Audi has revealed four new four-wheel-drive S models that will go on sale in early spring 2012. The cars received their first public airing at Frankfurt motor show today.
The rapid new models are the S8, S6 saloon, S6 Avant and the eagerly anticipated S7. All will use the company’s latest twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, developed in partnership with Bentley.
Leading the charge on both pure performance and price is the plush S8. Due on sale in the UK next spring at a price of around £90,000, it eschews the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 of its predecessor for the most powerful version of Audi’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. Power is up by 69bhp to 513bhp, with torque rising by 80lb ft to 479lb ft on a band of revs stretching from 1700rpm to 5500rpm.
The increased reserves are channelled to all four wheels through a specially adapted eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, which supports auto stop-start and brake energy recuperation, and a Torsen torque-sensing all-wheel drive system.
The 1975kg luxury saloon has a claimed 0-62mph time of just 4.2sec — down significantly from the 5.1sec of its predecessor. Top speed, like that of all of Audi’s new S models, is limited to 155mph. In spite of the increase in performance, Audi claims its new flagship saloon provides a 6.3mpg improvement in combined cycle consumption, at 27.7mpg. That’s due in part to a new cylinder-on-demand function that deactivates four of the engine’s eight cylinders on part-throttle loads.
Further technological highlights on the S8 include a new active noise cancellation (ANC) system that is used to suppress engine and wind noise. ANC consists of four microphones integrated into the headlining that constantly record the noise within the cabin. It is then analysed for what Audi describes as “intrusive elements” and, when required, an anti-phase sound is played through the speakers to cancel it out.
Also making an appearance in Frankfurt was the S6 saloon, S6 Avant and S7, each running a less highly tuned version of Audi’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, which produces 414bhp and 406lb ft from 1400rpm to 5300rpm.
This represents a 14bhp reduction on the old S6 saloon’s and S6 Avant’s naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10, although torque has increased by 7lb ft and is now developed 1600rpm lower in the rev range.
These new S models also adopt Audi’s seven-speed double-clutch S-tronic gearbox in place of the older six-speed automatic. Other new developments include a reworked Torsen four-wheel drive system, which, like that of the S8, features a self-locking centre differential and torque vectoring.
The S6 saloon, S6 Avant and S7 also receive Audi’s new cylinder-on-demand tech and active noise cancellation as standard.