THE Audi S8 is slick and sophisticated – offering a superb mix of performance and luxury.

Ultra-fast saloons are something of a dying breed, but this one is an absolute gem.

The S8 is effectively a blend between the normal A8 luxury saloon and the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the RS7.

When you’ve finished admiring what’s under the bonnet, you’ll be equally impressed by the sumptuous interior and high levels of tech.

Taking just 3.8 seconds, the acceleration from a standing start to 62mph is blistering - but it doesn’t necessarily feel it. That’s because the S8 is so refined and composed, getting up to speed with the minimum of fuss.

The Scottish Farmer: The Audi S8 pictured in West Yorkshire

The main clue to the fact you’re gaining pace quickly is the gorgeous note from the exhaust, which isn’t overbearing but is enough to bring a grin to the face.

When you’ve got a whopping 563bhp at your disposal, you need trustworthy handling to match the power – and Audi seldom disappoints on that front.

The four-wheel drive system instils confidence, while sophisticated predictive air suspension and all-wheel steering make the car feel as agile as a much shorter vehicle.

Perhaps it’s not the most engaging vehicle to drive, as you can trust the set-up to do its thing in the corners, while you also don’t need to change gear thanks to the slick eight-speed tiptronic transmission.

Once inside the S8, you can’t fail to enjoy the relaxing interior, which is lined with fine materials and includes loads of mod cons.

The Valcona leather upholstery with diamond stitching is a nice feature, as is the stitched leather dashboard covering.

The front seats are as comfortable as you can get, and also offer standard heating, cooling, and massage.

Those in the back can really stretch their legs, as the rear of the cabin offers oceans of space. The boot also provides generous levels of luggage space.

The Scottish Farmer: Audi S8

Four-zone automatic climate control comes as standard, as is the ambient interior lighting system.

The cabin is packed full of high-level tech, including a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit, 10.1-inch upper infotainment system and an 8.6-inch lower screen.

Other standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an on-board Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless smartphone charging and in-dash navigation.

Clearly, this all comes at a considerable price, with the S8 attracting a six-figure price tag.

You’ll also pay at the pumps as a consequence of that meaty engine. Despite various clever fuel-saving devices and the option to toggle between driving modes, the combined economy figures comes in at 24.4 mpg, which is even lower in reality.

The Scottish Farmer: Audi S8

However, if you’re buying this car, you’re probably not counting the pennies, so perhaps it’s pointless to dwell too long on the financial challenges of buying and running the S8.

It would be even more of a fuel-guzzler were it not for a 48-volt mild hybrid electrical assistance system, which turns the engine off when it isn’t required, and a system that deactivates individual cylinders when full power isn’t needed.

In conclusion, the S8 offers a combination of power, comfort and tech that few other vehicles can match.

Audi S8 TFSI quattro tiptronic

ENGINE: 3996cc, 571PS
TOP SPEED: 155 mph
ACCELERATION: 0-62 mph 3.8 Seconds, top speed 155mph
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed tiptronic
ECONOMY: 24.4 mpg combined and 262 g/km emissions 
PRICE: £121,140