More S's Than An Angry Snake: Audi Debuting S Models in Frankfurt

By Matthew Askari | August 30, 2011
The red carpet is set to be rolled out at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, with contrast-stitched S-logo badges, if Audi can get its hands on it. The automaker plans to unveil three new S models—the performance-inspired line of its already impressive cars—the S6, S7, and S8. In addition to more performance, the S models also feature well appointed and finely accented interiors. Compared to the previous generation vehicles, the new S's that Audi is unveiling are generally more fit, equipped with smaller, more efficient engines and technology that boosts output while saving dramatically on fuel compared to the previous generations. Additionally, the trio has been on an aluminum diet which has pared off excess weight making the new models leaner and meaner.
S6 and S6 Avant

The S6 and S6 Avant, the "everyday sports cars," are performance inspired sedans, Audi's counter to the BMW 550i or Mercedes–Benz E550. The 2012 S6's will feature Audi's new 4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine. The new engine produces an imposing 420 horsepower, made more impressive by its fuel economy, delivering an average of 24 miles per gallon. Enthusiasts will appreciate the tight suspension and precise handling, but some comfort will be sacrificed in everyday driving situations. The S6 Avant is especially practical with almost 60 cubic feet of cargo room. The S6's come standard with the goods: Xenon headlights; LED lights in back; an electromechanical parking brake; color information display; Bluetooth; and ten speakers for the sound system. Top of the range options are also available including a convenience key, the parking assistance system and climate-controlled massage seats; additional tech options include a hard drive and 15-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system.


Warning: The Audi S7's attractiveness may hinder my objectivity. It's a car that you want to keep staring at, even if it's noticed you staring. The S7 is muscular but not rude, its curves suggest a delicate finesse without being too feminine. To put it bluntly, the S7 has a good body. Like its siblings it's label conscious, with S-logos and badges conspicuous throughout, from the headrests and door sills to the brake calipers. It features the same new 4-liter, twin-turbo V-8 mated to a seven-speed S-tronic transmission, all riding on Audi's Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Like the S6's, you can go 24 miles on a gallon. The interior features high quality materials and styling that help define its sportier side. Stainless steel pedals, fine leather and a variety of decorative options compliment the S7. The hatch opens and closes electronically as a standard feature, and the meager 19 cubic feet of storage can be expanded by folding the seats down, giving you nearly 50.


A large sedan that can fit the whole family, offer top of the line technology, out-muscle a muscle car, deliver well crafted luxury, and hit the ground running with a 0-60 of about 4 seconds, the S8 is a unique beast. A well-appointed, dapper beast. On Audi's new 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine the S8 rips out 520 horsepower while almost implausibly getting 23 miles to the gallon. A remarkable improvement over the previous generation that delivered 17 mpg on a 5.2-liter V-10. The S8 features Audi's "cylinder on demand" system that allows it to deactivate half of the engine cylinders allowing it to be more efficient. The eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive give a sporty aspect to the large sedan. The S8 features a comprehensive list of top-notch standard features. Soft Valcona leather and massage-function seats come standard, as does the ambient lighting package and convenience key. Many driver-assist safety features are also available.'s Take: Audi's strategy of downsizing their engines seems to be in line with the industry. Thankfully it appears the automaker has kept performance on the radar and the delivery of more efficient, but still sporty, high-performance vehicles is welcome. The new S models offer premium versions of already premium vehicles, but what we're most excited about is the S7. We wouldn't be surprised if the S7 stole the lion's share of the buzz in Frankfurt. Source: Audi