Audi and Bentley have jointly developed a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 direct-injection engine that will be powering four of Audi all-wheel-drive S models at the Frankfurt Motor Show. These new S models include the successors to the S8, S7 and S6 sedans and the S6 Avant. All these models, except for the S6 Avant, will arrive in the U.S.
These models are expected to be launched in the late spring of 2012. The S8 replaces the predecessor’s naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 with the most powerful version of Audi's twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine. It can reach peak power of as high as 512 hp, with torque raised to 479 pounds-feet.
The boost in reserves is distributed to all four wheels via a specially adapted eight-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox that aids automatic stop/start and brake-energy recuperation. The sedan can go from zero to 62mph in only 4.2 seconds and it has a limited maximum speed of 155mph, similar to all of Audi's new S models.
But even with the overall improvement in performance, the S8 is more efficient, partly because of a new cylinder-on-demand function that turns off four of the engine's eight cylinders on partial throttle loads. It is fitted with an active-noise-cancellation system that suppresses engine and wind noise to achieve a ride that is smoother and much quieter.
The cancellation setup features four microphones built into the headliner that continually records the noise inside the cabin. The “intrusive elements” are determined from the result and when necessary, an antiphase sound is played from the speakers to cancel out this noise.
A less powerful version of the V-8 powertrain will be offered in Audi's new S6 sedan and the S7 that has an output of 414 hp and 406 pounds-feet. The S models will also be fitted with Audi's seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox instead of the older six-speed automatic that the predecessors had used. In addition, its all-wheel-drive system has been reworked.
The Audi S6 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds and the S6 Avant in 4.9 seconds, while the top speed is limited at 155 mph or 250 km/h on both models.
Power from the engine of new Audi S7 is sent to all wheels through the seven-speed S tronic gearbox and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, which features a self-locking center differential and torque vectoring. Audi offers an optional sport differential that could send power in variable amounts between the rear wheels. As standard, the new S7 is provided with adaptive air suspension sport and the Audi drive select dynamics system. It rides on 19-inch wheels, which reveal large, internally ventilated disc brakes on the front and on the rear. These brakes feature matt black calipers with S7 logos.
Optional elements include carbon fiber-ceramic discs, 19- and 20-inch wheels, and dynamic steering that could vary its ratio as a function of speed. The new Audi S7 features a long engine hood, along wheelbase and short overhangs that all result to perfect proportions while its low, dynamically tensioned roof line gives the car a coupe-like appearance.
Interestingly, a rear spoiler extends from the rear hatch when the S7 is running on highway speeds to enhance stability. On the other hand, the range-topping S7 Sportback -- measuring 4.980 mm (16.34 ft.) – features a number of subtle yet striking elements that signify its top status. These include elements on the front bumper, the single-frame grille, the side mirrors and the sills, as well as on the rear bumper, the diffuser and the tailpipes.
Moreover, the body of the car is laden with S and V8 T badges. Customers could choose from nine available colors for the exterior, like the exclusive Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect. Inside, the new S7 reveals its sporty nature through details like the S badges, the S7 logo in the illuminated door sill trims and the red ring on the start-stop button, as well as the aluminum shift paddles and the aluminum strip on the S tronic selector lever.
In addition, the MMI operating system features soft keys with aluminum-look finish while its footrest and pedals are made from stainless steel. As standard, the seats are upholstered in Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, although customers may avail of the Milano and Valcona leather grades. Aluminum decorative inlays come as standard although carbon, layered Beaufort oak and natural fine grain ash are also available. Color options for instrument panel, carpet, seats and headlining include black, goa beige and lunar silver.
As standard, the S7 features height-adjustable S sport seats with power lumbar supports, while comfort seats and regular seats are optional. S logos are embossed on the backrests. Audi provided the S7 with xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, as standard, as well as a driver information system with color display and the MMI radio plus audio and operating system. Optional features include all high-end extras as well as all driver assistance and infotainment systems. Audi expected to commence delivery of the S7 in spring 2012.