The first generation of the Audi A8 got the S badge treatment in 1996 to continue the naming convention of other S models such as the Audi A6 derived S6. To differentiate the S8 from the standard A8, Audi applied a good helping of chrome trims across the side mirrors, beltline of the car, front grille and exhaust tips.
The S8 came with a 5-speed automatic transmission paired to a 4.2L V8 engine delivering 335 hp and 410 Nm of torque. The car used the Volkswagen Group D2 platform and was assembled on the Audi Space Frame technology with plenty of lightweight components. Audi used their Quattro all-wheel drive system which marked a point of difference from its rear wheel drive rivals the Jaguar XJR and the Mercedes S55 AMG.