How fast is your new whatever? Doesn't matter -- this full-size, four-door Audi is faster.
That's right, kids, unless you're driving one of the absolute quickest cars on the market, the 2013 Audi S8 luxury sedan will probably show you its taillights. Let's look at the numbers. This all-wheel drive luxo-cruiser weighs a stout 4619 pounds and packs a 520-horsepower, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 481 lb-ft of torque. Hah! Your Chevord Mustaro GZ-51 makes more power than that! Well, you'd better get that launch right, or you'll be explaining to your passengers why you just lost to a sedan. See, this new Audi S8 hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds at 118.3 mph. Your Camaro ZL1 doesn't have a chance, and your Shelby GT500 better hook up or it's done, too. Of course, S8 buyers don't usually cross-shop Mustangs and Camaros, but it's still worth noting that you'd have to pay nearly the same coin for a Nissan GT-R or a Corvette ZR-1 that will actually beat the $110,000 Audi.
Forget the sports cars, then. Let's talk real-world competitors. Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG? The last one we tested (a 2012 model) needed 4.3 seconds to get to 60 mph and 12.6 seconds to run the quarter. There's a new one coming, but it's at least a year out. How about that new Alpina B7, since BMW doesn't do an M7? BMW claims a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. We'll verify that soon enough, but it makes no difference here. The S8 also bests the smaller, lighter M5, which needs 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph and 11.9 seconds to finish the quarter mile. The newest Maserati Quattroporte we tested, a 2008 Sport GT, matches up on price but not performance. It needed 5.4 seconds to hit 60 mph and 13.9 seconds to do the quarter. What about the Jaguar XJ Supersport? 4.7 seconds to 60 mph claimed. Lexus LS 460 F Sport? Slightly faster than the Maserati, Lexus says. Infiniti M56? Into the fours, but still way behind the Audi. For nearly double the price, you could get a Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed, but you'd be more than a second slower to 60 mph. If you're willing to triple the price tag and forgo two doors, Ferrari says the new FF will hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and it's probably slightly quicker than that, but Ferrari won't give us one to test.