Audi will present its new S models for the first time at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show (IAA). These models are characterized by power combined with appropriately low fuel consumption. The engine down-sizing strategy of the brand with the four rings has reduced the fuel consumption of the S6 by as much as 25 percent whilst offering sportier driving performance.
The Audi S6 and S6 Avant
Athletic character, quiet understatement and richly appointed – Audi is remaking the S6 and S6 Avant. Both models are sports cars for everyday use, offering uncompromising practicality. Their new engine, a four-liter, twin-turbo V8, combines ample power with low fuel consumption in keeping with the times.
The S6 and S6 Avant use the 309 kW (420 hp) version of the new 4.0 TFSI. The twin-turbo V8 provides a constant 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque from 1,400 to 5,300 rpm. It accelerates the S6 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds and the S6 Avant in 4.9 seconds. With both models, the electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is just a formality.
The 4.0 TFSI brings Audi’s downsizing strategy to the high-performance class. Compared to the engine in the previous model, the free-breathing, 5.2-liter V10, it offers even sportier performance while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25 percent. Average fuel consumption is just 9.7 liters per 100 km (24.25 US mpg) in the S6 and 9.8 liters (24.0 US mpg) in the S6 Avant, well below that of the competition.
A number of technologies contribute to this top result, including the recuperation and start-stop systems as well as the new “cylinder on demand” cylinder management system. When the V8 deactivates four cylinders under part load, the Active Noise Cancellation system (ANC) is activated. Four microphones integrated into the headlining record the noise in the cabin, which is then analyzed by a computer. If the computer detects intrusive sound elements, it broadcasts an antiphase sound through the speakers of the sound system. This sound combines with the intrusive sound and largely cancels it out.
Independent of this, active, electronically controlled engine bearings use targeted counterpulses to attenuate low-frequency vibrations. A sound actuator, flaps in the exhaust system, the engine shroud and a newly developed two-mass flywheel with a centrifugal force pendulum in the seven-speed S tronic also contribute to the sonorous sound and smoothness of the engine.
When it comes to power transmission, the S6 and S6 Avant further extend Audi’s Vorsprung durch Technik. The engine power flows through a fast-shifting, seven-speed S tronic transmission. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system uses the self-locking center differential and torque vectoring. If desired, Audi complements quattro with the optional sport differential, which actively distributes the power between the rear wheels.
The two new S models come standard with the adaptive air suspension sport. The tautly tuned air suspension with variable damping lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.39 in). It provides for highly precise handling without compromising comfort. The powerful disc brakes, internally ventilated front and rear, have matt black calipers with S6 logos. Audi offers carbon fiber-ceramic discs as an option.
The S6 and S6 Avant come standard with cast aluminum wheels in a unique five parallel-spoke design. The 8.5 J x 19 wheels are shod with 255/40-series tires. Seven different 19- or 20-inch wheels, four of them from quattro GmbH, are available as options. The 20-inch titanium-look wheels with a five-arm rotor design impart a particularly exclusive appearance.
The Audi drive select driving dynamics system comes standard in the two new S models. Among others, it modifies the characteristic of the gas pedal, the shift points of the S tronic, the servo boost of the electromechanical steering and the characteristic of the adaptive air suspension. The driver can adjust the operation of these systems in five stages. The optional sport differential and the dynamic steering, which varies its ratio as a function of speed, can also be integrated into the system.
Body and design
The car bodies play a large part in the dynamics of the Audi S6 and S6 Avant. They are unusually lightweight because they are roughly 20 percent aluminum. The Audi S6 has a curb weight of just 1,895 kilograms (4,177.76 lb), the S6 Avant 1,950 kilograms (4,299.01 lb). Both are much lighter than their direct rivals.
At 4,931 millimeters (16.18 ft), the S6 is 16 millimeters (0.63 in) longer than the A6; with the 4,634-millimeter (15.2 ft) S6 Avant, the difference is 8 millimeters (0.31 in). Their single-frame grille sports aluminum applications and chromed horizontal double bars. Another chrome strip adorns the front bumper. The exterior mirrors feature aluminum-look housings, and the side sills are distinctively shaped.
The S6 sedan has a spoiler on the trunk; the Avant has a roof spoiler. With both models, the diffuser on the rear bumper is platinum gray with an aluminum-look offset edge. The four chrome-tipped tailpipes are elliptical. The S models are available in a choice of eight colors, including the exclusive shades Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect. The body is decorated with S6 and V8T badges.
The interior of the S6 and S6 Avant is also characterized by sporty elegance. There are S6 badges on the key, the leather sport steering wheel with colored stitching and aluminum shift paddles as well as the instruments. The illuminated door sill trims and both displays (MMI and driver information system) greet the driver with the S6 logo. A red ring adorns the start-stop button, an aluminum clasp the selector lever. The footrest, the pedals and the soft keys of the MMI operating system shine in an aluminum-look finish.
Decorative inlays are available in a choice of four materials. Matt brushed aluminum is standard, with carbon, fine grain ash natural brown or layered Beaufort oak as options. Customers can choose from three colors – black, lunar silver and goa beige (only for the seat upholstery) – for the headlining, instrument panel, carpet and seats. The standard seat upholstery is a mix of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with Milano and Valcona available as options.
Height-adjustable sport seats with power lumbar supports and embossed S logos are standard. Audi offers two other versions as options: the power-adjustable comfort seats with memory function and the power-adjustable S sport seats with integrated head restraints. These also are embossed with the S logo.
The new Audi S6 and S6 Avant will be rolling into dealer showrooms with a generous list of standard equipment in spring 2012. This includes xenon plus headlights with an all-weather light, LED rear lights, an electromechanical parking brake and the driver information system with color display. The MMI radio plus includes a Bluetooth interface, and the Audi sound system has ten speakers.
All of the high-end options in the model series are also available for the new S models. These include LED headlights, adaptive light, the ambient lighting package, convenience key, head-up display, the parking system plus with 360° camera, power rear hatch, optionally with sensor control, and climate-controlled deluxe seats with massage function.
The list of options for the Avant, which offers up to 1,680 liters (59.33 cu ft) of luggage space, also includes the panoramic glass roof.
The tightly networked driver assistance systems are all state-of-the-art. These are the various versions of the Audi pre sense safety system, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, Audi side assist, active lane assist, the speed limit display and the night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians.
Topping the range of infotainment systems is MMI navigation plus, which features a large hard drive, an eight-inch monitor and the groundbreaking MMI touch input system. The system can be combined with the Bluetooth online car phone, which brings special Internet services to the car and features WLAN connectivity for mobile devices. The 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System impresses with its excellent sound.
The Audi S7 Sportback
The Audi S7 Sportback uses the same engine as the S6 and S6 Avant, the new 4.0 TFSI with 309 kW (420 hp) and 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque. The twin-turbo V8 accelerates the five-door coupe from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.9 seconds, and top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The cultivated eight-cylinder, which uses Audi’s “cylinder on demand” technology under part load, consumes on average just 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (24.25 US mpg).
Much of this groundbreaking efficiency can be attributed to the lightweight body. A hybrid aluminum construction, it weighs roughly 15 percent less than a comparable all-steel body. Lightweight components include the long rear hatch that opens and closes electrically as standard. Beneath it is a luggage compartment with a volume of 535 liters (18.89 cu ft), which increases to 1,390 liters (49.09 cu ft) with the rear seat backs folded down.
Drivetrain and chassis
Power transmission in the Audi S7 Sportback is provided by the dynamic seven-speed S tronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a self-locking center differential and torque vectoring. The optional sport differential from Audi distributes the power in variable proportions between the rear wheels.
The S7 Sportback comes standard with the adaptive air suspension sport and the Audi drive select dynamics system. Mounted behind the 19-inch wheels are large, internally ventilated disc brakes front and rear. Their matt black calipers sport S7 logos up front. Carbon fiber-ceramic discs are available as an option.
Other chassis options include 19- and 20-inch wheels and dynamic steering, which varies its ratio as a function of speed.
Body and design
The design of the Audi S7 Sportback is seamless. The long engine hood, the long wheelbase and the short overhangs create perfect proportions. The low, dynamically tensioned roof line gives the five-door model the character of a coupe. At highway speeds, a rear spoiler extends from the rear hatch to improve stability.
Subtle yet eye-catching details signal the top position in the model series occupied by the 4,980-millimeter (16.34 ft) S7 Sportback. These can be found at the single-frame grille, the front bumper, the side mirrors, the sills, the rear bumper, the diffuser and the tailpipes. Nine exterior colors are available, including the exclusive shades Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect. The body is decorated with S and V8 T badges.
The S7 Sportback shows its sporty character in the interior, too. This can be seen in numerous details – the S badges, the red ring on the start-stop button, the S7 logo in the illuminated door sill trims, the aluminum strip on the S tronic selector lever and the aluminum shift paddles. The footrest and the pedals are made of stainless steel, and the soft keys of the MMI operating system are in an aluminum-look finish.
Customers can choose decorative inlays in standard aluminum, carbon, natural fine grain ash and layered Beaufort oak. Black, lunar silver and goa beige (only for the seat upholstery) comprise the color palette for the headlining, instrument panel, carpet and seats. The standard seat upholstery is a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with the leather grades Milano and Valcona available as options.
Audi equips the S7 Sportback with height-adjustable S sport seats with power lumbar supports as standard. Comfort seats and regular seats are available as options. The backrests of the S sport seats are embossed with S logos.
Delivery of the S7 Sportback is scheduled to begin in spring 2012. Among the standard equipment highlights are the xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, the driver information system with color display and the versatile MMI radio plus audio and operating system. Both information hubs are easy to operate.
The S7 Sportback can be optionally equipped with all of the high-end extras of the model series. Moreover, all driver assistance and infotainment systems are available, including the Bluetooth online car phone that connects the S7 Sportback with the Internet.
The Audi S8
The Audi S8, which will be launched on the market in spring 2012, is the new head of the Audi S model family – a large, luxurious sedan of supreme power. The new 4.0 TFSI in the S8 generates no less than 382 kW (520 hp) and delivers a constant 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 1,700 and 5,500 rpm. The result is outstanding performance: The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes just 4.2 seconds, and top speed is electronically capped at 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
This makes the fuel consumption of the sonorous and smooth twin-turbo V8 all the more amazing: It averages just 10.2 liters per 100 km (23.06 US mpg), much less than its competitors. The free-breathing, 5.2-liter V10 in the previous model consumed an average of 13.2 liters per 100 km (17.82 US mpg). Fuel consumption decreased by nearly 23 percent despite a 51 kW (70 hp) increase in output.
Behind the top value for the new Audi S8 are the combined technologies of the Audi modular efficiency platform, including the recuperation and start-stop systems. The newly developed “cylinder on demand” technology plays a particularly large role. Under part load, it deactivates four of the eight cylinders for an efficiency gain that is particularly pronounced at moderate highway speeds. A package of acoustic measures including the Active Noise Cancellation system suppresses possible intrusive noise and vibrations.
The eight-speed tiptronic in the S8 also unites sportiness and efficiency. It uses tall gears at low revs whenever possible, but downshifts quickly and comfortably when requested by the driver. The tiptronic delivers the power to a quattro drivetrain combining a self-locking center differential with the sport differential at the rear axle. During dynamic driving, the lion’s share of the power flows to the outside wheel to literally push the large sedan into the corner.
The new Audi S8 also pulls out all the stops when it comes to the chassis. One of its features is a specially tuned adaptive air suspension with variable damping, which can vary the ride height of the body between three levels and thus ensures a wide-ranging driving experience. It harmonizes perfectly with the dynamic steering, also standard, that adapts its steering ratio and boost to the vehicle’s speed. It uses slight, nearly imperceptible steering corrections to stabilize handling at the cornering limit.
The Audi drive select dynamics system encompasses these two systems as well as engine management, the eight-speed tiptronic and the sport differential. The driver can determine the function of these components by choosing between the five modes comfort, auto, dynamic, individual and efficiency.
The standard, S-specific wheels measure 9 J x 20 and are shod with 265/40-series tires. Audi offers five additional wheels as options, four of which have a 21-inch diagonal. The four internally ventilated disc brakes measure 400 millimeters (15.75 in) in diameter up front and 365 millimeters (14.37 in) at the rear. The matt black calipers up front bear S8 logos. Each of the optional carbon fiber-ceramic discs saves over five kilograms (11 lb) of weight. Their calipers are anthracite gray. The ESP stabilization program includes a sport mode, in which engine output is determined solely by the position of the pedals.
Body and design
A decisive advantage of the S8 is the comparatively low weight of 1,975 kilograms (4,354.13 lb). The luxury sedan’s ASF (Audi Space Frame) body is made almost entirely of aluminum. Only the B-pillars are made of ultra high-strength steel. The body weighs just 231 kilograms (509.27 lb); a conventional steel construction would be around 100 kilograms (220.46 lb) heavier. The Audi ultra-lightweight construction allows weight to be reduced in other areas as well, such as the chassis.
Fine design details signal the special position that the 5.15 meter-long (16.90 ft) S8 occupies in the Audi range. The single-frame grille is platinum gray and its eight double bars are covered in chrome. An aluminum-look blade makes the bumper appear sharper, and there are high-gloss black slats and aluminum-look ribs in the side air intakes.
On the sides, body color trim strips on the sills, door handles with strips of aluminum and polished aluminum-look mirror housings catch the eye. The diffuser insert at the back of the car includes a blade with a two-layer aluminum-look finish offset with parts in platinum gray. The exhaust system ends in two oval dual tailpipes in a chrome-look finish.
S8 or V8 T badges can be found in the front, on the back and on the sides. The color range includes 13 shades, two of which – Daytona Gray and Prism Silver – are reserved for the S8.
The interior shines with craftsman-like fit and finish and small yet effective accents. The multi-way, power-adjustable comfort sport seats have been designed exclusively for the S8. They are optionally available with exclusive seat upholstery in quilted lunar silver. The stitching and piping are in contrasting steel gray, while the upper inlays on the instrument panel and tiptronic selector lever present the material Carbon Atlas.
The leather multifunction sport steering wheel has color-contrasting stitching and an S8 emblem, which can also be found on the instruments. Typical of the Audi S models, these have gray dials with white needles – a design which is repeated in the classic analogue clock. The illuminated door sill trims with the S8 logo are a further eye-catcher. The display of the driver information system and the MMI monitor greet the driver with special S8 screens. The shift paddles and pedals are in an aluminum-look finish; a red ring frames the start button.
The S8 offers a wide selection of interior colors, inlays and seat upholstery. These include particularly soft Valcona leather and seats with ventilation and massage functions. The leather package, a DVD changer, the convenience key with sensor-controlled lock for the trunk and the ambient lighting package round out the list of standard interior equipment. The Audi S8 is also equipped with the innovative LED headlights and double glazing.
Beyond the generous standard equipment, Audi makes all of the high-end options from the A8 series available in the new S8. The driver assistance systems, which are closely networked with one another and the navigation system, are particularly innovative.
The core of these is the adaptive cruise control system with stop & go function; others include Audi side assist, Audi lane assist, the speed limit display and the night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians.
Supplementing these technologies is the safety system Audi pre sense, which is available in a number of versions. A new break recommendation function uses steering motions and additional parameters to detect if the driver is getting tired and issues an appropriate warning.
New to the A8 family is the parking system with 360° camera. Four small cameras record images of the sedan’s immediate surroundings and a computer splices them together. The driver can call up a variety of views on the MMI monitor, including a virtual top-down view. The system enhances safety while maneuvering and in narrow driveways. Special views allow the driver to see cross-traffic.
The MMI navigation plus, which comes standard, represents the state-of-the-art in infotainment systems. It includes the groundbreaking MMI touch input system, a large hard drive and a high-resolution 8-inch display. The high-end system can be combined with the likewise standard Bluetooth online car phone, which brings special Internet services to the car and provides WLAN connectivity for mobile devices.
The Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with its 1,400 watt amplifiers and 19 speakers impresses with its amazing sound.