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Photos: 2009 Audi S8

The S8 features Audi's 5.2-liter V-10 engine, offering a lot of power but poor mileage. The S8 keeps this powerplant tamed with all-wheel-drive and sport air suspension, while offering driver aids such as blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

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Wayne Cunningham
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1 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

2009 Audi S8

The S8 is the sport version of Audi's flagship A8 sedan. It adds performance elements to the A8's considerable luxury refinements.
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2 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Distinctive styling

The distinctive Audi look is apparent in the S8, with the large grille and rounded body work.
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3 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

V-10 engine

The S8 gets a 5.2-liter V-10 engine producing 450 horsepower. This same engine is also available in the R8.
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4 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Passenger room

The S8 has more than enough room for passengers, with plenty of leg room in the back. An extended wheelbase version is available in the A8 model.
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5 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Suspension

The S8 uses an air suspension that can be adjusted for sport or comfort. The suspension on the S8 is designed to be lower than that of the A8.
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6 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Junk in the trunk

Car Tech editor Wayne Cunningham finds that the trunk is almost as comfortable as the passenger compartment.
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7 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Optional interior appointments

This S8 is equipped with an optional leather package, putting stitched leather over the dashboard. It also has optional carbon fiber trim elements.
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8 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Handling

The S8's handling is enhanced with speed-sensitive power steering and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
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9 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Instrument cluster display

As with other Audis, the instrument cluster is complemented by a color LCD between speedo and tach, which shows everything from fuel economy to route guidance.
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10 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Console controls

The six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the S8, with no manual transmission available. Audi's Multimedia Interface controller is mounted on the console behind the shifter.
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11 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Parking system

Audi's rearview camera has always been excellent, offering turn guidance overlays. This one is complemented by a graphic showing sonar object distance detection.
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12 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Navigation

The maps in this system look OK, but the navigation offers no advanced features. Audi is correcting this in an upcoming system.
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13 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

iPod integration

The music interface works very well for iPods, displaying artist, album, genre, and playlist menus.
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14 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Bang & Olufsen audio

The Bang & Olufsen audio system is a $6,300 option, and produces sound that's just too good for compressed audio tracks. We recommend only playing lossless digital audio or full CDs.
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15 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Pop-up lenses

This audio system has 14 speakers, including these pop-up sound lenses, and over 1,000 watts of power.
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16 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Cell phone system

The Bluetooth cell phone system works very well, making your contact list available in the car's interface.
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17 of 17 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Blind spot detection

The S8 has a number of optional driver aids, including blind spot detection, which can be turned on with this button. There is also lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

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