The 2020 Audi S8 is Audi’s flagship sedan. It’s loaded with all the latest autonomous driving technology. The S8 sedan also has more than 20 onboard sensors and cameras for safety. It’s got 563 horsepower and interior options that put it in the league with Rolls Royce and Bentley. The price tag soars when fully equipped with all the top features, but you come away with a sedan that’s powerful, fast, and high tech.
It’s hard to believe that a car this size can move this fast, but the 2020 S8 from Audi has more horsepower than the new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The 2020 Audi S8 also has leading technology when it comes to safety and autonomous driving. That level of refinement doesn’t come cheap; this big body sedan carries a hefty price tag. It starts at an MSRP of $129,500.
That puts it on par with Aston Martin and Porsche, but does the new S8 from Audi truly match up to the competition? When fully equipped with all the best packages and options, the Audi S8 can get downright presidential. So, here’s a closer look at a 2020 Audi S8 with all the bells and whistles.
2020 Audi S8 Performance Capabilities
The Audi S8 comes with so much performance technology and power that there’s very little you can do to enhance the driving experience with packages and add-ons. It already has a 4.0 Liter twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 563 horsepower, Quattro all-wheel drive, and dynamic all-wheel steering.
The difference in performance from the A8 to the S8 comes from tweaking and increasing the turbo’s boost pressure to 26 PSI. So, this isn’t just an Audi A8 with more leather. It’d be interesting to see the 2020 Audi S8 race against an Aston Martin Vantage or BMW M760i. They all have powerful V8 powertrains and similar performance capabilities.
The suspension system in the Audi S8 is amazingly intuitive. It utilizes the forward-facing camera to adjust the electronically connected dampeners as you’re driving. It leans into turns. It rocks back to anticipate hard stops and loosens forward for maximum acceleration. However, you can enhance your Audi S8s stopping power with $9,900. This puts ceramic brakes and gray brake calipers on the 2020 S8 sedan.
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One of the first custom options you can add to an S8 is the exterior paint. There are 12 basic colors, but for an additional cost of $3,900, you can choose an Audi exclusive special paint color. Some of these so-called exclusive paints are basic colors in different showroom floors, but the Goodwood green pearl stands out from the crowd.
The Black Optic package upgrades the 20-inch wheels to a high gloss v-spoke pattern with a black finish for an added cost of $1,800. The tires get swapped for 265/40 summer performance tires. The Black Optic package also adds high gloss black inserts here and there, including the mirror housing.
The S8 Executive package costs $3,300 and makes some interesting additions to the S8 build-out. You get HD laser light headlamps with washers and OLED taillights. Surprisingly, there aren’t any vanity modifications that can be made to the S8, like a rear spoiler or ground effects kits. Admittedly, those chunky inserts would cheapen the S8 luxury sedan, but you can add those types of features to the BMW M740i. So, why not the 2020 S8?
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2020 Audi S8 Interior Amenities
The interior of the 2020 Audi S8 comes with premium leather sport seats for the front occupants. For an added $7,750 you can add the Executive Rear Seat package. It’s important to note that adding this package also bundles in the Rear Seat Connectivity package. So, this bundle adds another $3,250.
You get a footrest in the rear of the sedan and heated foot massage functions. The seats themselves are heated, ventilated and have massage functions. The headrests have more padding. The armrests are heated and the center console in the back-seat area is leather-wrapped. For those who need to finish up some work on the go, there’s a fold-out production table that comes out of the center console. It might help to add the Cold Weather package for $800 so that the front seats get heated, as well.
The Rear Seat Connectivity package makes the rear of the S8 difficult to beat. It comes with two tablet screens in the headrests and a DVD player. You also get USB ports and power outlets that help to transform the rear bench into a mobile entertainment hub or office.
The Full Leather package costs $5,500. It elevates the entire cabin with full-grain Nappa leather. It’s not just the seating. This package puts leather on the door pockets, armrests, seat covers, headrest shells, and dashboard. However, woodgrain inserts are noticeably missing from the options list. You get carbon fiber or piano black plastic. That makes the overall aesthetic in the 2020 Audi S8 rather dark.
See my Build & Price review of the 2019 S8 Plus
Tech and Safety Features
The 2020 Audi S8 already comes standard with impressive tech and safety features. There’s little need to add to what Audi has already provided. You get a garage door opener, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility. The central dashboard interface has two touchscreens. There’s a 10-inch main screen and a second 8.6-inch screen. For the driver, there’s a 12.3 digital instrument cluster.
There’s a 730-watt audio system that comes standard. You can enhance the audio capabilities of the S8 with a $5,900 3D Advanced Sound System from Bang & Olufsen. It comes with a 1920-watt amplifier and 23 speakers sprinkled throughout the cabin.
Audi has impressive safety equipment and it comes standard on the new 2020 S8. You get a basic pre sense package that looks out for pedestrians and vehicles in front, lane departure warnings, a heads-up display, and a 360 view camera system. The S8 Executive package adds Audi side assist and updates the pre sense package to cover the rear of the vehicle. You also get vehicle exit warnings.
Another $2,300 puts night vision on the 2020 S8. You get thermal imaging technology that can recognize animals, pedestrians, and vehicles in low light settings. For $2,700, the Driver Assistance package completes the safety gear for the S8. It comes with adaptive cruise control, lane assist, emergency braking, and traffic sign recognition.
The base model 2020 Audi S8 comes with a twin-turbo V8 engine, active suspension, a premium sound system and a sumptuous interior. Yet, when you fully customize an S8 with the best features available, it becomes something quite different. It rises to the level of a personal limousine.
With all the most expensive add-ons, the 2020 Audi S8 costs around $178,994. Audi’s flagship sedan becomes an ultrafast, futuristic cruiser that doesn’t have a single chink in its armor. The S8 has V8 power and torque on demand with all-wheel handling. It has an executive style that isn’t overstated or garish. The maxed-out interior can rival anything produced by Rolls Royce or Bentley. The 2020 Audi S8 might fly under the radar, but it’s worth every penny.