Audi has today pulled the covers off no less than four ‘S’ models. I’m not sure but that’s got to be some kind of record. All four cars will be making their public debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show – which kicks off in about two weeks time. On display will be the new flagship S8, the latest S6 Sedan and S6 Avant, and the all-new S7 Sportback.
The S8 is the company’s top of the range model, and it features a new 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 which develops 512 horsepower and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. That means it can launch itself to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.2 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. But without that pesky little black box it would probably be knocking on the door of the magic double ton.
But despite its phenomenal performance, the S8 is considerably more economical than its predecessor, and it averages 27.7 mph on the combined cycle.
The eight-speed tiptronic transmission in the 2012 Audi S8 helps to further improve efficiency, without sacrificing performance. It uses tall gears at low revs during normal everyday cruising. But when the driver wants to liven things up a bit, it downshifts quickly and seamlessly to serve up the required grunt. The quattro drivetrain of the S8 combines a self-locking centre differential with the sport differential on the rear axle. During ‘spirited’ driving, the majority of the power is sent to the outside wheel to literally push the car into the corner.
S6 Sedan and Avant
In the S6 sedan and S6 Avant the new 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 is also found. But in these cars it’s retuned to deliver 420 horsepower, and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque from 1,400 to 5,300 rpm. That’s enough to launch the 2012 S6 from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and the S6 Avant in 4.9 seconds. Again an electronic limiter steps in at 155mph.
Like the new S8, despite being faster than its predecessor, the 2012 S6 and S6 Avant are more economical than the cars they replace. Average fuel consumption is reduced by up to 25 percent.
The S7 Sportback is the all-new top-spec car in the A7 range. It features the same engine used in the new S6, and the performance numbers are identical to the S6 Avant. 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds, 155 mph top speed. Like all the ‘S’ models revealed today it uses Audi’s “cylinder on demand” technology to reduce fuel usage. The S7 Sportback manages to achieve 29.1mpg on the combined cycle.