Do you know how many people I get asking me, “Hey PJ, can you find me a full-size luxury sedan that I can use as a daily driver, put 5-7k miles on, and be in at under $75k?” Of course, there are options, but the one that always seems to shock people is when I recommend the Audi S8.
It is incredibly understated in the game of exotic car hacking, but in my opinion, that’s the best part. The Audi S8 is a very hackable car that fits all the bullet points of under $100k, has four doors, and is able to take the mileage of a daily driver, while still looking luxurious and respectable in an office parking lot or out to a nice dinner.
This is also a great car if you are looking for something to explore your luxurious side. This is the superior sedan to even the RS7 and the RS5 in terms of dollar to value, whilst also being very reliable overall as a daily driver.
If you’ve been looking for a daily driver to get in to and hold for 6-12 months and put about 5-7k miles on that will also still give you something to smile about every mile, keep on reading to see if the S8 is right for you.
The S8 is quite a powerful one when you look underneath her hood. She boasts a Twin-Turbo V8 engine tuned to 513 horsepower with a 0-60 speed time in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. That’s an easy way to get the kids to school quickly on a running late kind of morning.
Given the size of the car, many would figure it to be like driving a mini-boat, but honestly, the car moves incredibly smoothly behind the wheel. While some of the Huracan weekend drivers say this car will understeer, I’d chalk that up to the change of pace from a sports car to a luxury car.
The room inside the cabin is enormous – any and all passengers will feel right at home. Lots of space, cushiony seats, big windows to allow lots of line of sight to prevent anyone from feeling confined in the back seat like some smaller four doors create. The experience of being behind the wheel is very enjoyable with the level of comfort mixed with the easy-to-use tech and responsive mechanical engineering of Audi. Or technically… Volkswagen.
Audi S8 Common Problems
Every car has its quirks; that is to be expected. The Audi S8 is not without its own. A few I have seen personally come up with different S8’s have been “clogging” in a couple of areas: water drains and oil systems. It is something to keep an eye on as this could result in water accumulating in the door jams as well as starved turbochargers in the V8 from lack of oil.
Another fair point to note is that Audis of across their model range – SUV’s, sports coupes, or sedans, all can be susceptible to electronic issues. It’s a brand-wide issue like sticky buttons in Ferrari’s.
Given the longevity of the make and model, of course, there are recalls that follow along with the model which you can look into HERE
Just ensure regardless of how premium your S8 looks that you obtain a PPI. This is the most effective way to ensure that any of the common problems or just problems, in general, are not plaguing your potential hack.
Audi S8 Cost of Ownership/Maintenance
Since Audi, in this generation, has been owned by Volkswagen, the costs of repairs are lower than you may have expected.
However, Audi is notorious for completely price gauging when you bring cars to the dealer for any service or repairs. Making an oil change $900 when at a trusted third-party shop could be a fraction of that cost.
Parts as well can be found for this car on eBay, like headlights or carbon fiber mirror caps for significantly less than what the dealer would charge you on top of their insane labor rate.
A great way to hedge your bet with certain large repairs like transmission or engine issues is to ensure you get a PPI before you buy your potential S8 so you don’t incur someone else’s $20,000 problem that they caused.
Audi S8 Year Changes
Like most Audi’s, the S8 has a rich European-based history, starting out originally in 1996.
For the sake of hackability, we are only going to be talking about the third generation of the Audi S8 (D4) and onward from there.
2012-2013- The Audi S8 is now made with a V8 engine instead of the 10-cylinder that was in the 2006-2010 generation.
2013-2018- A facelift is given to the existing model, featuring an updated front and rear bumper, diffuser, taillights, and headlights along with a more aggressive overall appearance. In 2016 the S8 was launched with the PLUS version which has an increased engine power of 597 horsepower, 0-60 in 3.3 seconds, and can reach speeds of 190mph with the Dynamic Pack as an option.
2019-2022- The new fourth generation (D5) S8 has a tweaked engine to make performance higher, torque stronger, with less weight, and a more overall aggressive appearance. Whereas the previous generation was more boxy and square in design, the 2019+ is more in keeping with Audi’s design scheme to be angular and fluid with the body.
Audi S8 Options
Audi’s are more package-based cars rather an option intensive. Meaning if a car has a certain pack, it has all the options associated with that pack automatically included. So if for example a car has Black Optic Package, it will come with darkened tail lights, carbon fiber mirrors, front blade in carbon fiber, and high gloss black exterior pack (blackout of the chrome), and that package adds $5,500 to the MSRP of the Audi S8.
Other packages that greatly influence the price and desirability of the S8 and Audi’s alike are the Audi Design Selection package and the Dynamic package. These packages make the car not only more attractive in person but more attractive from a hacking standpoint as these options add value to the base MSRP and those values assist in making your S8 stand out from others when you go to resale.
To see more options for the S8, click HERE
Best Audi S8 To Buy
In terms of packability, you are going to want to explore the 15-17 year range for the S8 as the depreciation has bottomed out due to time and now will only progress further due to miles and condition.
Options are also a big deal for Audi across the board. You want to remember that S8s with Dynamic Package ($11,000), Black Optic Package ($5,500), and/or Audi Design Selection ($5,500) will hold value better due to the higher sticker, and these packages also make the spec of the car objectively hotter than S8’s without these options.
If you are looking for a reliable, luxurious, full-size sedan that isn’t going to break your bank and allow you to put good mileage on during your time of ownership, then the Audi S8 may need to pop up on your radar as you search for your hack.