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S8 vs d5 A8 ride comparisons

 
Old 03-07-2019, 04:58 AM
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Default S8 vs d5 A8 ride comparisons

I've read for hours about the ride comparison and came up with this chart,

but I really want to know how the road feel comes into the cabin on the S8 in particular because that's what I could purchase now.

On sedans in particular I really don't like much road feel/ stiff ride. In everything I've read unfortunately it seems like I probably wouldn't be happy with the d4 S8.

The power and steep discounts are making me consider them though

Ride comfort score A = Mercedes S Class= New d5 A8/ might be another level up. = lexus ls 460 air ride

Ride comfort score B = Lexus Ls500 = d4 Audi S8 ? = Audi q7 with air ride?

I used to have a 2001 audi a8l with air that rode probably about as well as the lexus ls 460L air ride



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Old 03-07-2019, 08:04 AM
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If you really want a Lexus 460 ride, yep forget the S8. About that simple. But not same league handling, get up and go, etc.

Audi Q7 is a full on ocean yacht handling wise compared to any D platform. Gen 1 was honestly a laughable truck ride from my own experience with loaners, and current one is a glorified minivan and sea of plastic if I am brutally honest. Nope. Different league of finish let alone performance. Digital dash nice (and better in D5 presumably), but after about the third time in the ride, it was mostly another "meh."

Struggle with a bunch of the comparo's too, in that I would first focus on long wheelbase vs. short. Having had the L in my D3 W12, I decided it was just too long now as an empty nester. Loved the back seat, but it ran empty 99% of time. And the four seater it had was also a big let down every time I ended up with 5 people--often adult kids and a friend. Personally on your various straw men, I would group them by general body size, and get down to the one you prefer.

Finally on D4 S8 itself, if you really want to soften it a notch, find a set of used 19 OE wheels for probably less than a grand in good shape and get some top flight tires. Stepping from 21's (35's) to 20's (40's) on mine was good enough for me, but all the way to 45's on 19's would be a big softening move, especially w air ride even if tuned to "sport" side. Probably something like the tire profile on many a Q7, but nothing remotely like the high ride and tippiness of even pretty good SUV's. First sweeper turn in the Sierras at speed and I leave all the pretender mid to high HP SUVs peeing their pants trying to hang on--on the rare occasions the road opens up these days. Maybe by about an up motor Cayenne you can hang in there, which BTW are a dime a dozen on the used market as something else to throw into the mix given how big a net you first cast.

Sure, could look at D5 and now current gen and nicely featured and all, but again V6 just not in same league. That is more like a D4 3.0T (turbo on new, blower on prior D4). But you will have more depreciation on the time it takes you to complete the dealer paperwork let alone drive it off the lot than in a year on a several year old D4 S8. 50% loss off new in 3 years basically. Welcome to Audi--or any other German luxobarge--reality.

2001 D2 A8 was not air ride AFAIK unless you had some one off aftermarket. D3 was intro of air ride--in USA as 2004 model year. D2 era suspension--same basically as my 2000 A6 4.2--was not in same league of both ride and performance as D3, with some refinement and hopefully better long term longevity on D4 or now 5. As a real world data point my 2000 A6 4.2 on 255/40-17's rode harder than my 2006 A8 on 275/35-20's, yet the A6 had this Buick like suspension set up to try to deal with the 40's that literally made people in the back seat motion sick. I had to up rate the sway bars to tame that, and eventually go to Bilsteins. D3, D4 or now D5 air ride is a much better result for ride while keeping handling decent.

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Old 03-07-2019, 09:13 AM
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Currently my short wheel base A8 is in for the 35k service and I have a brand new Q7 loaner. MP4 is spot on with his sea of plastic observation. It is a giant yacht that fills several niches well, but does nothing outstandingly well. My .02 after a few days driving it around.

Lexus are buttery smooth and reliable. If that's all you require, your journey is over and enjoy the ride! Try to stay awake, though, as the yawning will commence soon after you leave the dock.

A smart move would be to find a two-three year old S8 and drive it for 6 months to see if it fits your needs. Again, MP4's comments about reducing the wheel size will certainly change the ride characteristics, and you get the added bonus of trying to tame that monster engine. I thought my "regular" 4.0T twin-turbo V8 was fast until I climbed into an S8... suffice it to say that's too much power for me to have all the time.

I too was an A8L owner, and the open prairie back seat was great when hauling the tots and their friends, but empty-nesting now dictates when conversing with my friends in the back seat, I like having them in the same zip code since my hearing ain't what it used to be.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:30 AM
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Yeah it was a 2004 audi a8L with air, good man

It rode really nice. As far as straight comfort you guys both seemed to have driven the Q7 (I have as well) so I have a point of reference. In comfort how does the q7 compare to s8? I drove one with and without air and both were pretty good but too floaty and bouncy for me.

MP4.2+6.0 - Did you ever have a 04+ with the air ride to compare to the s8?

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Well you say that about the Lexus ls500 but from what I see it's just very inferior to the s8 and a8. Even in comfort department which is a shame for them! I think they'll try to smooth it out though.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by markpow View Post
Yeah it was a 2004 audi a8L with air, good man

It rode really nice. As far as straight comfort you guys both seemed to have driven the Q7 (I have as well) so I have a point of reference. In comfort how does the q7 compare to s8? I drove one with and without air and both were pretty good but too floaty and bouncy for me.

MP4.2+6.0 - Did you ever have a 04+ with the air ride to compare to the s8?

---

Well you say that about the Lexus ls500 but from what I see it's just very inferior to the s8 and a8. Even in comfort department which is a shame for them! I think they'll try to smooth it out though.
Again, yes on the D3. My 2006 A8L W12. Put over 100K on it; bought a year old CPO at only 5,000 miles. Very similar to my then year old D4 S8 CPO purchase. D3 was definitely softer, even though it had 35's (275/35-20) just like the D4 S8 (275/35-21) at stock. Tuned generally as an "A8" though rather than S8--Audi once quoted something like a 30% difference in shock rates for the sport suspension, but I haven't seen a number like that published in probably 10 years and it was vague about D3 S8 tweaks, especially on air shocks as compared to the sport A8 option. On the D3 I changed the sway bars UP a notch to tighten some more. It came with the "sport level" intermediate bars on the W12; I put on the highest level D3 S8 bars. I liked result. By contrast, D4 S8 was a little too much the other way on its 35's in 21's. Wheel weight on the 21's is crap in my performance book for unsprung weight, so I went with the OE forged 20's. Result was just a touch stiffer than D3 W12 with the uprated bars, in a good sort of way.

Subtle BTW, but if you owned a 2004 D3, it actually apparently had a sway bar set up that was slightly stiffer than the 2005's and later. Thus your 2004 standard set up was perhaps a notch stiffer than might be otherwise.I found the 2004 sway bar oddity out diving deep into sway bar specs on D3's when I went to D3 S8 level. On D4's it's simpler. Just two specs, std. and S/sport. The air shocks vary too in sport vs. non sport. Tire size would have been important too, with then 18 baselines vs the lighter forged zillion spoke 19's as an option. I actually used D3 baseline 18's for about 500 miles on my D3 at one point when I had my OE 20's refinished. Yes softer, but really mediocre Pirelli OE tires and handling performance. Almost scary with a car with the HP and true of a W12 or S8.

I just have a hard time with Q7 comparo. Way different. If you are in this sort of car league and serious about new, I personally would look a lot closer at newly intro'ed and available Q8, not Q7. Unless for some reason you really need that (compromised) third seat. No way around it to me, Q7 is glorified minivan. Literally the loaner dealership gave me had the kid's juice box under the middle seat just to slam the point home and right in my face. It was a V6 non air ride. All fine ride wise. As I mentioned, digital dash was a yawner after a few trips. Same conclusion when I got a recent new A4 with it on another loaner. Honestly, Q7 could have been my updated Toyota Sienna AWD. All nice, but they are both minivans, the Q7 for people who won't be caught dead in an "official" minivan. But again, put it on a serious sweeper road at speed, and get some Depends if its a Q7. Having pushed our Q5 to 130 legally on the Autobahnen, it became obvious above about 105 that the wind noise and buffeting of an SUV profile was becoming pronounced. At 130 even the gentle Autobahn sweepers approaching 130 took max concentration to ride it through. Back to mundane USA though, Gen 2 Q7 packaging is better than Gen 1, but still compromised for SUV relative to better packaging of good minivans. Having sat in a Q8 briefly at recent car show, it did help answer some of my minivan critiques of the Q7, and as a 5 seater it really is more the SUV counterpart to the D body sedans. Honestly had I been a bean counter at now very cost conscious Audi post TDI debacle, I would have just cut the D5--especially with its badly botched and delayed US intro--and gone with Q8 for US market. Where their go-forward greater success will be, which will probably show up in relative resale values in a few years too. Q7's do better than D bodies there. Q8 meantime is finished more like a top D series. Q7 counterpart really is A6, on which it was originally built in prior generation.

Yes, I think Lexus has been sort of out of the game for along time now on big performance sedans relative to its original shake up the field LS 400 of ages ago now. If I were going back to the original value vs. price adavatage LS400 had and has long since been lost, in today's world that might be the Hyundai Genesis G90. I have never driven one or even sat in for any real time, but price performance seems like a good balance. Performance wise it slots between D4 4.2 or 3.0T and the 4.0T S8 (well under S8 still). Radically better styling on newer Hyundais too than the 10 year ago hand me down Toyota look.

Heck, go out and drive one. On recent model used, usually pretty easy to find one on an Audi lot somewhere, and most places know they need to make it easy to test drive a used one if they want to sell it. May not be the one you buy, but go kick a proverbial real tire and take it for a spin. Be stone cold sober for the S8 if you have never driven one and really work it. Oh, and my 3000 mile then year old S8: it came from a 75 year old exec in Newport Beach CA. About his 10th ride from that Bentley + Audi dealership. He turned it in for a new Q7, telling them "it was too much car" for him. Literally what the sales guy told me. Oh, and I found the wound dressing wrapper buried in the S8 glove box along with the sat radio paperwork--literally--just to complete the stereotype with the juice box in the back of the prior loaner Gen 2 Q7!

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Old 03-08-2019, 05:50 AM
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I certainly don’t find anything objectionable about the ride quality of my S8+, but I may be desensitized based upon decades of sporty rides.

What the S8 D4 does offer is the security of the Audi Quattro system, which is a benefit in almost any driving condition, but in particular in heavy rain and when powering thru curves. Even better with the Sport Differential. And in comparison with the Q7, the difference in center of gravity will have a huge impact in stability if you get “on it” a bit.

Buy an S 8 and see how you like it; they are not too expensive, so you can always bail out if you feel you have to. But you may find that the D4 S8 is the high water mark for performance cars, mike
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:51 AM
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appreciate it all, My brother just got an S6. I guess those have air-ride. Anyone have experience comparing that road-ride harshness compared to the s8? So I will drive and ride in his in a few days to have another good comparison.

Is the d4 chassis superior to the q7 chassis as far as road-ride harshness is concerned..?
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by markpow View Post
appreciate it all, My brother just got an S6. I guess those have air-ride. Anyone have experience comparing that road-ride harshness compared to the s8? So I will drive and ride in his in a few days to have another good comparison.

Is the d4 chassis superior to the q7 chassis as far as road-ride harshness is concerned..?

Get out of the arm chair and into driver's seat at this point.

Q7 is a derivative of A6 platform, not A8/S8. S6 of course is too. Underlying is steel with aluminum body parts hung from it, not aluminum basically through out. Suspensions similar on cars but jacked up on Q7 and yet more bloated weight wise.

An S6 in recent C7 generation is really an A8 4.0T motor wise. S8 (and RS7) are seriously beefed up internals, turbos, subsystems, etc. S6 has the sequential 7 speed gearbox, but the 8 speed in the A8 is really the faster one and can take more torque at limit for any tuning. As used, A8 probably is the better buy for what you get. Your posts suggest concerns for ride comfort, in which case A8 4.0T is probably the level of suspension tune you would prefer, especially if among comparo's are D3 A8 and Lexus Barcaloungers. In some years you can also get a 4.0T A8 in short wheelbase (like S8 always is), but they aren't as common and in some demand among enthusiasts.

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Old 03-08-2019, 11:16 AM
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I test drove the S6, probably a 2017 model, before I ordered my S8. Among the things that caused me to consider the S6 was the size similarity to my SWB D3, which I really liked. The S6 does have air suspension, so I can clear that up, As for the chassis, I don’t think the S6 is in the same league with the A8/S8, either D3 or D4 versions. I attribute the D series superiority to the aluminum frame. I’m not knocking the S6; it’s a fine car and a heck of a lot cheaper than a S8. Mike
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