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The S8’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The S8 has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.
The S8 has standard Pre Sense Front, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Mulsanne doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The S8 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The S8 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the S8 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The S8’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The S8 has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Mulsanne only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
To help make backing safer, the S8’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The S8 has standard Audi Connect Care, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the S8 and the Mulsanne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.
The S8 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mulsanne’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.
The S8’s corrosion warranty is 9 years longer than the Mulsanne’s (12 vs. 3 years).
There are almost 7 times as many Audi dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S8’s warranty.
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the S8 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Mulsanne.
The S8’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 58 more horsepower (563 vs. 505) than the Mulsanne’s standard 6.8 turbo V8. The S8’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 33 more horsepower (563 vs. 530) than the Mulsanne Speed’s standard 6.8 turbo V8.
On the EPA test cycle the S8 gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (13 city/22 hwy vs. 10 city/16 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the S8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S8 higher (3 out of 10) than the Bentley Mulsanne (1). This means the S8 produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mulsanne every 15,000 miles.
For better stopping power the S8’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Mulsanne:
The S8 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.
The S8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mulsanne’s standard 45 series tires. The S8’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Mulsanne’s optional 40 series tires.
The Audi S8 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 750 pounds less than the Bentley Mulsanne.
The S8 is 10.5 inches shorter than the Mulsanne, making the S8 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Audi S8 amounts to more than styling. The S8 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Mulsanne (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S8 get better fuel mileage.
For excellent aerodynamics, the S8 has standard flush composite headlights. The Mulsanne has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
The S8 has 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mulsanne.
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S8 easier. The S8’s trunk lift-over height is 27.4 inches, while the Mulsanne’s liftover is 29.8 inches.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S8’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S8 has standard extendable sun visors. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The S8 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Mulsanne.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi S8 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
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