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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S8 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S8. But it costs extra on the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
Both the S8 and the 8 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Audi S8 weighs 544 to 1040 pounds more than the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than BMW.
The S8’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 228 more horsepower (563 vs. 335) and 222 lbs.-ft. more torque (590 vs. 368) than the 840i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder. The S8’s 4.0 turbo V8 hybrid produces 40 more horsepower (563 vs. 523) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (590 vs. 553) than the M850i Gran Coupe’s standard 4.4 turbo V8.
The S8 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (21.7 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the S8’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 8 Series Gran Coupe:
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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.
For better traction, the S8 has larger tires than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (265/40R20 vs. 245/45R18).
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 840i Gran Coupe’s standard 45 series front tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S8 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 840i Gran Coupe. The S8’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
The S8 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 8 Series Gran Coupe; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
The front and rear suspension of the S8 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 8 Series Gran Coupe, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The S8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S8’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S8’s wheelbase is 4.2 inches longer than on the 8 Series Gran Coupe (123.2 inches vs. 119 inches).
The design of the Audi S8 amounts to more than styling. The S8 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S8 get better fuel mileage.
The S8 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The S8 has 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 7.7 inches more rear legroom and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S8’s available rear seats recline. The 8 Series Gran Coupe’s rear seats don’t recline.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S8 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer headlight washers.
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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The S8 has standard front air-conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.
The S8 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The S8 has standard massaging front and optional massaging rear seats. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
The S8 offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
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