Better performance, handling, and overall sportiness are what you get when you pick the 2022 Audi S8 over its more civilized A8 stablemate. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the S8 doesn’t have its own civility, it does, but it instills just a little more thrills when driven hard. Does that extra performance make the Audi S8 worth buying over the A8?
The 2022 Audi A8 and S8 are in their final production runs
Audi semi-recently announced that the A8 and S8 will be bowing out of the lineup in favor of an electrified future featuring more hybrid and electric models. Instead of redesigning the large sedan, Audi simply gave it a facelift for the 2022 model year, which included changes to the S8 as well. Car and Driver reports that the key changes made to the A8 include a new front grille, new headlights, and reshaped taillights.
There are also new wheel designs and color choices to go with them and on the inside, their rear-seat passengers can now enjoy a pair of entertainment screens. Under the hood of the A8 is the same turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The setup is powerful enough for the daily drive and results in a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds according to Car and Driver’s testing.
What does the 2022 Audi S8 have that the A8 doesn’t?
Mainly aesthetic bits and more power. Audi made some changes to the 2022 S8 as well and the bulk of them can be seen on the outside of the car. There is a revised front mesh grille that may be obscenely large for some buyers, updated front and rear bumpers, new exterior lighting, and new wheel designs. On the inside, the S8 shares a lot of the same A8 design cues on which it’s based including the new rear-seat entertainment screens.
The real difference between the two cars lies under the hood of the S8. The sole engine choice for this monstrous luxury cruiser is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that pumps out an Earth-pounding 563 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The engine is also hooked up to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that uses a small electric motor and battery for seamless acceleration. The brand’s Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard as is an eight-speed automatic transmission. Altogether, the S8’s performance components equate to a 0-60 mph time of just 3.2 seconds according to Car and Driver. That’s not only impressive for a 5,200-pound luxury sedan, but it’s also exotic car territory.
Is the S8 worth buying over the A8?
If you don’t mind paying over $30,000 for the added performance, then the S8 is worth every penny. Keep in mind that the added performance is an extra 228 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, which is almost like adding an extra turbocharged four-cylinder engine’s power to the A8. Case in point, it’s a lot of power, but it may not be worth it if you’re only looking for a comfortable and luxurious ride.
If that’s what you need, then the 2022 A8 delivers it handily and you can easily spend less than $100,000 to get it. But if performance is what you need, in addition to a sportier look, then buy the S8. That extra power is sure to get a lot of looks when you blow doors off the Lambo pulled up at the stoplight next to you.