Powered-up trio debut with 48V TDI powertrains for Europe, with petrol power destined for Australia, the US, Asia and Middle East.
Audi Sport has revealed the S6, S6 Avant and S7 Sportback, ahead of a European market launch later in the year.
UPDATE, 11/4/19: Audi Australia has confirmed we'll be getting the TFSI versions of the S6 and S7 Down Under, rather than the TDI models that will be available in Europe. See bottom of article for details
Interestingly, the company has decided to draw upon turbo-diesel power in all three vehicles. However, the USA, Asia and Middle East will get a petrol version.
Outputs are rated at 257kW and 700Nm – the latter available between 2500 and 3100rpm – allowing for a 5.0-second sprint from 0-100 in the S6 sedan, while the S6 Avant and S7 Sportback take 5.1 seconds.
Top: Audi S6 Avant, Bottom: Audi S6 sedan
By comparison, the outgoing model's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 develops 331kW and 550Nm, dashing from 0-100 in 4.4 seconds (S6 sedan).
Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h in all three cars, with combined fuel consumption rated between 6.2-6.5L/100km (WLTP) depending on body variant and wheel option.
Drive is sent to the tarmac via Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed 'tiptronic' automatic transmission.
Delving into the engineering aspect a little bit, Audi says the electric powered compressor (EPC) "provides a repeatable boost function when accelerating", pre-empting and negating turbo lag in the process.
The company claims the EPC can respond in under 250 milliseconds, with a peak output of 7kW and a maximum speed of 70,000rpm.
Applying the same concept used in the Audi SQ7, the EPC technology works at engine speeds up to 1650rpm, and then supports the exhaust turbocharger wherever there is insufficient energy gas for spontaneous torque build up.
Meanwhile, the 48V MHEV system incorporates a belt alternator starter (BAS) and 10Ah lithium-ion battery.
The BAS is connected to the vehicle's crankshaft, and can recuperate up to 8kW of energy during deceleration, which it stores in the battery pack. This allows the S6 and S7's idle start/stop function to operate from 22km/h, and coast for up to 40 seconds with the combustion engine deactivated when conditions allow.
Audi says the set-up can save up to 0.4L/100km, while the 3.0 TDI are homologated to Euro 6d temp emissions standards.
Other mechanical highlights include the option of all-wheel steering, which turns the rear wheels up to five degrees opposite to the front up to 60km/h to improve low-speed manoeuvrability, and up to two degrees in the same direction as the front above 60km/h to enhance directional stability.
There's also standard damping control, complemented by a 20mm lower ride height (10mm for the S7) in the form of S sport suspension.
Adaptive air suspension is available as an option, as is a sport differential on the rear axle. Buyers can also opt for carbon-ceramic brakes – 400mm front and 350mm rear steel discs are standard, fitted with six-piston calipers up front.
Filling the arches are 20-inch wheels as standard, with 21-inch units optional. The standard rims are shod in 255/40 rubber, which feature 'torus absorbers' (foam layers bonded into the tyres) that "eliminate annoying droning frequencies" to provide "high acoustic comfort despite their size".
As for the rest of the design, the S6 sedan and Avant along with the S7 Sportback all get aggressive, yet subtle body kits with key 'S' design cues – namely the quad exhaust tips sticking out of the rear diffuser.
Bits of aluminium and chrome accent the exterior, while the sportier bumpers and lowered ride height lend an athletic stance for all three models.
Inside, a range of options are available depending on the customer's tastes, including some model-specific trims and finishers to remind you that you're driving an 'S' model.
Available options include sports seats embossed with the Audi 'S' logo, multi-adjustable contour seats with ventilation and massage functions, leather/Alcantara or 'Valcona' top-end leather upholstery, the choice of black/grey/red colourways, along with aluminium and wood trim inserts.
Fitted as standard regardless of model, meanwhile, are Audi's 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit driver's instrument display, four-zone climate control, and the flagship MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system.
Pricing in Europe kicks off at €76,500 ($120,473.09) for the S6 sedan, €79,000 ($123,310.11) for the S6 Avant, and €82,750 ($130,315.66) for the S7 Sportback.
Meanwhile, the United States, Asia and Middle East will get tailored versions of the S6 and S7, powered by the company's 2.9 TFSI turbocharged V6 petrol engine, making a healthy 450hp (335kW) and 600Nm.
Like the TDI models offered in Europe, the S6 and S7 TFSI destined for the US, Asian and Middle Eastern markets will be augmented with an EPC and 48V MHEV technology "for more performance and efficiency", though acceleration times and fuel figures haven't been confirmed.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Shaun Cleary, Audi Australia's manager for corporate communications, confirmed our market will get the TFSI petrol versions, not the diesels bound for Europe.
"We’re expecting the TFSI models to arrive in Australia from early 2020. We don’t have any plans to bring the TDI model, currently," he said.
Full pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to launch. Stay tuned.
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