2016 Audi S8 Plus Review

A last hurrah for one of our favourite superfast luxolimos

By Shahzad Sheikh

Check out this 2016 Audi S8 Plus! Watch the video review by clicking below.

For our previous review on the A8 and S8 click here now.

Now there’s probably going to be a new Audi A8 revealed next year so this current generation car is undoubtedly reaching the end of its impressive six-year run.

2016 Audi S8 Plus Review

Most impressive of all of course, was the S8 version – a fire-breathing supercar of a superlimo with enough power and pace to embarrass the best sportcars out there.

Now that it’s obviously on its way out, for 2016 Audi decided that its flagship was not going to go quietly into the night.

Instead they gave it a shot of super serum and upped the ante on this hyperfast saloon to even more extraordinary proportions – a jump of 85bhp and 37lb ft of torque (516lb which goes up to 553 on overboost!)

This drops the already staggering 0-100kph time from 4.2secs to just 3.8secs – that’s supercar territory! – with a top speed of 305kph (if you opt to take the limiter off).

That was done by retuning the engine management, modifying the exhaust valves and upgrading the turbos.

It still gets the 8-speed torque-convertor auto and all the adjustability – so you can opt for comfort or sport settings, or configure them individually. I like everything in Dynamic, with the engine/transmission in auto and the suspension in comfort.

2016 Audi S8 Plus Review

On the outside you can tell a Plus from its black carbon-fibre front bib, rear bootlid spoiler and dark-tinted rear lights. It comes with unique 21-inch wheels.

Inside there’s plush trim as you’d expect, lots of red accents, massage seats, active cruise control, 360 degrees camera and excellent Bose stereo.

Unfortunately it still only has Audi propriety cables instead of proper USB slots and the MMI interface and instrument panel are old Audi compared to the company’s latest models.

We already know it has good boot space and a fabulous rear cabin to ride around in, with more than enough space even for a lanky tall person like me, sitting behind a seat set for myself.

2016 Audi S8 Plus Review

So what’s it like to drive

This big luxury car is no fat barge that’s for sure. I guess it must work out constantly because it’s as lean and mean as a prize-fighter and has the heart of supersaloon and only the look of a limo. The lightweight aluminium certainly shines through in every respect (despite the matte paint finish of this car) as this thing feels lithe and agile, not bulky and cumbersome.

Make no mistake, this is not a sports car and far from a track day wannabe, but it’s eager with remarkable dexterity when it comes to changing direction, with the clever torque distribution working the vaunted voodoo to dive into corners like few of its size and ilk could contemplate.

Ideally it’s a supreme long-distance cruiser, and the bigger wheels and firmer set-up detract only slightly from that forte, but show it a sequence of high speed curves and it devours them with glee, it’ll even dart about town with surprising alacrity – which does make it a bit of a big city badass.

2016 Audi S8 Plus Review

Verdict

And of course that’s what this car is all about. It’s the car that The Transporter (of the movie fame) would clearly drive because it does exactly the job he sets out to achieve. Appearing mature, sophisticated and professional enough to do a clean smooth job when things go as planned.

But able to shed its calm demeanour and turn brutally effective when the deal goes south and things get out of hand. That’s not to suggest it’s a Jekyll and Hyde car, it just is what it is. A very fast luxury saloon. Getting on a bit, but still getting it on when it counts.

In this segment, as a grand event of a classy people mover, the Merc S-Class is surely in a league of its own (I haven’t driven the AMG versions yet), the BMW 7 is something you just want to park and show off the gadgets to your mates in, and only the flagship Jag XJR can stand alongside this Audi in my view.

But the Jaguar is a charmer, it’s perhaps too polite – it’s John Steed of The Avengers (no not them, the British TV series from the 60s and 70s). The S8 Plus on the other hand, is Jason Statham unleashed.

2016 Audi S8 Plus – The Specs

Price: AED550,000 ($150k)
Engine: 4.0-litre V8, 605bhp @6100rpm, 553lb ft @2500rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 3.8secs, 305kph, 10.0L/100km
Transmission:  8-speed auto, Four-wheel drive
Weight:  1990kg

Let us know what you think of the 2016 Audi S8 Plus below

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