Test Drive-Thru: Audi S8 Plus

Test Drive-Thru” is a series where we review new cars and new fast food items

Are you in the market for insane power, a deafening growl, and high-class niceties like massaging seats? Then continue reading this review of the Audi S8 Plus

Are you in the market for fire-roasted red and yellow peppers, creamy garlic aioli, and the meats? Continue reading, as well, because this is also a review of the Arby’s Fire-Roasted Philly.

Welcome to Test Drive-Thru:


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The Car

This needs to be stated right off the bat: the Audi S8 Plus is fast. Like really fast. Like you’ll think you’re driving an Italian supercar fast. With the “Plus,” Audi injected the S8 with 85 more horsepower than before, bringing the total to a whopping 605 hp. That turbocharged 605 hp engine means a 0-60 time in the 3.3 second range. Punch the gas and you’ll feel like you’re sitting in an all-wheel drive Great American Scream Machine. While you expect a certain level of performance when you spend well over $100k on a sports sedan (the S8 Plus we drove tipped the scales at $148,000), we have yet to experience anything like this in this class. This much fun should be illegal—and, well, at times it kinda was. 

But speed isn’t the only thing you’re getting when you drop the cash on an S8, as the folks at Audi outfitted this thing to the nines. From the outside, the S8 Plus looks like a slightly more aggressive Audi—but, if we’re being honest, most Audi models really look the same. In a way, we appreciate that, as this thing outperforms other vehicles in its space in almost every category, but doesn’t need to call attention to that fact. It’s unassuming. And make no mistake, the cars it’s competing with—luxury Mercedes-AMGs and the BMW Alpina B7—are seriously impressive cars. But the Audi S8 Plus trumps them in so many areas. Just step inside.

Once in the driver’s seat, you’ll find tech appointments that would make Elon Musk jealous. Like we mentioned in the intro, the front two seats pack built-in massagers, so sitting for hours on a road trip won’t do a number on your back. Or, allow us to recommend just sitting in the parking lot while getting a massage. We did it numerous times. It was fantastic, albeit a little bizarre to the people parking around us. But the massagers are far from the only thing keeping you comfortable on a long drive, as those seats also boast twenty-two-way power adjustments, so finding the perfect position is completely possible. Your navigation unit offers Google Earth access and serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices. Parking is made easier by the slew of camera views offered. And when it comes to driving, features like adaptive cruise control, collision warnings, and blind spot assistance make for stress-free travel. To round things out, you also get a heads up display with nav and a helpful night vision assistant so you can see further down the road when it’s dark out. It’s a tech playground inside a personal rocketship. Not bad.



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The Food

The Cool Material offices are right outside Philly. We know where to get the best cheesesteak (Jim’s). We know where to get the best roast pork (DiNic’s). We eat Wawa on the regular. So, if you’re a national chain and are going to brand one of your sandwiches as a “Fire-Roasted Philly,” well, you better bring your A game. 

And Arby’s did. 

While we can’t quite say the Fire-Roasted Philly is a City of Brotherly Love classic, we can say it is delicious. The sandwich base is Angus steak, which happens to come across as a far better quality than you’d expect from a fast food joint. Arby’s added to that by tossing in some fire-roasted peppers and provolone. But those two take a back seat to the garlic aioli and Italian seasoning, which both really add a ton of flavor. It isn’t exactly what we’d expect to find at a small shop near the Italian Market, but it is tasty. The one disappointment is the roll, which is billed as a “Philly sub roll,” but is so far from a Sarcone’s offering it isn’t even funny. Good bread can really elevate a sandwich. That said, a slightly sad, squishy roll isn’t bad enough to ruin this sandwich.



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Conclusion

We’ve got two winners here, gentlemen. Without demanding attention, the Audi S8 smashes other vehicles in its class. It’s insanely fun to drive and it features luxury appointments that are a level higher than many other high-end vehicles. Just like the S8, the Fire-Roasted Philly from Arby’s outshines most other competitors. It’s kind of unfair to even compare it to other fast food sandwiches. Philly or not, it’s great. Both are worthy of your hard-earned money, although one costs $147,994.31 less.