Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

When Audi released the current A8 its interior set new standards for design and quality, and of course the S8 followed suit – even if it was more restrained than some would have wished for. And so it continues for the latest iteration; the S8 is exquisitely put together and still looks modern and fresh.

The instruments are a highlight, with clear instantly easy to read white on black detailing and simple readouts for the fuel and engine temperature gauges. We’re not normally fans of carbon fibre interior inlays either, but the Carbon Atlas trim in the S8 has a real glossy depth to it that makes it look more appealing.

We love the way the infotainment screen not only hides away inside the dashboard when not in use, but also for the slick and smooth action it has when gliding neatly out to present its information. The high transmission tunnel, also common to other A8 models, helps the S8 feel a little more sporty than some rivals too.

And the technology on board is excellent, with primary plaudits going to the simple to use MMI system. The rotary controller with four buttons is probably the easiest to use of the similar systems, and it doesn’t take long at all for its use to become second nature. The touchpad device which allows users to trace letters and numbers for sat-nav input is excellent too, with the system almost always identifying the correct symbol on first attempt.

Comfort seats with 22-way adjustment means there’s no excuse for not getting into the perfect driving position, and even if more than one person drives the car the memory function will replicate your choice at the touch of a button.

Twenty inch wheels and sports suspension do little to improve Audi S8 comfort, but despite these minor limitations this sporting flagship makes a decent attempt at being a luxury limousine as well as an exciting car to drive.

Set the Sports Adaptive air suspension into Comfort mode and the system does its best to smother any lumps and bumps its wheels come into contact with, and larger surface changes are dealt with admirably. Sharper imperfections can still be felt, and heard, inside the car though.

Things improve at speed where the S8 plots its line with confidence, and the pay-off from the firmer suspension is greater agility and better reactions to driver input. And speed is definitely something of a forte for this car, the S8 managing to transport occupants in comfort at high velocity without issue.

Extremely comfortable seats, which are electrically adjustable (in 22 ways), in the front provide plenty of support while the rear has enough room for adults to stretch out with room to spare.

And the Active Noise Cancelling, combined with the double glazing, means that occupants will rarely be aware of just how quickly they are travelling. Cylinder on Demand technology, where one half of the V8 engine shuts down at low throttle loads, means the engine note is even quieter than you’d expect at low speeds too.