Ever since the first version of the Audi S8 appeared in 1997, it was an intriguing but somewhat under-the-radar sports saloon.
Powerful, refined, dripping in luxury and beautifully built, it was a high quality executive express with power in abundance. But there were others that did it better. The Mercedes S55 AMG, for example, was the benchmark by which other powerful execs were judged and the early 4.2 V8 S8s simply weren’t as good.
But in 2006, Audi moved the goalposts, introducing the ‘D3’ generation of S8 which featured a 5.2-litre V10 engine derived from that of the Lamborghini Gallardo, but actually bored out by an extra 200cc.
The 5.2 V10 also added VW Group’s stratified fuel injection (TFSI) for extra smoothness and refinement, but still developed a walloping 444bhp. Then there was its all-alloy bodywork – the only other aluminium executive car was the supercharged Jaguar XJR, and glorious as it was, it was a much more traditional package.
It was, quite simply, a wonderful performance saloon. Indecently quick, but just as cosseting and luxurious as an executive car ought to be. It was also incredibly rare, with fewer than 400 of the V10 models ever registered in the UK.
This one is a well-kept, low mileage example and a rare opportunity.
The Audi was supplied new in November 2006 and since then it has travelled all over the UK, with its four previous owners based in Scotland, The Lake District, The Isle of Wight and Suffolk.
It was acquired by the current owner in 2020 from Syntner Coventry and the supplying dealer was Lake District Audi as a replacement for his Jaguar XJ. He’s a massive enthusiast of powerful super saloons and having enjoyed the Audi for 18 months he’s ready to replace It with something else of a similar ilk.
He’s done 3,000 miles in the car, adding to the 58,000 recorded before he bought it, which is supported by the car’s MOT history. It will be sold with its original registration number – DK56 VMX – as the number plate on the car is the vendor’s personal number and will be retained after the sale.
In the paperwork file supplied with the car are an Audi Approved Used document wallet holding a selection of bills, receipts and insurance/warranty documents from its past.
The service book itself is a duplicate and isn’t stamped, but it does come with a printout from Audi’s own dealership system showing it was serviced at 12,078, 19,634, 28,093, 32,997, 36,594, 40,211 and 43,255 miles. It has been serviced twice again since the main dealer printout and the receipts, from independents, are supplied with everything else. It has a pretty comprehensive service history. It also has proof of a recent wheel alignment and tracking check, carried out last time it received tyres on its last service in 28.10.20 at Syntner Coventry with 58684 miles.
Also included are the original S8 sales brochure, along with a receipt for a new suspension compressor, fitted in 2015 at a cost of over £1,000.
The MOT runs until October 2021 and was passed with no advisories.
The S8 is finished in special order Akoya Silver, which reacts with the light to bring out elements of blue.
It’s a fabulous colour and it really suits the S8’s bold shape and vast bulk, while the paint is superb all over. It hides its sporting pretensions under a veil of subtlety – the 20-inch alloys, twin mesh grilles, stainless steel mirrors and subtle red-flashed ‘S’ badges being the only real indicators that this is slightly more special than an ‘ordinary’ S8.
The panels are all straight and free of parking dings, while the all-alloy construction means no future worries about corrosion.
All four alloys are in great order, with decent tyres.
Like all variants of the A8, this is a luxury car and despite its sporting pretensions it remains extremely opulent inside, with thick grey leather seats finished in two-tone grey. They’re multi-adjustable with even the head restraints operated electronically, while the comfort and space on offer is vast.
A central rotary controller operates all of the car’s interior systems, such as the stereo, sat nav and climate control. It all seems to operate as intended, while carbon-effect trim and a leather-trimmed S8 steering wheel lend a hint of sportiness to the upmarket ambience.
It’s the engine that truly makes this car – after all, there aren’t many saloon cars on the market that can legitimately claim to have Lamborghini power.
The powerplant in the S8 started life as a 5.0-litre 520bhp engine in the Gallardo, and while it was increased in capacity for the Audi, it was also detuned to offer a ‘meagre’ 450PS, or 444bhp.
That’s more than enough for most, though, and it gives the S8 a 0-60 time of 5.0 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph, though derestricted models have been tested overseas to deliver a top speed of over 180mph.
It starts instantly and sounds utterly fabulous, while the owner reports that the car drives exceptionally well with no declared faults.
There aren’t many saloon cars out there with the heart of a supercar, but here’s one of them. And what a car it is, too – all 17.5 feet of it.
That V10 engine is irresistible, but there are other facets that add to the Audi’s appeal as well. The spec, the comfort, the simple styling, the fact you don’t need to worry about it going rusty. It has a lot going for it.
This is a bold, imposing and utterly wonderful car, with a comprehensive history and a low mileage. It would have set its original owner back over £80,000 when it was new, which makes it a terrific, extremely alluring and hard-to-ignore bargain today.
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