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.