► Audi S8 Plus gets 596bhp
► 0-62mph in just 3.8sec!
► Top speed 189mph
The Audi A8 is clearly entering its run-out phase and preparing for retirement. First Ingolstadt launched the Edition 21 special edition and now it's giving the S8 a proper send-off by tweaking the 4.0-litre V8 TFSI to just under 600bhp to create the S8 Plus, the most powerful Audi S model yet.
Prices for the S8 Plus start at £97,700 with order books opening in October 2015. Deliveries are expected in January 2016, UK models coming with niceties such as a reversing camera and Bose surround sound, plus various carbonfibre add-ons and extra cooling ducts scattered around the A8's body.
Audi S8 Plus: the specs
Audi has overhauled the 4.0-litre to extract that outrageous 596bhp output. A new, specialised engine management control unit is fitted, adjusting boost pressure and the modified electronic valves within the exhaust system to deal with the upped power. Other changes can be found inside the turbos, whose geometry is revised to hone power and efficiency. Sounds like Audi just took the boost switch and turned it up to 11.
More impressive, however, is the astonishing levels of torque on tap. Audi says that the S8 Plus has been fitted with an overboost feature (like it needed it in the first place), allowing for up to 553lb ft of twist under foot-to-the-floor acceleration. The 'normal' peak torque sits at 516lb ft.
So how fast is it?
According to Audi, astonishingly rapid. In fact, if its performance figures are accurate, BMW M4 owners could be in for a shock if it pulled up alongside at the lights. Audi says the 0-62mph time is just 3.8sec, thanks to the grippy Quattro all-wheel drive, an eight-speed Tiptronic 'box, and that new overboost feature. Whilst the basic S8 Plus will be electronically limited to 155mph, Audi is offering a Dynamic package with top speed hoiked to 189mph and standard carbon ceramic brakes.