Like a bat out of Ingolstadt, Audi’s latest new model announcement is the S8 Plus, which takes the high-performance version of the brand’s biggest sedan and adds a second turbocharger, 85 horsepower–for 605 total–and 72 lb-ft of torque. The result is a full-size sedan that Audi says blasts to 100 km/h from a standstill in 3.8 seconds, to a top speed of 305 km/h when properly equipped.
The 4.0L turbocharged V8 is the same basic powerplant used in the standard S8, so that second turbo makes all the difference here. It bears mentioning that the new biturbo motor’s 553 lb-ft torque peak happens in overboost mode (normal twist measures out to “just” 516 lb-ft, up from 481 in the regular S8), and that the 305-km/h top speed is only possible with an optional ‘dynamic’ package that boosts terminal velocity from the standard car’s electronically-limited 250 km/h.
Fast is fast, though, and Audi says the S8 Plus’ performance comes with a “sonorous” exhaust note that is also modified by the dynamic package.
As in the regular S8 and A8, the only transmission offered is an eight-speed automatic that routes power to Quattro all-wheel drive and a sport differential; roadholding duties are left to an adaptive air suspension and specially-tuned steering.
It’ll take a sharp eye to tell the S8 Plus from the standard car: exterior changes include a trunklid lip spoiler that can be done in carbon fibre as an option, as can the mirror housings. Darkened taillights are standard along with a gloss black rear diffuser insert with a carbon fibre surround. An S8 Plus can be painted any colour offered on the standard S8, but a matte-effect floret silver is exclusive to the higher-performance model.
The black leather interior gets red stitching and piping, and Audi has woven red thread into the upper dash inlay against a brushed aluminum lower inlay, while the headliner and rear parcel shelf are done in black Alcantara.
S8 Plus comes in short-wheelbase trim only, and other standard features include ambient lighting, full-leather interior, and power-assisted door closing. German buyers get more stuff: the dynamic package is standard there, as is an assistance package with pre sense plus, four-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning, Bose surround-sound stereo, and MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. When the car goes on sale in November, it’ll come with a pricetag of 145,200 euros, which, based on current exchange rates, works out to about $215,000.