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.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive
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Distinctive styling

The distinctive Audi look is apparent in the S8, with the large grille and rounded body work.

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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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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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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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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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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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Handling

The S8's handling is enhanced with speed-sensitive power steering and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

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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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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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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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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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iPod integration

The music interface works very well for iPods, displaying artist, album, genre, and playlist menus.

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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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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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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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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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