Audi S6 to debut in Frankfurt
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Audi will unveil its new S6, S7 and S8 models at
Germany's 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). The new models are characterised by power combined
with appropriately improved 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 per cent whilst
offering sportier driving performance. And now let's take a closer look at the new Audi S6.
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-litre, twin-turbo V8, combines ample power with low fuel consumption in keeping with
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-litre V10, it offers even sportier performance
while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25 per cent. Average fuel consumption is just 9.7
litres per 100 km in the S6 and 9.8 litres 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 analysed by a
computer. If the computer detects intrusive sound elements, it broadcasts an anti-phase sound through
the speakers of the sound system. This sound combines with the intrusive sound and largely cancels it
Independent of this, active, electronically controlled engine bearings use targeted counter-pulses
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 centre 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 millimetres (0.39 in). It provides for highly
precise handling without compromising comfort. The powerful disc brakes, internally ventilated front
and rear, have matt black callipers with S6 logos. Audi offers carbon fibre-ceramic discs as an
The S6 and S6 Avant come standard with cast aluminium wheels in a unique five parallel-spoke
design. The 8.5 J x 19 wheels are shod with 255/40-series tyres. 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 accelerator 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.
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Body and design
The car body plays a large part in the dynamics of the Audi S6 and S6 Avant. They are unusually
lightweight because they are roughly 20 per cent aluminium. The Audi S6 has a curb weight of just
1,895 kilogrammes (4,177.76 lb), the S6 Avant 1,950 kilogrammes (4,299.01 lb). Both are much lighter
than their direct rivals.
At 4,931 millimetres (16.18 ft), the S6 is 16 millimetres (0.63 in) longer than the A6; with the
4,634-millimetre (15.2 ft) S6 Avant, the difference is 8 millimetres (0.31 in). Their single-frame
grille sports aluminium applications and chromed horizontal double bars. Another chrome strip adorns
the front bumper. The exterior mirrors feature aluminium-look housings, and the side sills are
The Audi 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 grey with an aluminium-look offset edge. The four
chrome-tipped tailpipes are elliptical. The S models are available in a choice of eight colours,
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 characterised by sporty elegance. There are S6 badges
on the key, the leather sport steering wheel with coloured stitching and aluminium 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
aluminium clasp the selector lever. The footrest, the pedals and the soft keys of the MMI operating
system shine in an aluminium-look finish.
Decorative inlays are available in a choice of four materials. Matt brushed aluminium is standard,
with carbon, fine grain ash natural brown or layered Beaufort oak as options. Customers can choose
from three colours – 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
The new Audi S6 and S6 Avant will be rolling into European dealer showrooms with a generous list
of standard equipment in northern 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 colour 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 litres (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 on-line 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.
Stay tuned to Next Car for details on Australian availability.