Audi doesn't offer an RS 8, and probably never will. But with the release of the new S8 Plus, we wonder if it will ever have to. Because Ingolstadt's new flagship performance sedan packs a mighty punch.
"Plus" doesn't even begin to describe the enhancements Audi and Quattro GmbH have wrought on the ultimate new version of the A8 sedan. Power is increased from 520 horsepower to 605, besting anything else in its class. Only the Mercedes S65, which packs four more cylinders and two additional liters of displacement, offers more horsepower. Torque is quoted at 516 lb-ft – a gain of 35 – and can deliver up to as much as 553 lb-ft in overboost. That bests any eight-cylinder performance sedan save the S63. The force-fed V8s in the Jaguar XJR, Maserati Quattroporte, and outgoing Alpina B7 don't stand a chance.
All that muscle translates to a 0-62 time quoted at 3.8 seconds. Top speed is governed as usual to 155 miles per hour, but can be derestricted to nearly 190 with the Dynamic package that comes standard in Germany – one of the few places where top speed actually matters. Carbon-ceramic brakes keep all that power and pace in check, nestled inside 21-inch wheels. Naturally, Audi gives the S8 Plus a wide array of visual upgrades inside and out to set it apart from "lesser" versions, and is offering it in an exclusive matte silver finish.
Of course none of those enhancements come cheap. In its home market come the end of November, Audi will charge 145,200 euros for the S8 Plus, representing a 28k premium over the existing S8. That also places this as the new top of the line, commanding a higher price than even the long-wheelbase, dozen-cylinder A8 L W12. We're waiting on word as to whether Audi will bring the new S8 Plus to America, where it would likely similarly cost over $140k.