Anyone here owned/driven an S8?

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A friend of mine works for Audi, I have asked him to post me a review / personal findings, will let you know what comes back.


scotth_uk said:
Hi All,

S8's are very cheap these days, and I must say that I am very tempted to pick one up as they now start at £11k. 1td&miles=40&max_records=50&modelexact=1
My previous car was an A8 4.2 Quattro. It was a DAMN fast car. It had a naturally aspirated 4.2 litre V8 300bhp engine, and could do 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. The S8 is an identical engine but with a turbocharger. It has 360bhp. Like, wow.

Some things to look for:

1) Make sure you go for 'sport' trim. Slightly lowered suspension, couple of bits of finish look slightly different - but most importantly, helps the resale value a LOT. Some of the S8's out there will say "Sport" but the Log Book won't - these people are lying to get you to buy. You want an S8 4.2 Quattro Sport, as per the log book.

2) If you can afford it, go for a car that was built in the latter half of 2000 or later. There were a bunch of updates with things like the Sat-Nav (it's a DX system and you can use modern discs - the previous was a Non-DX and the latest map updates you could buy were from 2002).

3) Make sure you get a car with EVERY option known to man. There is a lot of S8's out there for sale at the moment. Look around. The electric sunroof with solar panels is great, as an aside - during the summer, it keeps your car cool by using solar power to cool the interior! Leather of course, electric everything (the memory seats are neat, they're linked to the keys so if you open with your key it sets the seats/mirrors/steering wheel up to your settings etc). If it doesn't have something you want, walk away.

4) Negociate on the price. These cars have dropped in value a LOT recently. Basically, no-one is buying V8 cars at the moment. Chances are if you're buying from a dealer, he's had the car standing there for six months or so and is desperate to get rid of it. Make sure you let him know that you understand how much they've depreciated recently.

5) Get an independant mechanical inspection, and if there is anything wrong with the turbo or the 4-wheel drive system just walk away. Trust me.

6) The Audi A8/S8 is plagued by minor electrical faults. You'll spend ages trying to fix them or work around them. It can be horrid.

Overall, these are great cars. The only reason I swapped to the E320CDI Estate was because we had twins - so we have 3 kids now, and 3 car seats just would not fit on the A8's rear seat.

If you do get one, I have an Audi ODBII interface and some software that I could probably pass on - I don't use it much any more except for my friend's golf :) This is the equivalent of the Merc STAR diagnostic machine - a VAG-COM (Volkswagen Audi Group) - except that it's a program you run on a laptop via a serial port. I've been looking for a similar thing for a merc for a while now, but everyone says it doesn't exist :S

Great cars, go out and buy one :)

craigyb said:
S8 does not have a turbo, 360BHP natural....
ahh, I was going to say how I thought 60bhp (20%) more from a turbo on a 4.2 litre v8 was pretty poor! Should be pushing 400bhp+ ideally! :)
I have just got the review back from my mate who sells them, first few paras are not his words, but the rest from My Review onwards is. If you want to talk to him, PM me and I'll hook you up.

Given the choice between these two very different ways to dispose of £65,000, I know which I'd go for, but you, dear reader, are in for the not-so-hard sell on the latter, and the one you are probably less likely to be gazumped on buying. The ad in question is the sales patter for the head of Audi's A8 family - the S8 quattro -, which has been given a revamp for 1999, including revised styling features and more grunt from the V8 engine.

Its predecessor was well equipped with 340bhp at 6,600rpm and 302lb ft of torque at 3,500rpm; but the latest S8 produces 360bhp at a higher 7,000rpm and 302lb ft at 3,400rpm.

The price has also been hiked by around £3,600, but you'll be relieved to know that it has bought you a massive half a second off the 0-60mph time, although it is still restricted to 155mph.

Coupled to the nose-mounted engine is a five-speed semi-automatic gearbox which allows you to nudge the lever up or down the 'box in milliseconds, once you have flicked it over from the more traditional automatic mode. This Tiptronic system is also controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons. Either mode gives smooth changes, both up or down the gears, although if you need to be in full control of the 7,000rpm rev range, then it's best to leave it in full auto mode and manually move the lever from second through to 'drive' as it nibbles at the rev limit. Leave it to its own devices and you lose about 500rpm at the top of each gear.

V8 power units will always get my juices flowing, not least because of their mouth-watering burbling noises as they open up and power off. The S8's V8 gives that hearty rumble all the way to its red line - although it lacks that really rough, aggressive TVR voice - and with well spaced gearing the S8 seems to offer an endless amount of acceleration.

The brakes have been improved to counteract the power, with 17-inch ventilated discs and aluminium calipers that bring you to a stop with enough force to make you reach for an aspirin. It is pretty darn forceful at sticking to the road too, rivalling a Scalextric car.

Not only does the S8 have Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system but it's also fitted with Electronic Stability Control Program (ESP) which works by calculating the information from the anti-lock brakes and traction control system. It then automatically brakes either the front outside wheel (if oversteer seems imminent) or the rear inside one (with understeer) when cornering for extra stability.

In the unlikely event that you'll ever see an Audi S8 stuck in a ditch, then you'll know the driver has been a complete and utter wassack who quite obviously forgot to take Audi up on the free driving school tuition that is part of the S8 quattro package.

With all these showroom and after-sales safety measures stuffed in, the S8 has to be one of the safest cars around. But if you feel the need to liven things up a little, you can manually turn the ESP off, but given the adhesion of the quattro set-up you're unlikely to see too much rear end movement.

This is certainly one big barge, weighing 1750kg - 20kg more than the previous S8. You can definitely feel some of that weight when turning the car around because, despite its power-assisted steering, it needs a bit of arm muscle to complete a three-point turn. And should you ever need to do a U-turn on a B-road then be warned; you'll completely block the road because it is a very long vehicle.

It is a graceful cruiser, though, because supporting the aluminium body is its lightweight aluminium suspension. On a smooth road it will carry you and up to four other adults in comfort, but it will become uncomfortable over the more rutted surfaces you may have to face. However, as big cars go the S8 is fairly nimble.

It also has a boot that's so big that even I could manoeuvre my rear end into its, and curl up for the night. The equipment list rivals that of a futuristic gizmo-glut dream home and there are sufficient security measures to keep out any unwanted guests.

My Review

What a car! For a big car is has fabulous performance and road handling to die for. It is very comfortable and yes it is hard on rough surfaces, but that is down to the sports suspension required for such a powerful performance car. If you like driving, then switch off the sat nav and the music and just listen to that 4.2 V8 growl as you accelerate through the gears.

It comes standard with all the usual mod cons you would expect, full leather, Sat Nav with 5” screen, tiptronic steering wheel, acoustic front & rear parking, the list is endless. If you want a big car with a small car feel, then this is the one for you.

Safety is paramount with Audi and the list of safety features on this car is endless. Quattro four wheel drive with ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), ABS Brakes. Driver and front passenger airbags, front and rear side airbags, and SIDEGUARD Head Airbag system, front and rear.

As the car is made from aluminium, the car is 40% lighter and 60% stronger than it rivals. This also helps when it comes down to fuel economy.

Maximum speed (MPH) – Yeah Right!!!! 155
Actually cuts out at 170. I know from taking it round Millbrook
0-62mph (seconds) 6.6
Euro emissions standard 03
Miles per gallon (MPG) (urban) 13
Miles per gallon (MPG) (extra-urban) 29
Miles per gallon (MPG) (combined) 20

Having been an A8 specialist and sold them for four years and more, this is the car I fell in love with, the one I always wanted and the one I just love to drive again and again. As my customers always used to say, it’s understated and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t think of it as a big car.

For personal experiences, here are some emails of friends I took out not too long ago, and showed them what this car can really do.

Positives: quick, comfortable, safe, high specification, smooth gearbox, agile.

Negatives: slightly hard drive for rear passengers on bumpy surfaces, long, depreciation.

Dependant on how much you want to spend, go for one of the special edition latest models with the 20” alloys

Hope that helps

Interesting thread.

I've been looking for an S6 Avant for about six months now.

They're pretty rare beasts. Test driven one which I didn't buy because it although it had low miles & looked good it had only covered about 4K p.a. & was used used by a Chelsea housewife for school runs etc. Don't think it ever got to go any faster than about 30mph! I think this sort of hi-po car needs to be exercised or it'll go to hell.

Anybody have any thoughts on these, or, does your salesman friend know where I can find a good one?

He's found one so far and hasn't really been looking for long :

Audi S6 4.2 quattro Avant in Silver

Alloy Wheels, Electric Windows, Alarm, Power Steering, Climate Control,
Front fog lamps, Central Locking, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Engine Immobiliser, Satellite Navigation Plus, Drivers Information System (dis), Anti-lock brakes and Cruise-Control.

If you would like more information on this vehicle, you can contact Birmingham Audi on 0121 335 3200.

Price £29,995
Fuel Type Petrol
Transmission Tiptronic
Registration 2001 (Y)
Mileage 38,000
Body Type Estate
Doors 5

If you need him to look for something else, let me know.


You guys are great. Thanks so much for looking into this for me. I've got to make a decision shortly about what to do when the Xfire's lease comes to an end, and figured it might be good to buy something soon with some contracting cash.

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