When it comes to special Audi A8s, the stunning A8 Coupe from 1997 still holds a special place in our hearts. However, it’s got some new competition from this RS8 we honestly never knew it even existed. Built in 2013, the prototype is based on the previous-generation S8 with its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 520 horsepower. With this being the fully fledged RS model, one might assume it packs more punch than the S8.
Gallery: 2013 Audi RS8 prototype
Engine aside, the RS8 looks mighty aggressive with its gigantic front air intakes and ultra-low suspension setup. Those two-tone 21-inch wheels are wrapped in skinny tires and come with ceramic brakes featuring orange brake calipers providing a nice contrast. Details about the car have not been disclosed, but it appears to have matrix LED headlights and the Audi Virtual Cockpit since the instrument cluster is all black, without any sign of a physical needle or gauge.
The dashboard and the center tunnel are bathed in carbon fiber, with orange stitching to create a visual connection with the exterior. While the regular S8 (D4) sedan has a silver start/stop button mounted right in front of the central armrest near the driver, this RS8 appears to have a Lamborghini-styled orange switch positioned below the climate control settings.
Attached below is a nifty comparison slider to better see the differences between the 2013 RS8 and a 2016 S8 Plus.
We also notice the flat-bottomed steering wheel clad in a combination of leather and Alcantara, while on the passenger’s side there seems to be a tray of some sort that possibly comes out from the dashboard. The center console appears to be missing the electric parking brake and hill assist buttons you’d normally find below the gear lever for the automatic transmission in a previous-gen S8. Also missing from the center console are the keys to control the MMI infotainment system, which isn’t all that surprising considering this is only a prototype. It does have a fancy Bang & Olufsen sound system, though.
You can check out the car on the second floor at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm in Germany where there’s a special exhibition celebrating 25 years since the launch of the first RS model – the 1994 RS2 Avant.