January 9, 2001

NAIAS 2001 - Audi Press Conference
Article by George Achorn

Audi announced this morning that the avant version of the S6 will arrive in the US sometime this fall along with the all new A4.

The new Audi S6 is based on the A6 4.2l and combines this model's reserved character with the attributes of a sports touring wagon. The body, lowered by 10mm in conjunction with the sports suspension, the 17" cast aluminum 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 Audi V8 five-valve engine develops a maximum output of 340 bhp at 7,000 rpm (European spec). Maximum torque has gone up to 310 lb./ft at 3,400 rpm, with almost 221 lb./ft available from only slightly above idle speed. To achieve these figures many changes to the 4.2l engine were made including a retained magnesium variable intake manifold with two-stage length adjustment, 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 and high-flow characteristics rounds out the changes.

Audi claims some impressive acceleration figures for a car of this size: acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes a mere 5.7 seconds.

In addition to announcing the S6 Avant, Audi will offer the new S8 high-performance sedan for sale in dealers starting this week.

On the racing front, Audi AG Chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen talked of Audi's success with their Audi R8R LeMans racers. Paefgen pointed out to press members on hand that Audi is one of only four teams in the history of the 24 Hours of LeMans to have finish 1-2-3. Also Audi took the American LeMans Series Constructors Title and overall series Championship. Next year privateer Champion Audi, on hand at Audi's press event, confirmed that it will field a privateer R8R in the ALMS series next season. The Champion R8R team will not compete at LeMans.

Drivers for the car will include Andy Wallace and Dorsey Schroeder.

The Speedvision S4 Competition cars will continue on with a 2-car team. Gelati has been confirmed as one driver, and it was explained that the second would be chosen by Speedvision as a "racing legend". Derek Bell could return, though other "legendary" drivers like Hurley Haywood, on hand at the Audi conference, could also be included.

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