For the new model year, both the European-spec Audi S8 and the U.S. version get a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that delivers 563 hp (420 kW; 571 PS). It is aided by a 48-volt mild-hybrid electric system capable of energy recuperation using regenerative braking.
Among the many available high-tech innovations Audi is offering, the revolutionary Predictive Adaptive Suspension (PAS) comes standard on the S8. This fully active, electromechanically operated system can increase or reduce pressure on each individual wheel to actively control the position of the car in every driving situation.
A belt drive with a compact gear layout increases the torque of each motor to 1,100 Nm (811 lb-ft) and transfers it to a steel rotary tube, which is merged to a pre-tensioned titanium roll bar. This bar is more than 400 mm (16 inches) long, roughly 22 mm (0.9 inches) thick, and, regardless of its high strength, can be bent for more than 20 degrees.
The resulting force is transferred from one end of the roll bar to the suspension using a lever and a coupling rod. It's then exerted at the front axle on the pneumatic strut of the adaptive air suspension and on the transverse link of the rear axle.
The dynamic mode makes the car worthy of the S badge, transforming the large sedan into an agile sports car. Body roll angles are significantly reduced, and the car is said to turn into the tightest corners firmly and responsively, without a trace of oversteer.
If the comfort mode is selected, the suspension system completely changes its characteristics, offering a smooth ride on all road surfaces.
The 2021 Audi S8 does not bring many new features compared to the previous model year when it was completely reworked. The only notable changes are 21-inch wheels and heated armrests for the front-seat passengers included in the standard equipment. Prices for the North American version start from $130,900 with the Predictive Adaptive Suspension included.