The interior of the Audi S8 enchants with its generous spaciousness and elegant design. Its dominant feature is the “wrap-around.” The curve encircling the entire interior forms an elegant beltline as on a yacht, putting the crowning touch on the concept of sinewy taut and wedge-shaped lines.
The large curve integrates a sleek and low instrument panel. Its front is shaped like a gentle wave flowing around the driver and the front seat passenger; the horizontal line underscores its width. A classic analogue clock is inset into the center of the panel.
At dark, another artistic feature comes into play – the standard ambient lighting. LEDs, fiber optics and light strips illuminate a number of areas of the cabin. The center console appears to float. Many of these LEDs are two-colored or three-colored – the driver can use the MMI to choose between three color schemes (Polar, Ivory or Ruby/Polar) and adjust the brightness in four zones.
The rear seats treat their comforts to excellent comfort and ample room. Audi also offers the option of two power-adjustable individual seats with three-stage heating. The individual seats are available in conjunction with a memory function, a deluxe center armrest, four-zone automatic air conditioning and power blinds in the rear. Rounding out the list are deluxe headrests with adjustable side bolsters and a passenger seat that can adjusted from the rear seat.
The individual seats can also be equipped with an optional ventilation and a pneumatic massage function with two selectable programs and three intensity levels for even greater luxury. Other high-end features for the rear are folding tables from the Audi exclusive program.
22-way adjustment: the deluxe sport seats
Standard 22-way, power-adjustable deluxe sport seats allow the driver and front-seat passenger in the Audi S8 to adjust such things as the depth of the seat cushion, the inclination of the top section of the back rest and the width of the side bolsters. A memory function and seat heating are also standard. The deluxe center armrest can be adjusted seamlessly and separately for the driver and front-seat passenger, and it contains a variety of storage compartments.
The most important adjustments are made using buttons on the consoles. Secondary functions are controlled via a multifunction switch, with each step visualized on the MMI monitor. An optional massage function is also available. Ten pneumatic pillows massage the muscles according to one of five programs and in five intensities. Another luxurious extra is the three-stage ventilation system, in which four small fans draw off the air.
The deluxe sport seats feature carbon inlays on the seat backs. They are covered in perforated Valcona leather; the center strips feature a sporty diamond pattern designed specifically for the S8. Audi also offers the seat coverings in an Alcantara/leather combination at no extra charge.
Options include natural leather and Valonea leather, which is tanned naturally. It is particularly breathable and has an authentic surface structure. The headrests, the tiptronic selector lever and the additional loose cushion in this case are covered with deerskin Nappa leather, an amazingly soft material.
Minimal distraction: display and control concept
The operating concept of the S8 is typical for Audi – it is simple and intuitive. Characteristic for the S models are the gray faces of the large dial instruments, the white needles and the carbon inlays. The driver information system shows all important functions on its large, seven-inch center display.
The driver information system includes the efficiency program, which also indicates the status of the cylinder on demand engine technology. When the car is started, it greets the driver with an S8 emblem on the monitor.
The driver information system is controlled using the leather multifunction sport steering wheel, which is available in a choice of three-spoke (standard) or four-spoke (optional) designs. The steering column is power-adjustable, with a heated rim available as an option. A red ring frames the start button. It and the latch for the electromechanical parking brake are mounted on the center tunnel console. Red LEDs illuminate the button from within. The letters have been machined with precision from the aluminum surface.
The deluxe automatic air conditioning is extremely discreet. A grate on the top of the instrument panel provides for quiet and virtually draft-free ventilation. It offers three air-conditioning styles and a fourth version for the winter. Audi also offers the S8 with an optional four-zone automatic air conditioning system and an auxiliary heating system with an intelligent programming function.
Three regions: the MMI navigation plus terminal
Below the keypad for the air conditioning system is the terminal for the MMI navigation plus operating and multimedia system. It is divided into three regions. The driver controls the audio system using the zone on the right; the center zone is home to the large rotary pushbutton plus the hard and soft keys for the main menus. The left zone includes the MMI navigation plus touchpad. Operation is totally stress-free: The driver’s wrist rests on the selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic, leaving the hand at ease to press and turn switches.
When inactive, the eight-inch monitor of the MMI navigation plus is retracted into the instrument panel, with only its top edge visible as a chromed trim strip. Switched on, the monitor moves upwards in an elegant curve and presents a special S8 startup screen. As with the driver information system, the display area is divided into three zones, with all topics represented by three-dimensional graphics.
Quality is uncompromising. The combination of premium materials, their look and their feel are responsible for the rich, handcrafted atmosphere on board the Audi S8. The air vents are covered in part with chrome. The edges of the veneers are reworked by hand following machine grinding, and the leather cover on the steering wheel rim is hand-stitched. All of the switches move easily and without play; gaps are parallel and narrow.
Carbon and aluminum: inlays
The instrument panel and doors of the Audi S8 feature two-piece decorative inlays. Their bottom halves are brushed aluminum and the upper halves Carbon Atlas, a material that is also found on the selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic. Fine chrome strips frame the bezels. The upper segments are optionally available in walnut, vavona wood, fine grain birch and ash or piano finish. Additional fine veneers are available through the Audi exclusive program.
The door sill trims feature illuminated S8 logos, and a thin, durable coating protects them against damage. Another highlight is an extended aluminum-look interior trim package, in which the pedals, the shift paddles on the steering wheel and numerous components in the doors and on the instrument panel are adorned with chrome or aluminum – some brushed, and some polished. Many other buttons have an appealing high-gloss black finish. A UV-cured topcoat makes heavily used components extremely scratch-resistant.
The leather package is standard in the S8 – the center tunnel console, the armrests in the doors and the airbag cap are covered in Fine Nappa leather with decorative stitching. The steering wheel with the S8 badge includes color-contrasting stitching, and the inside door panels are lined with Alcantara.
A number of leather packages from the Audi exclusive program plus an Alcantara package are available as options. A wood veneer steering wheel rim is available, and the tiptronic selector lever is available in wood or leather at no extra charge.
The Audi designers have come up with four basic colors for the interior: the typical black of the S models, plus steel gray, moor brown and granite gray. These can be combined with the shades titanium gray, nougat brown, balao brown, silk beige, velvet beige, brass beige and snow white. The leather seat covers are available in eight colors – black, titanium gray, nougat brown, balao brown, silk beige, velvet beige, brass beige and lunar silver. The latter shade is exclusive to the S8 and features stitching, piping and center strips in the contrasting color steel gray.
Audi has also developed two design selections – design worlds for individualists – around the colors balao brown and brass beige. The headlining, the inlays and the contrasting stitching set powerful accents here. Both design selections are combined with a series of luxurious appointments.
Extremely comfortable: standard equipment
The standard equipment of the S8 leaves almost nothing to be desired. Besides the features already mentioned, other standard equipment includes a convenience key with sensor-controlled tailgate release, a light and rain sensor, an alarm system and cruise control. Optional equipment makes the stay on board even more comfortable. This includes a sunroof – including a solar module – power-assisted closing for the doors, a garage door opener, sun shades for the rear and a 230 V outlet.
The Audi S8 provides 510 liters (18.01 cu ft) of luggage space. Its trunk has a low loading edge and is cut very wide. Four golf bags can be fitted crosswise; smaller objects are accommodated in the side compartments. The trunk lid swings upward when unlocked. Pull the lid down and the self-closing trunk does the rest.
The optional trunk package includes a floor net, two hooks for bags, an umbrella holder and a 12 V outlet. Also available are a load-through hatch with ski bag, a refrigerator box, a power trunk lid and a power-retractable trailer hitch. The range of accessories includes a semi-rigid trunk liner and a variety of roof racks.
The Audi S8 will be rolling into showrooms in early summer 2012. Prices in Germany will start at 111,900 euros.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.