RIP Ken Block, Dakar or Bust, R8 vs R8, Roadtripping an e-tron 5K Miles & More! | AudiWorld Driven

Audi Newslost a motorsports legend. But there were some bright spots as well such as Audi competing in the Dakar rally. It was a lot to try to keep track of in only one week, so we handpicked just for you some of the top Audi news items to keep you up to date. End your week by catching up with all the hot Audi news that you may have missed as we charged into a brand-new year.

Ken Block Tragically Killed

Ken BlockHERE.

Dakar Power Boost

DakarHERE.

Audi F1 Driver Search

Audi NewsHERE. 

Must Watch Video: Trading a Porsche 911 for an Audi S8

Matt Watson from Carwow was cruising around in a Porsche 911 Turbo S as his daily driver. But with a growing family he needed a bit more room than the 911 could provide. So how do you replace a rocket ship like a Turbo S? With an Audi S8 of course! Watson can choose just about any car he wants so him deciding that the S8 would be best speaks volumes about the car itself.

Must Watch Video: Final R8 vs First R8

Sadly the Audi R8 days are coming to a close. With R8 production ending the folks at Top Gear thought it would be the perfect time to look at the very first R8 and compare it to the final R8 V10 GT. Can the first R8 hold a candle to the latest, greatest and final version? Check out the video to find out.

Forum Thread of the Week: 5,000 Mile e-tron Road Trip

RIP Ken Block, Dakar or Bust, R8 vs R8, Roadtripping an e-tron 5K Miles & More! | AudiWorld DrivenHERE.

Images: Audi; Audi World forums; DirtFish

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Face Off: Audi S8 vs Porsche Panamera Turbo S

Audi S8 vs Porsche Panamera Turbo

There’s nothing like a little family feud, and watching these corporate cousins — Audi S8 vs Porsche Panamera Turbo S — go head-to-head is great fun.

While they’re corporate cousins, the Audi S8 and the Porsche Panamera Turbo are also natural competitors. After all, both hail from Germany, have sky-high price tags, and along with their luxurious environs, each packs a punch. So it’s only natural to want to find out which one is faster, and since most mere mortals don’t have the resources to commandeer both cars and an airstrip, we’ll just have to appreciate the fact that our friends at carwow did just that.

That said, before the hosts hit their throttles in anger, it’s worth noting that the representative from Ingolstadt is already behind, so this isn’t exactly a fair fight. As the tale of the tape reveals, the Audi’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 produces a robust 571 horsepower, and it tips the scales at 2,220 pounds. Instead of a dual-clutch,  it’s also using a conventional automatic transmission to send power to all four corners.

And while those numbers are nothing to sneeze at, Stuttgart’s uber sedan is better on paper. First off, the Panamera Turbo weighs about 150 pounds less than the Audi, and it’s also got more grunt. Because while it’s also using a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, here the mill is tuned to produce 630 ponies. Additionally, the Porsche comes with a dual-clutch gearbox, meaning shifts will be slightly quicker than the Audi’s.

So even if you’re not a math whiz, you should be able to figure out which car is going to cross the line first. But that doesn’t mean the contest is any less fun to watch. Plus, there’s always the possibility that a bad start could level the playing field. For what it’s worth, I happen to think that the Audi looks way better than the Porsche, even if its engine note isn’t as sexy. And hey, if you’re flush enough to be using this video to determine your next vehicle purpose? Consider yourself lucky!

Photos: YouTube

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2022 Audi S8 First Drive: 8 Things You Need to Know About Audi’s Flagship Sedan Refresh

2022 Audi S8 review

Despite its cavernous, luxurious interior and pillowy-soft insulating ride, the Audi S8 delivers all the thrills and dynamics of a sports sedan.

SUVs and truck-based vehicles may have taken over the world, but in the luxury space, ample demand remains for titanic flagship sedans. You know the iconic names. S-Class. 7-Series. LS. And, of course, Audi S8 and A8. Extended wheelbases. Sumptuous interiors. Showcases for advanced features. Insulated from the noise of everyday life and road imperfections. Long was the flagship sedan a yacht made to cruise asphalt seas. And then someone wondered…

What if we made them fast?

The D5 generation Audi A8 debuted in 2017 (with the S8 following in 2019 for the 2020 model year). More capable, powerful, and luxurious than ever. For 2022, Audi offers a mid-cycle refresh. Same sedan underneath with revised looks and a few more technological goodies. We recently joined Audi for a media drive event in Oceanside and Temecula, California. Seat time was short, but the goal was to get a sense of the Audi S8’s driving experience and revised visuals. I should also point out that Audi put me — along with other journalists publishing reviews today — up in a fancy hotel for the night while providing high-end dining experiences.

2022 Audi S8

Photographs by Michael S. Palmer

I mention this for ethical reasons, of course. My goal, despite the luxury treatment, is to bring a combination of objective analysis (is this thing good at what it wants to do?) as well as subjective passions to every review. Also, experiencing fancy places with fancy food and fancy people helped put me into the mindset of someone who could actually afford a six-figure flagship sedan (he said with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek).

What do YOU think about the 2022 Audi S8?
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Okay, enough disclosures, here’s what I experienced, broken down into a list of 8 Things You Need to Know About Audi’s Flagship Sedan Refresh…

8. Lineup Simplified (A8 V8 No More)

Audi S8 front

While the S8 has always been the pinnacle of A8 performance, Audi used to offer a V8 engine option in the A8. In 2022, Audi simplified the lineup, making the 3.0L twin-turbo V6 (335hp, 369 ft.-lbs. of torque) exclusive to the A8. That’s good enough for a mid-5-second 0-60 time for the 4,762-pound A8. Last year, we tested the SQ5 with the same engine and found it energetic and sporty. Then again, the SQ5 weighs 500 or so pounds less than the A8

Step up to the S8 and behold the glory of the twin-turbo 4.0L V8 with 563 peak horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of peak torque roaring to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard performance differentials. It weighs in at an Audi-measured 5,126 pounds, but still rumbles past 60 mph under the 4-second mark. Which would have put the best sports and supercars to shame twenty-plus years ago. We’ll talk about suspension in a moment, but despite being the sport-tuned model, the S8 sacrifices no comfort for the sake of superlative handling.

Both the Audi A8 and S8 drivetrains are 48v mild hybrids.

7. New Face, Who Dis?

audi S8

As mentioned above, the 2022 driveline and feature sets carry over from previous years. The most striking differences, therefore, are visual. Up front, Audi widened the single-frame grille and added a new “angular bar design.” As pictured, the black optic package adds extra aggression. Tucked in next to the grille, you’ll see a pair of Digital Matrix-design LED headlights, which are exclusive to the S8. We’ve enjoyed these on other new Audi models like the RS 5 Sportback, of course, but here’s a refresher. Each headlight features “1.3 million micro-mirrors that break down the emitted light into tiny pixels, allowing the light beams to be controlled with maximum precision.”

In layman’s terms, these fancy lights put on little shows when you approach, lock, or unlock the vehicle. It’s a nice parlor trick, but the lights can also project animations, words, and simple images onto the ground or approaching surfaces. At this time, projections aren’t legal while the vehicle is in motion. But if Audi can earn DOT approval, it hopes to project things like lane markers while adjusting the lights to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.

6. Audi Fans Will Know Your Drive Mode By Looking at Your Brake Lights

Dynamic Mode Audi S8 Brake Lights

Both the S8 and A8 feature OLED rear lighting. Yes, you’ll find more animation and light shows, but also extra safety as well as an Easter egg. First, proximity sensors turn on the taillights if another vehicle gets within 6.6-feet of a stationary A8/S8. Also, the rear lighting changes its signature shape when the vehicle enters Dynamic Mode. A small, perhaps useless feature. But I suppose the Audi faithful will know when you’re ready to party. Let’s just hope the cops don’t figure this one out.

5. How Smart is the Audi S8 Suspension? (Wicked Smart)

Audi S8 wheel & reflection

Audi describes the air ride system as a predictive active suspension which plays out in two key ways. While adaptable suspensions are common in luxury vehicles and great at reacting to the road, Audi’s system goes one step forward, using a camera to scan and analyze the road as you drive so it can react BEFORE it rolls over imperfections. Additional sensors monitor for side-impact collisions and, ahead of an imminent collision, instantly raises that same side of the S8 so the other vehicle will hit the Audi at a lower, more structurally-reinforced chassis location.

The S8 performs a similar trick in Comfort Plus driving mode. Whereas Dynamic Mode keeps the S8 flat around hard cornering (as one would expect), the Comfort Plus leans into corners. In other words, the outer side of the vehicle lifts upwards while cornering which makes the drivers and passengers experience less lateral g-forces. As a sensation, it feels more like the car is flat, even though it’s tilting. And it works wonders in hard-driving, even if Comfort Plus isn’t the designated sport mode.

Audi S8

All of this, by the way, is made possible by four electromechanical actuators placed in each corner of the vehicle. Quicker than hydraulic suspensions (as well as standalone airbags), these actuators adjust quickly and silently and on the fly. Heck, the S8 even jumps up a couple of inches when you open the doors to allow easier entry or exit.

Put all this technology together and you get a smooth and comfortable ride that trades no sense of performance for its overall sensation of insulation. It’s nothing short of remarkable.

Father. Writer. Photographer. Auto enthusiast.
Current Stable: 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302, 2013 Cadillac ATS-4 3.6, LS3-Swapped 1992 Buick Roadmaster Wagon, 1987 Mercury Cougar XR-7, and usually a Press Loaner.

Audi RS6 Avant Takes on S8 in Battle of Mega Powerful Body Styles

Audi RS6 Avant vs S8 Drag Race

On paper, the Audi RS6 Avant has a clear advantage over the S8, but on the tarmac, it can’t seem to keep up.

There was a time when wagons were the preferred body style for those needing to haul families around – not crossovers and SUVs. Alas, those days are long gone, sadly. But we’d argue that those longing for the good old days won’t find a better wagon than the Audi RS6 Avant,  a snarling beast of a machine that’s equally capable of hauling tail and hauling the groceries. The question is – can it outrun its stablemate, the Audi S8 sedan? Well, Carwow is here to find out.

What makes this matchup particularly interesting is the fact that both of these cars are powered by a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 that lays down 590 pound-feet of torque. However, the Audi RS6 Avant makes 591 horsepower, while the S8 offers up “just” 563, and the sedan surprisingly weighs a little over 300 pounds more. The RS6 Avant is also cheaper, with a starting MSRP of $109,000 versus $130,900 for the S8. Both cars come equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel-drive.

Audi RS6 Avant vs S8 Drag Race

This paper comparison is undoubtedly interesting, but what really matters is how these two cars stack up in the quarter-mile. And that comes as a bit of a surprise, as the S8 rockets ahead and takes the first win, though its driver believes he might have been “a bit premature off the line.” Thus, the two go at it again, and the result is exactly the same.

Audi RS6 Avant vs S8 Drag Race

“I think once again I’m just reacting a little bit quicker off the line,” our host says. “You’re not reacting quicker, you’re going before his hand drops,” the other driver quips. So on the third go, both cars leave together and the S8 still gains an early lead. “It seems to just be finding better traction because we were neck and neck,” the S8 driver says. “I just seem to have a bigger delay between gear changes than you,” the RS6 Avant driver notes. “When I was shifting, there was a large gap between when it engaged power again.”

While the S8 was the decisive and surprising winner here, the elapsed times – 11.4 seconds for the sedan and 11.6 seconds for the wagon – are undoubtedly close. However, our host does say that he managed to get an 11.4 out of the RS6 Avant on another occasion, so this is clearly a race that can go either way, depending on conditions and who’s behind the wheel. And once the two cars stack up for a few roll races, the RS6 Avant edges out its sedan counterpart each and every time, proving that in spite of their similarities, these two performance machines are quite different, after all.

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