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First look: Audi S8 uses an Italian beating heart

Lambo-like acceleration: The S8 will reach 100km/h in 5.1 seconds.

Audi has waved its magic over the all-aluminium A8 to slot in a muscular V10

21 Oct 2005

THE spirit of Italy runs deep in the veins of Audi’s new S8 sedan.

The S8 slots the muscular V10 engine from the Lamborghini Gallardo under the bonnet for its latest assault weapon.

It makes sense when you realise that Audi owns the Italian thoroughbred car-maker.

The 5.2-litre V10 develops 335kW and 540Nm of torque from as low as 3500rpm. It is mated to a six-speed tiptronic automatic.

Audi claims the new all-aluminium S8 offers blistering performance, sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds and reach an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h.

As on the Le Mans winning R8, the car has an FSI petrol direct-injection engine.

To accommodate the 220kg V10, the car’s driveline and chassis have been modified and upgraded while the limousine-like adaptive air suspension has been lowered 20mm and tuned for sports driving.

7 center image Audi also concentrated on re-engineering key engines components rather than slot the engine into the car straight from the Gallardo.

The bore has been increased from 82.5mm to 84.5mm while the stroke is 92.8mm.

Extra reinforcing was engineered in too. The engine has a bedplate structure – an intermediate frame – to reinforce the extremely compact crankcase, which is made from cast aluminium.

As expected of a high-performance touring sedan Audi’s proven, latest-generation quattro drivetrain is used, with asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution diverting the engine’s power to all four wheels.

The firmer settings of the adaptive air suspension and steering modifications ensure that the power and dynamism of the drivetrain are translated with precision on to the tarmac.

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