2012 Audi S8
This new car, the 2012 S8, quotes John Smith in saying “I am Number Four,” and just like Mr. Smith, it packs powers that could be called super. It has 70 more horses and, with a torque rating of 479 pound-feet, packs 89 more than the previous V10 model. It lops more than a second off the exit car’s 0 to 60 time, getting there in just over four ticks, and it compresses the scales with 4,354 pounds – 236 pounds less than the previous model and just 42 pounds heavier than an A8. And its 23 mpg combined beats the former highway mileage, done so with a rating of 19 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway. If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because they’re identical to the EPA estimates for the Audi A6, but that smaller sedan makes do with a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 belting out “just” 310 horsepower.
Compared to the previous A8, the S cranks out 15 percent more power using 23 percent less fuel. As Stockmar said, it is “now superior to all predecessors in all ways.” In fact, the predecessors might not be the only ones bested: The S8 is longer, lighter, more powerful, more frugal and quicker than the BMW 750i, and takes three-out-of-five against the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG (the S8 is three inches shorter and down 19 horsepower to the Merc).