Automotive News Audi S6 Test Drive

The all-new 2007 Audi S6 is a midsize sedan that you only dream of. It seamlessly blends V10 FSI engine power, six-speed sequential shifting, Quattro all-wheel-drive; unique front and rear suspension geometry, massive vented disc brakes, all riding on 19X9in. wheels and tires. All of this automotive high-technology is packaged in a sleek and sexy design, while you sit behind the sporty steering wheel surrounded by carbon fiber inlays, real aluminum trim, race-styled custom high-back, silk Nappa leather bucket seats, and soft-to-the-touch materials. There is competition from Cadillac CTS-V, BMW M5 and M-B E63 AMG, but none comes close in total.

The heart of the all-new S6 is its new 5.2 liter V10 engine with FSI technology taken from the race track. The V10 is the perfect engine, smaller and lighter than a V12 yet more powerful, using lighter pistons and connecting rods than a comparatively sized V8 engine. The V10 in the new S6 uses the FSI gasoline direct injection principal that permits a high compression ratio of 12.5:1 and a correspondingly effective combustion process. FSI technology has been successfully demonstrated its dynamic potential in auto racing-the Audi R8 race car is equipped with FSI and has won Le Mans 24 Hours five out of six times.
In the S6 the FSI technology is managed by a high advanced Bosch Motronic operating with two separate control units according to the master/slave principle.
Unlike conventional indirect manifold injection, the FSI common rail injection system injects the fuel directly into the combustion champers in precisely metered amounts, at a pressure of up to 1470psi. This results in an extremely homogenous fuel/air mixture, benefiting the efficiency of the combustion process. An internal cooling effect moreover takes place, allowing the engine’s basic compression ratio to be raised. A highly efficient combustion process is the result.
The powerful V10 engine has been optimized for high torque as well as high engine power. It generates a very healthy 435hp at 6,800rpm and 398lb.ft. of torque at engine speeds of just 3,000 to 4,000rpm. Over 90% of the torque is available as low as 2,300rpm. The V10 has instant throttle response and very smooth. It also produces a throaty rumble under load. It is highly refined with low vibration and plenty of refinement. The new S6 blasts from a standstill to 60mph in just 5.1sec.
The entire drivetrain of the Audi S6 has been designed from scratch. The engine’s power is translated into locomotion by a six-speed Tiptronic which adapts to your driving style by means of an intelligent feature. It performs this as a function of the momentary lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces and the amount of engine power that is currently being called up. the software program that controls the Tiptronic electronically has been optimized to deliver more dynamic gear changes, the gear changes are noticeably swifter in the one-touch mode in particular. You can call up the automatic’s ‘S’ sport mode via the console shift lever-the shift characteristics here are set for high engine speeds. It is also possible to change gears manually in both modes by means of the aluminum-look shift paddles that are located behind the steering wheel rim. The gear selector lever or gate has another side gate for + by pushing the shifter forward, or –by pushing the shifter backward. The selector lever has an aluminum look and-like the steering wheel-is trimmed in smooth leather.
The servotronic speed-sensitive, rack & pinion steering system with its direct ratio makes a noticeable contribution to the agile handling of the new S6. It always feels solid with a great feel for the road with precise and quick response to your inputs.
Like all high-performance Audis, the new Audi S6 takes Quattro permanent four-wheel drive as its basis. It virtues are already widely acknowledged: superior traction in all driving conditions.
A self-locking center differential, installed longitudinally in the driveline, distributes power between the front and rear wheels, always according to the prevailing situation. The normal split is 40% to the front, and 60% to the rear. According to the situation, it can divert up to 85% of power to the rear wheels or as much as 65% to the front wheels.
If a wheel on one axle spins (wheel slip), it is moreover brought under control by the Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) which applies the brakes. This newly configured package of technical features guarantees a further increase in agility, particularly spontaneous turn-in response, and even greater driving stability.
The electronic stabilization program shuts down in two stages: when the ESP button is pressed once, only the ASR traction control system is deactivated; the ESP remains active, to stabilize the car if needed. If the ESP button is pressed for longer than three seconds, all ESP functions are switched off. Only the electronic differential lock and the ABS system now remain active. Pressing the ESP button again switches all ESP functions on again.
As a result, the desired degree of electronic assistance can be determined by you via the ESP button. Without ASR traction control, the degree of stability can, within certain limits, be determined by you via the throttle. Drivers with sporty ambitions who may wish to probe the outer limits of the S6’s handling can in addition completely deactivate the ESP functions with the second stage and let the rear slide out a little when entering sharp corners and curving roads at faster than recommended speeds.
The dynamic suspension layout of the new S6 is based on a technology that has already demonstrated its sporty caliber in the most challenging of conditions: the refined four-link front suspension acknowledged as a typical Audi feature and the self-tracking trapezoidal-link rear suspension carried over from the A6. This combination gives the S6 one of the most complex and efficient rear suspension layouts on the market. In terms of its kinematic behavior, this technical feature provides a taste of the out-and-out sporty, active characteristics of the S6. As a reflection of its explicitly sporty character, the suspension settings of the S6 have been made firmer, and at the same time assure a high standard of comfort for long-distance driving.
It is so fantastic to drive! So much fun and excitement when you want it, so relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable, when you want it.
The entire layout is designed in such a way as to produce a neutral response with a moderate tendency to understeer when the very high limits of handling and adhesion are approached.
The chassis is constructed using a multi-material concept. The principal components of the chassis feature lightweight aluminum construction, resulting in decisively lower unsprung masses. The targeted use of sheet steel, on the other hand, achieves optimum rigidity wherever it is required.
The Audi S6 comes standard with big, 19X9in. cast aluminum wheels of a 5-arm wing design. The wide performance tires are 265/35R19in. Continental Contact radials.
A strong brake system assures supreme braking performance and decelerates the car quickly and in control even under high loads. The S6’s four large discs are ventilated, the discs up front measuring 15.2in. and 13in. in the rear. The front four-piston calipers are painted black with titanium grey supportive plate with an S-specific S6 emblem. Standard ABS, Electronic Brake Proportioning and Brake Assist enhance braking power and control.
The all-new 2007 Audi S6 not only is very powerful with outstanding handling characteristics; it also looks great from any angle. It looks even more supremely athletic out on the roads-but without the slightest hint of aggression. The most striking differences compared to the A6 are to be found up front. The eye-catching single-frame grille displays the S6 emblem, and its vertical aluminum-look struts are of a double design by way of further differentiation. There is an air inlet beneath the grille and a spoiler lip at the front end providing addition downforce. Another innovation in the front bumper is a pioneering development in terms of both road safety and style: the separate LED daytime running lights, each of which consists of five white light-emitting diodes.
When these light stripes on turned on, wow! The effect is distinctive Audi S6, and the low-down position of the lights gives the car a dynamically flat appearance.
To make this design work, the front fog lights have been incorporated into the main headlights, the covers of which are tinted grey. Bi-Xenon adaptive headlights are standard. The rear light units feature LED brake lights. The S6’s rear also features a color-contrasting diffuser in the bumper for turbulence-free air routing, and four ellipsoidal tailpipes from the free-flowing dual exhaust system and throaty growl.
In the same way as the body design, the interior of the S6 reflects a character of dynamic elegance and high quality-from the organically flowing cockpit to the integrated MMI (multi media interface) operating concept. I’m not a great fan of the dial that does everything because it takes your eyes off the road to be able to change the setting for most of the car’s system. I’m a big fan of the button for quick and easy changes to your current setting. It is safe and sound.
The luxurious interior features just what you would expect from a world-class performance sedan. The new generation of sport seats have integral head restraints and pronounced lateral supports and are upholstered in Silk Nappa leather. The front seats are heated and electrically adjustable in 12-directions including power lumbar support. The rear seats are equipped with L-shaped head restraints affording a better view to the rear. The front seats have the S6 badge embossed on the seat backs.
The three-spoke multifunction leather sports steering wheel with the S logo is a typical example of the hand-crafted character that Audi so often achieves in its attention to detail: it is trimmed in smooth leather and displays a color-contrasting double stitch with an exclusive seam pattern. The reach and height of the wheel can be power adjusted, including an automatic entry and exit aid. The shift paddles, which are mounted to the steering wheel have an aluminum-look finish. The knob on the transmission selector lever is also finished in aluminum and trimmed with smooth leather. So nice to the touch.
The standard trim inserts are grey birch wood with carbon fiber insert optional. The material on the instrument panel represents a further innovation in the S6: it correspondingly exhibits an anthracite-colored metallic surface characteristic. Anthracite is also the predominant color featured on the other sections of the instrument panel. The center console on the other hand is black. All of the material is soft to the touch.
The newly styled instrument cluster features two mechanical designed pods with a 200mph speedometer, an 8,000rpm tachometer and small gauges for fuel and engine coolant temperature. The instrument needles are in white and its numbers use characteristic S-style italics; the dials are in dark grey. An S6 logo also adorns the dials of the tachometer. All of your needed information is easy to see in the color Driver Information System in the middle. You receive information about all of your MMI setting on a high-resolution 7in. color display. The MMI also operates the Bose Surround Sound system with 6-disc CD changer and 12-speakers. Operation of the Bluetooth car phone is also via the MMI. Climate control is dual zone up front with air quality and humidity sensors. The light and rain sensor and the cruise control system likewise play a part in this.
Standard equipment not already mentioned above include remote keyless entry, push button start/stop, power glass sunroof, self-dimming rearview mirror, high-pressure headlight washers, all express power windows/door locks, dual map lamps with theater dimming, heated, power-remote/folding/heated side mirrors, grab handles above each door, thick-pile carpeting with front/rear floor mats, and door kick plates featuring the S6 logo. Options include the Phantom black pearl effect custom paint on my test S6, and the Technology Package with Voice Recognition, Advanced Key, Advanced Parking rear TV, and the Audi Navigation System.
Standard safety features include driver & front passenger front airbags, driver & front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, SIDEGUARD inflatable curtain airbags, LATCH system, front and rear 3-point safety belts with automatic pretensioning and force limiters up front, side impact protection, front and rear crumple zones, anti-theft alarm, front and rear fog lamps, tire pressure monitoring system, and LED daytime running lights.
After a week behind the wheel of the all-new 2007 Audi S6 I have to say that it is one of the best midsize high performing luxury sport sedans on the market, and is reasonably priced starting at $$72,000.00. The only item I would add would be aluminum-faced foot pedals and I’m sure that they will be standard in the eagerly anticipated new RS6.
Price MSRP: $72,000 Invoice: $66,148
Type: Midsize Sedan
Where Built: Germany
EPA Class: Midsize Cars

Length: 193.5 in. Width: 79.2 in.
Height: 57 in. Wheel Base: 112.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 4.3 in. Curb Weight: 4486 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5666 lbs.
Front Head Room: 37.5 in. Front Shoulder Room: 57.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 37.8 in. Rear Shoulder Room: 55.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 41.3 in. Rear Leg Room: 36.9 in.
Luggage Capacity: 15.9 cu. ft. Maximum Seating: 5
Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 10 Base Engine Size: 5.2 liters
Base Engine Type: V10 Horsepower: 435 hp
Max Horsepower: 6800 rpm Torque: 398 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 3000 rpm Drive Type: AWD
Turning Circle: 39 ft.
Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway)
Automatic: : 15 mpg / 21 mpg
Range in Miles: (City/Highway)
Automatic: 316.5 mi. / 443.1 mi.

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