Audi Sport knows SUVs are a hot commodity nowadays, hence why it has expanded its portfolio in recent times to include the RS Q3 / RS Q3 Sportback, SQ7, SQ8 / RS Q8, and others. At the same time, the Four Rings are well aware there’s still an important segment of the market interested in saloons, which is why it hasn’t abandoned the once traditional body style.
With no RS8 in sight, the epitome of an Audi saloon is unquestionably the S8. It combines all the luxury and pizzazz of a high-end saloon from Ingolstadt with the powerful engine you’d expect from a fully fledged sports car. The twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 makes 571 bhp and 800 Newton-metres (590 pound-feet) of torque, but the German tuners at ABT have massaged the powertrain to extract even more power.
The end result is a super sedan with 700 bhp and a monstrous 880 Nm (649 lb-ft) on tap, good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in a mere 3.4 seconds. Flat out, it will do 168 mph (270 km/h) provided the S8 is equipped with the optional ceramic brakes. These numbers are quite impressive when you factor in the car’s size and weight – 5179 mm (17 feet) and 2,230 kilograms (4,916 pounds).
ABT did more than just upgrade the V8 as it also installed a custom 21-inch set of alloy wheels as well as a boot lid spoiler made from carbon fibre. These are subtle visual changes to notify aficionados they’re not seeing a regular Audi S8. Images of the interior have not been provided, but we do know the start/stop button wears ABT branding, and so does the cover of the gearbox lever.
Gallery: 2020 Audi S8 by ABT
Audi hasn’t said a word about whether there will be another S8 Plus further down the line, so for the time being, ABT is offering a substitute.