Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Audi Revamps the S Models for 2013


The latest-generation S models will debut in two weeks at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show and will go on sale in Europe next spring.

The big news is under the hood, where a new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, with stop-start and cylinder-deactivation technologies, replaces the previous naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10.

In the S6 and S7, the 4.0 TSFI is rated at 414 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, compared with 435 hp and 398 lb-ft in the previous S6. With power delivered to all four wheels through a seven-speed S tronic gearbox, 0-60 acceleration is trimmed to less than 4.8 seconds in the S6 sedan and to less than 4.9 seconds in the S6 Avant and the S7. Top speed, as usual, is electronically governed to 155 mph.

In the flagship S8, the 4.0 TSFI is boosted to 512 hp and 479 lb-ft, compared with 450 hp and 398 lb-ft in the previous S8. With power flowing through an eight-speed Tiptronic, 0-60 acceleration is slashed to less than 4.2 seconds, from 4.9 seconds for the older 5.2 V10 version.

Performance isn't the whole story either. Average fuel economy climbs to 24 mpg in the new S6 and S7 and to 23 mpg in the S8.

The S models share some common elements, notably sport-tuned adaptive air suspension with variable damping, larger wheels and tires (19- and 20-inch rims on the S6/S7, 20s and 21s on the S8), subtle visual enhancements and an array of cutting-edge driver-assistance systems.

Among the options are a rear sport differential (standard on the S8), carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs and high-end Bang & Olufsen audio systems.

The cockpits also receive special treatment, with generous applications of leather and brushed aluminum, as well as a choice of real wood inlays.

Audi says all of the options on the standard A6, A7 and A8 also are available on the S versions.

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