597bhp Audi S8 Plus supersaloon revealed

New Audi S8 Plus offers 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 189mph

The new Audi S8 Plus will produce 597bhp, giving it performance to rival some supercars. It goes on sale later this year, priced close to £100,000.

Audi claims the big luxury saloon car can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds – faster than most models in the Porsche 911 range – and on to a top speed of 155mph. With the car's speed limiter removed, it's capable of 189mph, making it the fastest S8 yet.

Like the less powerful Jaguar XJR, the S8 Plus is not available with a long-wheelbase body. That means buyers looking for extra rear legroom in their super-fast saloon will need to choose the S63 or S65 versions of the Mercedes S-Class.

The lightweight Audi S8 Plus is constructed from aluminium, which, coupled with its 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine, means it has the best power-to-weight ratio of any upmarket sports saloon car. With 84bhp more than the standard car, the S8 Plus is the fastest 'S' model Audi currently makes.

The power that 4.0-litre TFSI petrol engine produces is equivalant to almost seven 1.0-litre Audi A1 hatchbacks.

Power is fed to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a quattro four-wheel drive system that can send power to the rear wheels at different rates to improve stability when cornering. It also features air-suspension, which should ensure a balance of ride comfort and driving excitement, while cars sold in the UK will be fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels.

You can specify an optional Dynamic Package, which boosts top speed to 189mph and includes carbon-ceramic brakes, designed to provide the ultimate in braking power.

The S8 Plus is set apart from the lesser Audi A8 and S8 models by four black exhaust pipes along with exterior trim finished in carbon and black and dark-tinted rear lights. The door mirror casings and rear spoiler can be specified in carbon fibre at additional cost.

The Audi S8 Plus is available with the matt-effect paint finish seen in these pictures, as well as the paint options offered on the rest of the S8 range.

Inside, the S8 Plus is fitted with leather sports seats with 22-way power adjustment and Alcantara-trim on the headlining and parcel shelf. In addition to the hands-free opening bootlid, 14-speaker BOSE stereo system and automatic parking system with reversing camera fitted to the standard S8, the S8 Plus also gets tinted privacy glass, power-closing doors and adaptive cruise control.

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