At the Frankfurt Motor Show last week, Audi managed to overload our senses with the release of their entire new S line-up. Included in this new armada of sporty Audis are the new S6, the S6 Avant, the S7 Sportback, and the S8.
As for the new Audi S6 Avant, the changes done on the car’s exterior and interior won’t get you to notice them at first glance. While there are subtle modifications, the most important difference between the new and old model - as well as all of the other new S-line models - is the new powertrain.
We’ve said it before with the other cars, but it certainly bears repeating. The new S6 Avant will carry Audi’s new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 406 lb/ft of torque, roughly the same numbers as that of the new S6. But the best part is that while it’s an impressive engine in its own right, the benefits don’t end with the increased numbers.
Find out more about the new Audi S6 Avant after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
Just like all of the newly-released S line Audi models, the S6 Avant doesn’t come with a whole lot of styling changes, but that doesn’t mean that nothing was done to improve on the car’s looks. Among the few additions given to the S-trim version of the 2012 A6 Avant include a new front grille design, a new bespoke bumper, side sills, and a set of 19" alloy wheels with an option to upgrade to a set of 20" wheels. Inside, the changes are only limited to a new set of sport seats, a new steering wheel, and a sporty bespoke trim.
All the new Audi S-line vehicles come with the same 4.0-liter TFSI twin-turbocharged V8 engine with varying degrees of tweaking. For the S6 Avant - as well as the S6 Saloon - the output hits 420 horsepower and 406 lb/ft of torque. This is a marked improvement from the 3.0-liter TFSI engine from the 2012 A6 Avant, which packed an output of 300 horsepower.
The new V8 engine is then mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and Audi’s all-wheel quattro drive system. It also boasts of a 0-62 mph time of 4.9 seconds, which is a tenth-of-a-second slower than the S6 Saloon and the S7 Sportback, while carrying the same electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
One of the more important aspects of the new V8 engine is its 25% reduction in fuel consumption. This is achieved with a smaller displacement than the last S6 Avant - that one packed a 5.2-liter V10 engine - and a new cylinder deactivation system that’s capable of shutting down four cylinders. These goodies allow the S6 Avant to return a fuel rating of 24 mpg.
Suspension and Brakes
As with all other Audi releases for the their S-line, the new S6 Avant comes with Audi’s adaptive air suspension with variable damping, allowing the car’s ride height to be lowered by 10 mm. On top of that, a set of large, internally ventilated disc brakes have been made available for the front and rear with optional carbon-fiber ceramic discs coming as an added option.
The 2012 Audi S6 Avant retails for €40,850, which is about $58,000 based on current exchange rates. While the price tag for the S6 Avant has yet to be released, you can be sure that it’s going to be significantly higher than that of the A6 Avant.
When looking for a competitor for the S6 Avant, you only need to look at the usual suspects. Among them include the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and BMW M5.
Before Audi decided to use a V8 engine for the S6 Avant, Mercedes was the only one using the smaller-displacement powertrain of the three. The former’s decision to change to V8 will be beneficial for the brand as the reduced displacement means that the car’s fuel efficiency rating increases without sacrificing any of the power.
Make no mistake; both Mercedes and BMW come with pretty compelling options. But the new Audi S6 Avant comes with that and more. It comes with a blend of sporty aggression that underscores the impressive new powertrain under its hood.
New powertrain comes with more power
Smaller engine displacement means better fuel efficiency
Design still looks good
Not a lot of aesthetic improvements from the A6 Avant
Top speed is electronically limited