The new, 605 PS Audi S8 Plus is as close as we’ll ever get to a hypothetical RS8

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The new Audi S8 Plus makes 605 PS – that’s 5 less than what the Lamborghini Huracan makes. No wonder then, that Audi calls the S8 Plus the fastest S8 to have been ever made.

How fast? For what is essentially a luxury sports saloon, a 0-100 kph dash in just 3.8 seconds is right up there with even the most formidable sports cars. The S8 Plus will pull like a locomotive till it reaches an electronically limited 155 mph top speed. (189 mph with the optional Dynamic package).

The 4.0 TFSI, bi-turbo, V8 engine, which makes 520 PS in the normal S8, has been stoked to produce a heady 605 PS, and an earth shattering 750Nm of torque (with overboost) – the highest output of any Audi in the current model range.

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Upon choosing the optional Dynamic package, fade-resistant carbon-fibre reinforced ceramic brakes are added, featuring brake calipers finished in anthracite-grey with the Audi ceramic logo.

Power is transmitted to the road via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. A sports differential apportions the torque between the rear wheels for optimum directional stability.

Chassis highlights include the S sports adaptive air suspension and dynamic steering, both of which have been tuned specifically for the S8 plus. UK specification models are fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels in a unique high-gloss black double-spoke design shod with specially designed size 275/35 tyres.

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The S8 Plus can be differentiated from its saner cousin through carbon fibre flaps in the side air inlets and blades on the front apron. As an option, the mirror housings and rear spoiler can also be specified in carbon fibre.

The rear diffuser, Singleframe front grille, air inlets and window trims are now finished in gloss black, as are the mirror housings. Other distinctive design characteristics of the S8 Plus also include darkened tail lights and a rear lip spoiler in body colour.

A matt-effect paint finish in floret silver is exclusively available on the S8 plus. All of the colours offered on the S8 are also offered for the S8 plus. Matrix LED headlights are standard, complemented by dynamic turn signals front and rear. The standard dual-branch sports exhaust system opens out into two oval high-gloss black tailpipes on the left and right.

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Inside, the S sports comfort sport seats with 22-way adjustability and memory function can be exclusively upholstered in black full-leather with contrasting stitching and piping in Arras red as an option, along with the headlining and rear parcel shelf in black Alcantara.

A contrasting red thread woven into the upper inlay can also be specified in favour of the carbon atlas inlays fitted as standard. Black piano paint trims the gear selector lever of the tiptronic and the centre console.

Characteristic of the interior of the S models are the round instruments with grey dials and white needles and the stainless steel pedals.

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Like the more familiar S8 the new plus model is built exclusively on the ‘standard’ wheelbase. An extensive feature list includes power-operated hands-free boot lid, advanced key, 14-speaker BOSE surround system and advanced parking system with top view camera, the plus version gains privacy glass, power door closure and adaptive cruise control with Audi pre-sense front.

The S8 Plus will open for ordering in October, priced from £97,700 OTR, and first UK deliveries are expected to commence in January 2016.

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