Frankfurt preview: Audi S6, S7 Sportback and S8 models

A slew of S models
Sep 2, 2011
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Audi will use the Frankfurt Motor Show as the launch venue for three of its high-performance S vehicles: the S6, the S7 Sportback and the S8. What's the common denominator of all three models? They will all be powered by a newly-developed 4.0-liter V8 engine that puts out up to 520hp.

For the S6, Audi will reveal the S6 sedan and the S6 Avant--which is Audi-speak for estate or station wagon. Powering both S6 models is a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 420hp and 550Nm of torque and a seven-speed S tronic transmission. For the S6 sedan, zero-to-100kph acceleration time is 4.8 seconds while the same sprint can be taken in 4.9 seconds by the S6 Avant. Top speed of both models is an electronically limited 250kph.

Compared to the previous model's 5.2-liter V10 engine, the new V8 mill offers even sportier performance while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25 percent, with the S6 sedan running 10.309km/L while the S6 Avant takes 10.204km/L.

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The Audi S7 Sportback also uses the same 4.0-liter V8 engine and seven-speed S tronic transmission as the S6 sedan and the S6 Avant. As such, it produces the performance figures as the S6 Avant while consuming just as much fuel as the S6 sedan.

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For the S8, its 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine and eight-speed tiptronic transmission generates 520hp and 650Nm of torque to give it a zero-to-100kph sprint time of 4.2 seconds before it reaches its electronically limited top speed of 250kph.

Despite these impressive performance figures, the S8 averages 9.804km/L, 2.228km/L more than the previous generation's 5.2-liter V10 engine's consumption of 7.576km/L.

Helping to achieve these impressive fuel economy figures on the S6, the S7 Sportback and the S8 is the new "cylinder on demand" cylinder management system, which deactivates four of the eight cylinders when the car is under partial load for an efficiency gain that is particularly pronounced at moderate highway speeds.

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A novel feature that works with the cylinder management system is the active noise-cancellation system, which works when the V8 engine deactivates four cylinders under partial load. Utilizing four microphones integrated into the headliner, the system records the noise in the cabin and a computer analyzes it. If the computer detects intrusive sound elements, it broadcasts an antiphase sound through the speakers of the sound system. This sound then combines with the intrusive sound and largely cancels it out.

Other sound-deadening features used by the S model cars are the active, electronically-controlled engine bearings that use targeted counterpulses to attenuate low-frequency vibrations, a sound actuator, flaps in the exhaust system, the engine shroud and, in the S6 and S7 Sportback, a newly developed two-mass flywheel with a centrifugal force pendulum in the seven-speed S tronic transmission.

Audi's latest batch of S-badged vehicles will go on sale in 2012. Which model would you love to see in your garage?

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