High performance does not need to be in your face. Understatement speaks louder to drivers who understand the difference between cars adorned with often-superfluous exterior trim and those with real go-fast hardware. The 2013 Audi S8 (www.audiusa.com) definitely falls into the latter category. It eschews conspicuous aerodynamic components in favor of a twin-turbo V-8 all-wheel-drive setup that is all business when it comes to laying down power to the road. The Audi-built engine, the same one that powers the Bentley Continental GT, produces 520 hp. The Quattro system pushes that power to the four corners of the vehicle, providing tremendous grip and the handling characteristics of a much smaller car. While it drives like a compact vehicle, the $110,000 S8 is a full-size cruiser with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a finely crafted interior.
By Matt Delorenzo
Contributing Autos Editor