estimated driving vary of greater than 750 kilometres. The Grand Sphere, or one thing prefer it, will likely be on sale by the center of the last decade, an Audi government mentioned on the idea’s unveiling. The center of the last decade can be roughly when the fourth-generation A8 you see right here is due for retirement. A coincidence? I think not. It appears possible that is your final likelihood to get a giant Audi with out {an electrical} socket.

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A 48-volt delicate hybrid system reduces gas consumption on each the A8 and S8, though neither is precisely frugal.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail

Tech specs

2022 Audi A8

  • Base worth/as examined: $99,900 (A8), $144,200 (S8 L)
  • Engine: Three-litre turbo V6 (A8), four-litre turbo V8 (S8 L)
  • Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automated
  • Gas economic system (litres/100 kilometres): 16.9 metropolis, 10.2 freeway (S8 L)
  • Alternate options: Tesla Mannequin S, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Sequence, Audi e-Tron GT, Lucid Air, Genesis G90, Lexus LS

Seems

The massive-grille pattern is in full swing.

Inside

It’s as quiet as a library, even at freeway speeds. Rear seat passengers can get pleasure from an elective, heated foot-massage characteristic.

The 2022 Audi S8 L is as quiet as a library, even at freeway speeds.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail

Efficiency

A 48-volt delicate hybrid system reduces gas consumption on each the A8 and S8, though neither is precisely frugal. Rear-wheel steering means the full-size S8 deftly handles a good car parking zone like a smaller machine. It’ll do zero-to-100 kilometres an hour in 3.9 seconds.

Expertise

Audi deserted plans to supply a lidar-based partly automated driving system (Stage 3) within the A8, which was the automobile’s headline characteristic again in 2017. However, the standard (Stage 2) driver help options are current.

Cargo

No official trunk capability was offered. An 82-litre gas tank means the S8 may go roughly 800 kilometres earlier than refuelling.

The decision

Not the flashiest flagship, however an awesome stability between crisp dealing with and luxury. It’s a disgrace there’s no plug-in model any extra, however you may watch for the all-electric mannequin coming in a couple of years.

The A8 lineup has been minimize down to simply two fashions for 2022: the A8 and the stretched S8 L.Matt Bubbers/The Globe and Mail

The author was a visitor of the auto maker. Content material was not topic to approval.

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