Audi, just as most other car makers are doing, is down-sizing its cylinder count and upping its reliance on forced induction as it seeks to cut emissions and improve fuel economy (well, official figures, anyway), which has meant the end of the 5.2 litre V10 in its ‘S’ models.
The replacement for the V10 in the old S6 and S8 (and arriving in the new S7) is the new bi-turbo, 4.0 litre V8 shared with Bentley and offered in a variety of power levels. It comes complete with cylinder deactivation and stop start to massage those official figures to within an inch of fantasy, with the aim of keeping drivers, eco-mentalists and legislators appeased.
In the new S6 – and S6 Avant – the new V8 delivers 414bhp and 405lb/ft of torque with a 0-62mph of 4.6 seconds (4.7 seconds for the Avant) and a top speed of the usual 155mph. It also offers, so say the official figures, 29.4mpg (29.1mpg in the Avant) and 226g/km CO2. The new S6 will cost from £53,995 and the new S6 Avant from £56,050.
In the new Audi S7 the new V8 arrives in exactly the same configuration as on the S6 and S6 Avant, is a smidge slower to 62mph at 4.7 seconds, averages 29.4mpg and emits 225g/km. The new Audi S7 Sportback will cost from £61,995.
Audi’s highest power (for now) version of the new V8 is reserved for the 2012 Audi S8 which gets 513bhp and 479lb/ft of torque. That’s enough to push the enormous S8 to 62mph in a very swift 4.2 seconds. Despite all that power Audi claim 28mpg and emissions of 235g/km.
That’s compared to the old V10 S8 which had 444bhp and averaged 21mpg with emissions of 319g/km. So much more power and performance with better economy and emissions The impressive S8 will cost from £77,900.
The new V8 is impressive and the performance is appealing, as are the emission and economy figures. The trouble is, the figures are more an indication of how good Audi are at gaming the official figures than any indication of what you’ll get in the real world. In the real world – assuming you’ve bought an ‘S” Audi for its performance – you’ll never see the right side of 20mpg.
But you will have fun.
Audi S6 and S6 Avant (2012) Photos
2012 Audi S8 Photos
Audi S7 (2012) Photos