Rumors revolving around the S8 suggest that Audi originally planned a subtle front spoiler design similar to the standard A8, that is until a dealer meeting in Germany for American dealer principals. The US is an important market for the S8 and American dealers thought Audi should design a more aggressive chin. The accompanying digitally created S8 image shows our best guess on the way the chin might look, utilizing elements from the A6 S-line and S4 bumper covers.
The German Auto Magazine Auto Motor und Sport has reported power of 450-hp from a detuned version of the V10 shared with the Lamborghini Gallardo. That figure is “fairly accurate” according to a source at Audi. Straight-line performance of the S8 is not expected to be any faster than the current W12, though lower weight and more aggressive suspension should mean improved handling over the 12-cylinder version.
The S6 is now expected to make its world launch at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, shortly after the beginning of the new year. It seems Audi is not only serious about bringing its S and RS models to market, they’re serious about the sub brands’ potential for North America. First with dealers getting a say in the S8, and now a worldwide launch in America, it seems Dr. Winterkorn wasn’t kidding when he named the U.S. with China as his top two targets for expanding the Audi brand.