Audi S8 Engine

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The Audi S8 is considered the performance variant of the full-size A8 sedan, offering substantial power and handling upgrades over its luxury oriented counterpart. Originally introduced to the European market in 1996, the S8 eventually arrived in the U.S. following the A8 and S8’s facelift in 1999. At this point, the S8 use the same 4.2-liter DOHC eight-cylinder engine as the A8, only uprated to approximately 335 horsepower. After 1999, this power rating was increased to 355 horsepower.


The second-generation Audi S8 dropped its 4.2-liter DOHC eight-cylinder engine in favor of an all-aluminum 5.2-liter DOHC four-valve per cylinder ten-cylinder engine, a derivative of the 5.0-liter ten-cylinder engine found in the Lamborghini Gallardo. In comparison to the original Lamborghini motor, the Audi variant features a longer stroke and wider bore, thereby increasing the overall displacement of the engine and resulting in a greater amount of torque at lower RPMs. Featuring fuel stratified injection, the 5.2-liter engine developed 444 horsepower

As a result of Audi’s push for greater fuel efficiency, the S8’s 5.2-liter V10 was eventually supplanted in 2012 by a new 4.0-liter DOHC biturbo eight-cylinder engine, featuring turbo fuel stratified injection. As a result of Audi’s advances in engine technology, the new 4.0-liter biturbo V8 proved more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing V10 engine, with a power output of approximately 513 horsepower. Like many of today’s engines, the 4.0-liter motor also utilizes cylinder deactivation for greater fuel economy gains. This technology allows the engine to deactivate one bank of cylinders, leaving it to operate on four cylinders under light loads.

Given its relatively limited production numbers, finding Audi S8 engines may be a somewhat difficult task. In 2012 alone, over 35,900 Audi A8s were produced, but only a small percentage of those produced were S8 variants. High-end engine brokers and dismantlers may have a few high-quality units on hand, but be wary of their mechanical condition, as these complex engines can be tough to repair if they’ve been damaged or misused.

Always do a reputation check of the seller and installer. This is prudent behavior for an educated buyer, especially when purchasing expensive auto parts and having a mechanic work on a high-end vehicle. Sometimes people try to take advantage of customers that are spending large sums of money.