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Audi S6 and S7 2012 Review

It's a compact 4.0-litre, direct injection V8 with variable valve timing and variable lift.

Audi already has the biggest model range in Australia but has just bumped that up by two (more!). Two absolute pearls if you have a fat wallet to take the hit. 

And in a departure from usual Audi practice, the new $168,900 S6 and $179,900 S7 are fully equipped as standard - a big move away from the extensive options list usually offered with this brand.

Both cars are “limited editions” restricted to 50 apiece but we reckon that is an arbitrary number that could be increased if needed. 

This is a share-pair using the same platform with some aluminium body panels and same powertrain though the S6 is a four-door, five-seater sedan while the S7 is more your five- door, four-seat ‘coupe’ style car with a rear hatch (tailgate).

They are medium large in size weighing just under two tonnes and offer high-end performance, luxury, style and quality as well as a raft of Audi technology.

ENGINE

A V8 replaces the previous howling V10 but outpoints it everywhere thanks to technology. It's a compact 4.0-litre, direct injection V8 with variable valve timing and variable lift as well as two, twin-scroll turbochargers - effectively four turbos.

Most ancillaries including the turbos are in the engine vee. Internals are friction modified and it has auto cylinder deactivation when all eight pots aren't required, cutting back to four. Auto stop/start further improves fuel economy also helped by thermal management for optimum running at all times.

Fuel economy is rated at 9.6-litres/100km - exceptional when you consider there's some 309kW/550Nm burbling from under the bonnet. More importantly, maximum torque is from a mere 1400rpm. Drive is through a seven-speed dual clutch ‘manumatic' called S-tronic, then by Audi's quattro system to all four wheels with torque vectoring on the S6 thanks to its special sports differential.

Torque vectoring monitors wheel spin apportioning drive to wheels with the most grip. Get the picture about technology? It's the same throughout both cars - the communications systems, luxury kit and safety.

FEATURES

They use the 14 speaker Bose audio system in a noise cancelling mode so you can't tell when it's running on four cylinders.

Both ride on adaptive, four-mode air suspension and have imposing 20-inch alloys, digital TV, heads-up display, LED headlights with auto high beam, leather sports seats, electric park brake and reversing camera in their comprehensive features list. Lane departure warning and radar cruise control are two of only four options available.

DRIVING

We were fortunate enough to drive both S6 and S7 last week and found both to our liking, particularly the gorgeous fastback S7. It really stands out in a sea of conservative sedans and when you plant the right foot - look out. This engine offers superlative performance and in these two cars, is neatly harnessed by adept dynamics that give true sports sedan (adjustable) dynamics and drive feel.

They are sharp as a tack through tight stuff and smooth as silk out on the freeway. We wound down the windows often for some aural appreciation. Both cars are into the mid-4.0 second bracket for the 0-100kmh split - despite their bulk. They look powerful at rest with grey body hardware and pumped out guards. From inside, the experience is sumptuous luxury grand turismo style for all occupants.

VERDICT

Would give the full blown RS Audis a run for their money because of huge torque output at low revs. Sound is stirring, wieldy handling, controlled ride. Heavy. Some people get all the fun...

Audi S6 and S7

Price: from $168,900 ($179,900)
Engine: 4.0-litre, 8-cylinder, 309kW/550Nm
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch ‘manumatic' S-tronic
Thirst: 9.6-litres/100km

Pricing Guides

$58,520
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$54,450
Highest Price
$62,590

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Sportback 4.0 TFSI LE 4.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $54,450 – 62,590 2012 Audi S7 2012 Sportback 4.0 TFSI LE Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$57,850

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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