2001 Audi S8 Overview

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2001 Audi S8 Overview

Blasting through the streets of Paris, the black 2001 Audi S8 is a commanding, menacing monster in the famous chase scene from "Ronin." In a product placement campaign, similar to that of the Mini Coooper in "The Italian Job," the S8 gained immediate notoriety and a high cool quotient. The high-end luxury performance sedan, based on an A8 platform, is Audi's top-line model in terms of output. The 2001 S8 features a 40-valve DOHC 4.2-liter V8 tweaked and tuned to put out 360-hp. It is paired with a 5-speed Tiptronic tranmission. Quattro AWD is standard on the S8, providing expert handling.

The 2001 S8 (and its A8 cousin) were the only sedans on the U.S. market to feature aluminum body panels and frame, and the S8 features an all-aluminum suspension. The idea was to lighten the car and improve handling and maneuverability. Stronger brakes and shocks, larger sway bars, a lower ride height, and 18-inch performance tires were all in the service of making the most of the powerful engine. The quattro technology, banned on the race car circuit for its unfair advantage, ensured the S8 stayed glued to the road.

In addition to sports car fun, the 2001 S8 was also a luxury sedan. Part of what makes the S8 unique is an understated and subtle design that masks the throaty power boiling up within. You can play it conservative for your business colleagues, but throw all caution to the wind come the weekend. Its subtle looks also don't catch as much attention from potential thieves. It came with all the Audi bells and whistles to keep you comfortable while you tore up the road, and added special sports seats with side bolsters.

Drivers love to re-enact Ronin, albeit in a safer manner, with the incredible engine. They love the instant acceleration and confidence of the AWD in all weather conditions. The understated style is either loved for its sophistication, or unloved in a desire for more sporty pizzazz. The S8 is roomy, being a full-size sedan, with great trunk space, though some owners feel the backseat legroom suffers and wish it was available on the longer A8L platform. Other criticisms focus on a worthless navigation system and the lack of storage compartments and cupholders.

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How Many 2001 Audi S8 4.2 Quattros Were Built?

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