2002 Audi S8 Final Edition

For the US market, the last of the D2 Audi S8s were brought here as Audi Exclusive packages; 100 each of three color combinations, with one new color of Avus Silver Pearl Effect over burgundy leather and revised ‘Celebration’ wheels. For the European market, though, the last S8s got a different Audi Exclusive package. Dubbed the ‘Final Edition’, the car came with 20″ high-polish ‘Celebration’ wheels, Bose audio with a six-disc changer, bi-xenon headlights, an extended leather interior, and dark myrtle wood trim. Four colors were offered with four total interiors; Avus Silver Pearl Effect over either Brilliant Red or Mauve leather, Misano Red over Silver Grey leather, Aqua Blue over Morning Dew leather, or Ebony Black over Brilliant Red or Silver Gray leather. What we see here is the latter of those; a lower-mileage Final Edition in Ebony Black Pearl Effect over Silver Gray leather. It might not be the highest-spec car out there, but boy are these Final Editions impressive-looking!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S8 Final Edition at 4Star Classics


Year: 2002
Model: S8 Final Edition
VIN: N/A
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 64,400 mi
Location: Kingsley, United Kingdom
Price: GBP 13,995 (~$18,800 today)

Model History

The Audi S8 is the performance version of the A8, a full-size luxury saloon that entered production in 1994. Succeeding the Audi V8, and now in its fourth generation, the A8 has been offered in both FWD and AWD configurations, and in short and long-wheelbase variants. Notable for being the first mass-market car with an aluminium chassis, all A8 models have used this construction method, which is marketed as the Audi Space Frame (ASF).

The mechanically-upgraded and high-performance S8 debuted in 1996. Produced exclusively at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant, the S8 was fitted as standard with Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. It followed the naming convention of other high-performance Audi “S” models, such as the Audi A6-derived S6.

Cosmetically, Audi differentiated the S8 from the A8 with solid aluminium alloy door mirror housings, chrome-effect beltline and lower front grille trim, and polished twin exhaust pipes, along with subtle ‘S8’ badging. 14-way electrically-adjustable and heated sports seats with memory function were fitted as standard, along with 18-inch cast aluminium alloy wheels. After the 1999 facelift, 20-inch polished nine-spoke RS wheels became an option.

The D2 series S8 featured an uprated version of the A8’s 4.2-litre V8 with four valves per cylinder. From late 1999, this was increased to five valves per cylinder resulting in a much higher power output of 355hp. In the UK the S8 was only available as an automatic; the gearbox was a sports-recalibrated version of the ZF 5HP24 five-speed tiptronic, featuring Dynamic Shift Programme (DSP). Other performance upgrades included a 20mm lowered sports suspension with a 30 percent stiffer spring rate and 40 percent more compression damping in the shock absorbers. Speed-sensitive “servotronic” power-assisted steering was also standard. The brakes featured Bosch 5.3 ABS, with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and radially ventilated front discs. From 2002, an upgraded Bosch 5.7 Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) became standard fitment.

The S8 Final Edition – as featured here – was announced by Audi in February 2002 as part of the run-out activity of the A8 and S8 model ranges. Initially there were two special editions available in two colours, the Ebony Black version and the Avus Silver version. Standard specification included 20-inch highly polished alloy wheels with 255/35 ZR20 tyres, Bose sound system with six-disc CD changer, Xenon Plus bi-xenon headlights, telephone prep, TV reception, extended Nappa leather trim, dark Myrtle wood inlays, and full leather upholstery in either Brilliant Red, Mauve, or Silver Grey depending on the paintwork.
Equipment

Ebony Black pearlescent paintwork, Heated and electrically-adjustable Sports seats in Silver Grey leather, 20-inch polished 9-spoke alloy wheels, Xenon Plus bi-xenon headlights, Tilt and slide electric sunroof, Aluminium door mirror casings, Bose sound system, 6-disc CD changer, Digital climate control, Enhanced Leather Pack, Handbrake and gear lever in Fine Nappa leather, Leather Sports steering wheel with tiptronic controls, Dark Myrtle wood inlays, Individual front armrests, Electric rear window blind, Side window blinds, Telephone preparation with hands-free function, Electric windows, Electrically-adjustable door mirrors, Electrically-adjustable steering column, Spare wheel, Toolkit, Warning triangle, Audi first aid kit, Spare key.
Exterior

This striking S8 looks fantastic in pearlescent Ebony Black, one of the select few colours available to the sought-after ‘Final Edition’. The paintwork remains to an excellent standard all round with a deep and uniform shine to report on close inspection. As to be expected at 64k miles there is a light dusting of stone chips at the front end, along with a small number of discreetly touched-in blemishes further evidencing the car’s honesty.

This example has clearly been cherished by each of its three keepers, having been carefully stored to preserve its amazing condition. The S8’s combination of luxury, high performance, and superior build quality has led most examples to quite effortlessly rack up the miles. As a result, low mileage Final Editions such as this one have fast become a rare find, especially in such magnificent shape with great provenance to match.

VIEWINGS WELCOME BY APPOINTMENT ONLY /// ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Interior

The Final Edition comes with extended Nappa leather on the lower dash, centre console, handbrake and gear selector, all of which present really well. The Silver Grey leather sports seats still provide excellent comfort, feeling as soft and supportive as ever. Elsewhere, the dark Myrtle wood trim is a beautiful contrast, shining like new with no fading or cracks to report. The only signs of use in the cabin are a few small marks on the driver’s door card, along with some expected light wear to the outer edge of the adjacent seat bolster. All the electrics work as they should, and the switchgear remains feeling reassuringly solid to operate.

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

The venerable 4.2-litre powerplant starts on the button, idles without fuss, and effortlessly picks up to cruising speed. Provoke the accelerator further and the tuned V8 really hauls the car forward, pulling it through the gears smoothly and with an intoxicating soundtrack to match.

Lifting the bonnet, the engine bay presents to a very high standard with no signs of any damage or poor repair to be found. The most recent service was carried out in January 2020 at 64,118 miles. We have also just had the car fully inspected on arrival for the new keeper’s peace of mind.

Additional photos, videos, and inspection report provided on request. FREE DELIVERY available within 150 miles – please call us for a discounted rate if you live further away.

WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES

The Final Edition’s vast 20-inch alloy wheels look fantastic and still retain their polished factory finish. Pleasingly, curb marking has been kept to a minimum however some age-related wear is visible between the spokes. At this time we have been unable to get them refurbished but this can certainly be arranged in due course should the new keeper so desire.

Following our full inspection of the car we have just had four brand new Michelin tyres fitted, along with new brake pads all round.

History File

This bona fide S8 Final Edition was originally sold through Lookers Audi in Stockton on Tees and was first registered in May 2002. In April 2003, at 5,903 miles, it changed hands to its second owner through Listers Audi in Worcester; a copy of the PDI report is present in the History File. In 2006 the car was sold to its third and final keeper, a businessman local to the Audi dealership in Huddersfield where it had its next four main dealer services.

In 2010 the current owner reverted to his local Audi specialists as the mileage he was doing had reduced to a trickle – just 5k miles have been covered since then. Despite effectively being in long term storage the car has still been MOT’d and serviced to prevent it falling into disrepair. Services have been carried out at the following mileages: 18k, 38k, 40k, 48k, 52k, 59k, 63k, and most recently in January 2020 at the current mileage of 64k.

Condition appears to be impressively original, and boy to those 20″ wheels pop in the images. The headlight configuration of the Euro S8s is slightly different than the US model, but other than the extended leather interior these and wheels these are really quite similar to the US-market ’03s. Aside from wear on the leather, which would be expected given its light tone, there’s little that shows this as a nearly 20-year old example of a best part of 30-year old design. What a great looking car. The pricing isn’t all that surprising, given the condition and rarity of the Final Editions. But it’s also been for sale for a while, so perhaps there is room for negotiation. I’m not sure I’d actually want to ride in one of these on 20″ wheels around here – but to look at in profile? Yeah, that’ll do.

Thanks to our reader John for the great spot!

-Carter

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8 Comments

  1. Very nice! Agreed on the wheels completely, they look good perhaps, but I don’t think the performance profile matches the machine. The S8 is a sublime balance of incredible performance and incredible comfort. Too bad it doesn’t have an oxblood or saddle interior…

  2. I had those 20″ wheels on my prefacelift S8 and the ride was much worse than with original 18″.

    Facelifted A8/S8 have more aluminium on the suspension, so the ride might be better also with big wheels. However, interesting fact is that the cars equipped with factory 20″ wheels had front suspension struts made out of steel, instead of aluminium used on all other (facelift) models. Cars with 20″ wheels have bigger wheel bearings to compensate the extra load. Perhaps steel struts are a bit stronger to accommodate the bigger bearing and extra load, but together with 20″ wheels they increase the unsprung mass by many kilograms per wheel.

  3. Wow, that is absolutely stunning! Too bad europe always gets the good packages. We always get stuck with boring, boring, and more boring. At least only 7 more years till these can be imported.

  4. One of many reasons to love the D2 S8s was that they came with the short wheelbase rather than in the L trim. I think that was the case for the full run of S8s in the USA. And my point being that the shorter wheelbase S8s (and A8s for that matter) look so much better proportionally.

    But I want to hold out for a Misano Red version. That would be prefect for an S8. Oh yea, and while we are talking about importing one, make it a manual.

  5. @Christian. I have never seen an L version of the S8? And I would agree with all of your observations, except perhaps color. I think I would select the exterior around an ox blood sport interior A three pedal version of an S8 would indeed be very nice; I am all about manual transmission in general, although, having done some miles in an auto 2001, I can say that the S8 is flat out impressive even with a slushbox. I can’t believe I just said that. The D2 S8 behaves like a car a fraction of its size at speed; it just begs for more. I have not driven any of its competition, so I am no expert, but dang it is impressive when pushed. I understand why Carter appreciates the D2 S8, it’s just so good while looking so nice.

  6. Here is a nice 2001 for sale in KS: https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/audi/s8/2432074.html

    I agree that the feature article’s car is nicer, but left hand drive and available in the US are nice conveniences. (LOL)

  7. SWEET.

    I assume most Audi geeks know this but one could convert to a manual, but if you do it right and all the while-you’re-in-theres it’s going to be in the $3-5k+ neighborhood and take some time. I’m almost finished swapping my pearl white C5 S6 (found on this site in 2015 woot!), basically all of the swap parts are the same between it and the D2 S8 I believe and easily procured. I think there are a few special challenges with the D2 swap I’m forgetting, but solvable.

  8. Like this ebony over the brilliant we got. Love seeing these in rare color combos. Hard to pick a favorite color but I guess the Andorra red pearl effect. Although, misano is also great.

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