Audi S8 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Audi S8 tuning tips."

The flagship Audi is lusted after by those in the know, but generally overlooked as a performance car.

It seems unreal to have a large saloon car like the S8 fitted with what is essentially a Lamborghini engine that propels it at a phenomenal pace.

The S8 is a good car modification project to execute. With the right mods your S8 can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

 

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

See our video which covers all the principles of tuning your Audi.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many S8 owners uprate the handling of their cars with fast road suspension kits as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

Setting a tiny bit of negative camber to the front and around 1 to 1.7 degrees of toe (in for better stability or out to improve cornering), will radically enhance your S8 in handling and cornering.

We would go to a maximum drop of 24mm - 42 mm. on most models. You risk compromising your handling if you go lower than this.

For dramatically improved stopping put better performance pads and mate this with better brake discs.

Bear in mind that some performance friction pads will be noisy and will have to be hot before they bit.

On your regular commute to work the brakes are occasionally used and won't be all that effective so specify friction pads which work well in daily use.

Our aim in engine tuning should be to increase peak bhp at the top end.

Spending just a little bit of money on the best engine and handling mods will transform your car into a high performance car.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine Tuning.

This list of the stages and modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get going.

Getting the correct grade of motorsport modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to subscribe and support our new channel.

Best mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 24mm - 42 mm.), Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Remap, Lighter flywheel.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Sports gearbox, Engine balancing.

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a daily driven car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

  • Audi S8 (D2) was produced from 1996 to 2003
  • Audi S8 (D3) was released from 2006 to 2010
  • Audi S8 (D4) 2012–2013 (revised in 2013)
  • Audi S8 (D5) released 2019–2020 which will offer around 563 hp and 590 lbft of torque

In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest bhp gains for your money as far as a solitary tuning parts goes on a NASP engine.

It maximises the intake and exhaust durations and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Using higher octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Audi project after fitting other upgrades. To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve the injectors on your engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned S8's uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up.  Induction kits will only help to add power if the air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most low power engines will see NO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for S8 engines you should settle for a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can find this will slow the exhaust rate - the best for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Head porting and polishing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools When you tune up your S8 you will find that the standard clutch starts to suffer so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we would do for your S8 are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give significant power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

We've also seen some tuners experimenting with twincharged applications and making some seriously high power figures.

Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

 

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloys are lighter they improve performance and they will help to cool the brake disks. Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling. It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy directional tread pattern performance tires.The downside to large alloy wheels on your S8 is that you're changing your effective final drive ratio and this will have a negative effect on acceleration and performance.

Due to this fact aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the recommended OEM sizes. In all cases we do not recommend going above 19 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss S8 options in more detail with our S8 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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