First Glance: Audi S6, S7, S8 to debut in Frankfurt

1 Sep

By Matt McCarron

2012 Audi S6: Courtesy Audi USA

Three models from Audi’s high-performance S-line, the S6, S7 and S8 will debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. All three vehicles will be powered by versions of Audi’s new 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8. According to Audi the new engine offers greater performance while reducing emissions and improving fuel economy.

Despite being substantially smaller than the outgoing 5.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V10, the new engine in the 2012 S6 and S6 Avant (wagon) pushes out nearly identical horsepower and torque numbers. Peak output has been reduced by 15 hp to 420 hp, but torque has increased by just over 7 lb-ft to 405.6 lb-ft from 1,400 to 5,300 rpm. Even with the significant reduction in displacement and slight drop in horsepower, the new engine still delivers performance figures consistent with Audi’s S models. The S6 reaches 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and the S6 Avant just 0.1 slower in 4.9 seconds. All power for the S6 is transferred to the wheels via the seven-speed S tronic transmission and offers Quattro all-wheel drive.

While performance is impressive what really shines through is the S6′ efficiency. Audi claims overall fuel economy has improved by as much as 25 percent to roughly 24 mpg. Much of the added mileage is the result of high-tech technologies, namely in the form of start-stop, energy recovery and cylinder management systems. The S6 has also incorporated an active Noise Cancellation system (ANC), which reduces and cancels out much of the noise emitted from the engine during cylinder disengagement.

Stylistically the S6 differs from the A6 courtesy of exterior mirrors in an aluminum-look finish, prominent side sills and a single-frame front grill. It can also be distinguished by two exclusive exterior paint colors, Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect.

2012 Audi S7: Courtesy Audi USA

The S7 offers the same engine, with the same horsepower and torque numbers as the S6 and S6 Avant. Technology and other features are identical between the two models. The S7 comes standard with an adaptive air sport suspension, 19-inch wheels, and internally ventilated disc brakes front and rear.

The top-of-the-line S8 once again sets the standard for Audi’s S-line. With a more robust V8 engine the S8 sprints from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds with a limited top speed of 155 mph. As with the S6 and S7, the S8 has increased performance while drastically improving fuel economy. Average consumption has jumped from 17.8 mpg to 23 mpg, regardless of a 70 hp improvement in power. Cylinder management, Active Noise Cancellation among other technology are all standard on the S8. All other aspects to the S8, from the near-exclusive use of aluminum in the body design, to the high-end finish in the interior all reflect why this is Audi’s flagship model.

2012 Audi S8 TFSI V8 engine: Courtesy Audi USA

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