It sucks that we never got the current W12 Audi A8 in the U.S. before, as we were only left with a measly 3.0-liter V6. But now the A8 lineup is expanding with two new powertrains for those who want big beef power, with a twin-turbo V8 in the 2020 Audi S8 and a new hybrid model.
The 2020 S8 will only be available as a long-wheelbase model in the U.S. for the first time ever, which sounds like a big change until you realize Audi only sells long-wheelbase A8s across any trim anyway.
It gets a twin-turbo V8 making 563 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, getting from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 3.8 seconds with a limited top speed of 155 mph. It also gets all-wheel steering, Quattro all-wheel drive, and predictive active suspension that tries to guess what the road is going to do before you drive over it.
There’s also optional laser headlights, 21-inch five-spoke wheels, dual-pane acoustic class for less road noise, and quad exhaust pipes.
The other new A8 trim is an alphabet soup plug-in hybrid, dubbed the A8 TFSI e. It keeps the standard twin-turbo V6 with an added integrated electric motor connected to the torque converter on the 8-speed automatic transmission, and together with the added plug-in power, the car makes a combined 443 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque.
The gasoline is aided by a 14.1 kWh battery pack, though the fully-electric EPA-estimated range in the EV-only driving mode has yet to be determined. Altogether, Audi claims the A8 TFSI e is 0.7 seconds faster from 0 to 60 mph than the standard V6 A8, setting a claimed time of 4.9 seconds.
If you want more power, don’t want the S8 nor the plug-in hybrid, Audi has also made the base car available with a twin-turbo V8 now. It’s actually more powerful and quicker than the new hybrid, making 453 HP and 487 lb-ft of torque and getting from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The base V6 A8 55 TFSI starts at $85,200, the A8 60 TFSI with the V8 starts at $96,800, the S8 starts at $129,500, and pricing for the hybrid is yet to be announced.
Sales of the A8 dropped by nearly half from 2017 to 2018, which is also right when Audi debuted the all-new A8 currently for sale. That is undoubtedly very bad, but it’s nice to see Audi is still trying by throwing more power at the car instead of just killing it, which will probably still happen soon enough anyway.