The all-new A8 has just gone on sale in the region. And from previous spy shots we know the sportier S8 version is in the works. This week, our photographer has sent us snaps of a prototype of the large sports saloon being tested around the Nürburgring.

The test car spotted this week isn’t wearing any camouflage, but still sports an A8 body. However, the quad exhausts and beefy brakes point to this being the sportier model. Later prototypes and production versions are expected to get revised bumper designs front and back as well as other performance-related upgrades and modifications.

The new S8 will be powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, which, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, should send more power to all four wheels than the outgoing model. This means the output will likely be more than 520 horsepower and 650Nm of torque. Performance should also see slight improvement, with the 0-100kph time likely to be slashed to a tad under 4.0 seconds.

An even more powerful version should be on the horizon to replace the current S8 Plus. Expected to feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain, it will churn out well over 600 horsepower, and should be ample compensation for the fact that there won’t be an RS version. The S8 is expected to hit the markets early next year.


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