August 23, 1999

Audi completes its S series

It all started on the rally scene. The concept of Audi's S models is deeply rooted in the marque's motor sport activities, which caused a sensation in the early 1980s. With extremely powerful five-cylinder turbocharged engines and permanent all-wheel drive the "Rally quattros" shook off all their competitors. The 1982 manufacturers' world rally championship, the 1983 drivers' world championship, a hat-trick victory in the 1984 Monte Carlo Rally and victory in the manufacturers' and drivers' world championships in the same season were notable milestones in the marque's motor sport history. In 1985 the world of motor sport had its attention drawn for the first time to an "Audi S". This was the Audi Sport quattro S1 in which Audi driver Michèle Mouton won the legendary Pikes Peak hillclimb in Colorado, USA. Walter Röhrl and Bobby Unser repeated this spectacular Audi success in the two years that followed.

At Audi the proud "S" symbol stands today for the most sporting and powerful models within each Audi model line. High engine output, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, supreme road presence and elegant, sporting style are characteristics common to all "S" models. It has been Audi's declared aim with the S models to satisfy the demands of enthusiastic drivers who expect high performance, marked agility and thus a considerable bonus in driving pleasure from their cars.

In the luxury class the Audi S8 with its 4.2 litre eight-cylinder engine, five valves per cylinder and 265 kW (360 bhp) offers its driver the kind of vehicle performance associated with a high-performance sports car. The Audi S4, also available as an Avant, competes in its class with a 2.7 litre biturbo five-valve engine which, thanks to an output of 195 kW (265 bhp), also gives it typical sports-car performance. The compact class now also has an S model, the Audi S3 with 1.8 litre five-valve turbocharged engine developing 154 kW (210 bhp). At the IAA '99 in Frankfurt, Audi will be unveiling its S6 saloon and Avant - thus completing its range of S models.

The new Audi S6 and S6 Avant

The new Audi S6 is based on the A6 4.2 quattro, which has already established itself most successfully on the market. The Audi S6 combines this model's reserved character with the striking attributes of a sports touring saloon and thus makes an unmistakable statement of its supremacy.

The Audi S6 radiates an air of self-confidence. The body, lowered by 10 mm in conjunction with the sports suspension, the 17" cast aluminium wheels of Avus design and the boldly flared wheel arches are clear hints at the performance which the Audi S6 brings to the road. The bold nose section is notable for the granite-grey radiator grille specific to the S series, with its vertical ribs and chrome frame in the hood and bumper.

With its modified front-end and floor pan structures, the Audi A6 4.2 quattro already had enough space to accommodate the V8 engine, 5-speed tiptronic transmission and special exhaust system. The side members were extended by 80 mm for this purpose. The car's overall length went up by 37 mm. The same changes apply to the Audi S6, which also has an aluminium hood and aluminium front side panels to save weight.

Xenon headlights and fog lamps are standard. The front and rear bumpers and the side sills are painted entirely in the body colour. Typical S-series features include polished aluminium outside mirror housings, aluminium door sill trims and striking emblems on the radiator grille and at the rear of the car. The picture is rounded off by powerful, exposed single tailpipes of stainless steel on left and right.

Power under control

The Audi A6 4.2 quattro has already convinced drivers with its authoritative performance and its safe and agile handling. That there is still potential for dynamic improvement is demonstrated by the Audi S6, with its even higher engine output and pulling power, once again transmitted with supreme reliability to the road.

With the same displacement the Audi S6's V8 five-valve engine develops a maximum output of 250 kW (340 bhp) at 7,000 rpm. Maximum torque has gone up to 420 Nm at 3,400 rpm, with almost 300 Nm available from only slightly above idle speed. These values emphasise the engine's sporting character. To achieve it, Audi's engine design experts have adopted a whole package of technical measures.

A retuned magnesium variable intake manifold with two-stage length adjustment permits the realisation of all the objectives associated with a sporting engine, such as high power output and a generous flow of torque. The longer air intake path ensures high torque even at low speeds, the shorter one enables full power output to be developed at high speeds.

Camshafts with greater lift and modified timing ensure optimum cylinder filling, with the inlet valve timing matched to the engine's relevant operating point by a hydraulic camshaft actuator. At higher engine speeds an additional vacuum-controlled flap opens in the air cleaner housing and ensures that the engine can "breathe" more freely. The revised exhaust system with reduced back pressure creates a pleasant, sporting acoustic and has a high gas flow rate.

The sporting character of the Audi S6 can be expressed in figures: acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes a mere 5.7 seconds and the 200 km threshold is reached after only 21.7 seconds. These remarkable figures are also due to the extraordinarily good power-weight ratio of 6.9 kilograms per kilowatt. In view of the generous size and immense performance potential of the eight-cylinder engine, a fuel consumption of 14.1 litres per 100 kilometres (total consumption according to 93/116/EC) can be considered as reasonable.

The Audi S6 and S6 Avant are both available with a 6-speed manual gearbox or with 5-speed tiptronic transmission.

Sporting aluminium suspension

The aluminium suspension of the Audi S6 has been carefully tuned to suit the car's sporting character. The aluminium construction principles already used in the A6 4.2 quattro reduce unsprung weight and simultaneously take into account the high standards of journey comfort, dynamic progress and stability which a car such as this must satisfy.

On the Audi S6 further weight reductions have been achieved by the use of new aluminium subframes at the front and rear. The rear-axle subframe is a welded structure made up of cast elements and extruded sections. The aluminium subframes result in a total weight reduction of 10.8 kilograms compared with the use of steel.

In view of this model's supreme driving dynamics, high cornering speeds and high directional stability, the chassis of the Audi S6 has been lowered by a further 10 mm compared with the A6 4.2 quattro.

Despite the lowered body and shorter spring travel, progressive-rate springs ensure well-balanced performance from the suspension. The Audi S6 is firm, as one would expect a high-performance sports car to be, but it none the less succeeds in offering its occupants the true feeling of riding in a high-quality saloon model. More rigid suspension pivots at the front and rear combined with a more direct steering ratio ensure an active, precise steering response.

The Audi S6 has 17" cast aluminium wheels of Avus design with 255/40 ZR 17 tyres as standard equipment.

The braking system is designed to meet high-performance needs: ventilated discs on all four wheels, aluminium calipers, a tandem booster servo and HP2 high-performance brakes with exceptional fade resistance at the front. In addition the Audi S6 is equipped with the entire range of advanced control electronics: electronic stability program (ESP), electronic differential lock (EDL), traction control (ASR) and anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD). Combined with quattro permanent all-wheel drive this results in the highest possible level of driving dynamics and road safety.

quattro translates power into dynamic driving

In the Audi S6 the enthusiastic driver has access to almost inexhaustible power resources which the quattro permanent all-wheel drive transmits with supreme reliability to the road.

Particularly on cars fitted with a very powerful engine like the Audi S6, the quattro driveline represents a vital gain in driving dynamics, mobility and safety. Given optimum road-surface conditions with the usual friction values between road and tyre, the power of the Audi S6's engine is distributed in a 50 : 50 ratio between the front and rear axles. However, any low-grip situation threatening wheel slip at the front or rear leads to an immediate redistribution of engine power. This is achieved by the Torsen centre differential with its automatic locking action. Depending on road surface conditions and the driving situation, it transmits up to 70 percent of the power to the axle with the better tyre grip.

Combined with the standard electronic stability program (ESP), the quattro driveline ensures state-of-the-art mobility, dynamic progress and driving safety. The electronic stability program can compensate for driving errors within the limits imposed by physical laws.

Since the Audi S6 has a quattro driveline as standard equipment, this system will be called upon to act less often than in a car with a conventional driveline. The advantage of permanent all-wheel drive soon becomes clear, providing the S6 with an enhanced level of safety even in difficult road-surface conditions.

Exclusive interior with sporting character

The interior of the Audi S6 too has that superb sense of style that is inherent in the Audi S concept. The Recaro sports seats for driver and front passenger feature combined Alcantara and leather upholstery that is exclusive to the S series - the centre seat panel is upholstered with Alcantara, the boldly contoured side sections in leather. The seats feature pull-out thigh supports. Seat, back and lumbar support can be electrically adjusted.

The elegant sports character of the Audi S6 is continued down to the smallest detail. Take for example the Alcantara-trimmed roof lining or the carbon-fibre or burr walnut trims applied to the instrument panel and doors. Standard features include a leather-covered sports steering wheel and an anti-theft warning system, to protect the S6 against unauthorised access.

The Audi S6's safety package includes airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags integrated into the front seat backs, seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for the front seats. Standard equipment also includes preparation for attaching an ISOFIX child seat.

The SIDEGUARD safety system includes two head-level airbags and side airbags at the rear and is available as an optional extra. The SIDEGUARD airbags inflate when triggered off, covering the entire side window area as well as the front roof posts. In this way SIDEGUARD ensures optimum protection in side-on or angled collisions.




Copyright (c) 1999 AudiWorld