Top 25 Most Stunning Cars of the Year 2022

In true Ingolstadt manner, the S8 offers sophistication and style in an understated manner.


Audi S8

By Dr Hanningtone Gaya

A quick look at the local roads or global trends, most luxury car buyers are leaning to bulky SUVs. However, for more discerning, comfort-craving car buyers – especially those who seek enthralling driving experiences and sheer pleasure, a rapid first-class saloon holds special appeal. If you’re one such an individual, then read on, because the Audi A8 is the best of the breed.

In true Ingolstadt manner, the S8 offers sophistication and style in an understated manner. With that said, the S8 is quite unique in the local market – even though grey market dealers have to import it for buyers. It’s a high-performance limousine not only in terms of “trim”, but also outright capability, appealing to a select few buyers who demand the best possible combination of sizzling performance and exquisite luxury.


The standard A8 is a handsome machine, but Audi’s designers have discreetly endowed the sportier model with its own visual character. The S8 is immediately familiar in terms of the interior as it mirrors many other Audis. It is, however, the trim treatment on the doors and seats that lift the feel of the cabin. When finished in sinister black and riding on optional anthracite black, diamond cut, 10-spoke 21-inch wheels, the Audi S8 immediately reminds any movie junkie of the fast Audis featured in action movies such as Ronin and The Transporter. The sizeable wheels fill the saloon’s arches with purpose and the body appears to be stretched low and tight over its corners.

True enthusiasts describe the S8 as an infinitely more elegant and desirable solution to high-performance luxury motoring. It’s particularly attractive from the rear, where the OLED rear lights – part of an optional lighting package, illuminate in a mesmerising sequence when the car is unlocked.

Open the door and you’ll probably notice that the car lifts slightly on its active suspension to make ingress easier. That is providing you’re not distracted by the visual delight that is the current-generation Audi S8 cabin. This is one of the most striking cabin in its segment, which says a lot, given the strength of the competition.

Build quality, as expected from Audi, is superb. It is, overall, a technology-laden cabin, which is awash with digital displays and touch-sensitive panels. Gone are the days when “luxury saloon” equated to burr walnut trim and piped cream leather upholstery.

The S8 is a big car with a roomy cabin – with more than sufficient rear legroom. That said, if you’re looking at an Audi S8 specifically in the first place, we’re quite confident that the tighter rear confines – as opposed to its competitors that offer their cars in Long Wheelbase (LWB) versions, won’t be a deal-breaker. You do still get a 505-litre boot should you need to, er, transport stuff.


Housed under the S8’s bonnet is a very powerful 4 litre twin-turbo petrol V8 capable of 420 kW and 800 Nm. It is significantly more powerful than its homeland rivals from Mercedes-Benz – S500 L and BMW – 750Li. Audi claims a blistering 0-100 kph time of 3.8 seconds, which is quite something, given the S8’s not-insignificant kerb weight in excess of 2.2 tonnes! A speed limiter is in place keeping the top speed to 250 kph which is way more than enough for this motoring hippo.

While the German limousine’s powerplant does emit a pleasing roar when tasked to deliver full or near-maximal acceleration – courtesy of automatically actuated flaps in the exhaust system, the most impressive aspect of the S8’s performance is just how effortless it feels. It’s a very smooth engine, which, coupled with active noise cancellation technology, facilitates relaxed – yet devastatingly fast, progress. The 8-speed automatic transmission is also very well matched with the engine, delivering buttery-smooth, but eminently precise, shifts.


For a car with such a long wheelbase and hefty kerb weight, its ride management systems do an amazing job of keeping it comfortable yet engaging to drive.

The S8 features what Audi calls “predictive active suspension”. With this system, each wheel can be independently lifted or pushed down via electromechanical actuators. According to Audi, this makes it possible, for the first time, to actively control the trim of the body, in any driving situation, which greatly reduces pitch and roll. Add a front camera that scans for the road surface ahead for larger irregularities, and the Ingolstadt-based firm’s standard-bearing saloon is said to be capable of altering its suspension settings “predictively”.

Another boon to the S8’s dynamic abilities is the fitment of dynamic all-wheel steering, which is claimed to improve steering response and facilitate a tighter turning circle. A standard sport differential actively transfers torque between the rear wheels during cornering, countering the tendency to understeer that, to reiterate, plagued fast, big, all-wheel-drive Audis in the past.


If one is willing to specify a lot of optional extras, the S8 doesn’t lack any features or convenience offerings. Most of the controls have now been integrated into the pair of touchscreen panels that dominate the centre console. The lower section houses the climate control functions, while the rest of the car’s infotainment and setup controls are located in the upper display. Audi has mastered combining slick, clutter-free touch panels with the tactility of haptic feedback.

Given the S8’s market positioning and price, it goes without saying that it would take a considerable amount of time to stipulate all the saloon’s standard features, but it’s worth noting that an extensive optional extra list is available.

The S8 has standard features that truly stand-out, including the individually contoured comfort sports front seats with adjustable side bolsters and heating/ventilation – a massage function is optional. The standard infotainment package offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, as well as a charging pad and a Bang & Olufsen audio system, but more extravagant features can be specified at extra cost.

Buyers will appreciate the Intelligent Park Assist, an excellent 360-degree camera system and a head-up display.


The saloon segment appears to be slowly fading away, but there are some great cars to be had if you don’t want an SUV. The S8 is one of them. There’s an air of good taste, sophistication and “class” about the Audi S8, which many find highly desirable. The discerning buyers who do take the plunge will slide in behind the ‘wheel of the best large luxury, high-performance Audi they’ll ever experience. If this is the last hurrah of the high-performance limousine, it’s a rousing welcome accolade.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

Related Posts