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The S Factor.

Byline: MIKE TORPEY

AUDI has lifted the lid on four new high performance models due to hit the streets later this year.

The S6 and S6 Avant, S7 Sportback and S8 share a new V8 bi-turbo petrol engine featuring cylinder on demand technology, the S6 models and S7 Sportback taking the unit in 420PS form and the S8 using a 520PS version.

In the S6 duo, the new 4.0-litre powerpack can catapult the saloon from 0-62mph in a fleeting 4.8 seconds and the estate in 4.9 seconds, and on to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph.

The 4.0 TFSI also brings Audi's downsizing strategy to the highperformance class.

Compared to the 5.2-litre V10, it offers even stronger performance while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25 per cent.

Average fuel economy is 29.1mpg in the S6 and 28.8mpg in the Avant, well above that of the competition, and the power is channeled through a fast-shifting, seven-speed S tronic transmission to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

As for styling, the exterior mirrors on both cars feature aluminum-look housings and while the S6 saloon has a spoiler on the boot lid, the Avant boasts a roof spoiler.

Inside, there are S6 badges on the key, leather sports steering wheel and the instruments while the lit door sill trims and the displays for the MMI and the driver info system also highlight the S6 logo on startup.

The S7 Sportback uses the same engine as the S6 and S6 Avant and, while acceleration to 62mph is 4.9 seconds, its Combined fuel figure is 29.1mpg.

Much of the efficiency is down to a hybrid aluminum construction which weighs around 15 per cent less than a comparable all-steel body.

It is also fitted as standard with adaptive air suspension sport and the Audi drive select dynamics system, 19-inch wheels and black brake calipers stamped with S7 logos at the front. Carbon fibre-ceramic discs are available as an option.

The S8 is the new head of the Audi S model family, the engine in the luxury saloon generating 520PS for blistering performance via its 8-speed tiptronic gearbox. The sprint from zero to 62mph takes just 4.2 seconds.

It also averages 27.7mpg, a considerable gain over its predecessor. All four new S models will be shown at this month's Frankfurt Motor Show.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2011
Words:399
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