MILD HYBRID FIRES UP EXECUTIVE APPEARANCE

Following the lead of horse racing, Audi is betting on a couple of thoroughbreds with impeccable breeding – the S6 Sedan and S7 Sportback – to lift performance and technology to new heights.

Performance, for example, calls on the mild hybrid electric vehicle compressor hooked up to a 2.9-litre, twin-turbocharged TFSI V6 engine that helps to build turbo boost pressure, sharpen throttle response and reduce turbo lag, while at the same time cutting fuel consumption.

The S6 Sedan / S7 Sportback also set the standard with pioneering technology, including equipment with unequalled levels of connectivity and infotainment as standard.

The S6 Sedan is priced from $149,900, plus on-road costs, while the S7 Sportback we had on test is $159,500, plus ORCs. The S6 Sedan was put through its paces by us last week.

The all-new Audi S6 Sedan and Audi S7 Sportback are offered with the comprehensive Audi service plan package, priced at $2350 for three years or $4110 for five years.

STYLING
The all-new Audi ‘twins’ take on a distinctively sporty style with a sleek, black exterior styling package, including black exterior mirrors, as standard. The ‘S’ trim, together with a stand-out bumper and large air intakes complement the high-definition Matrix LED headlights.

Door closure is power assisted and privacy glass ensures, well, privacy for occupants.

Further adding to the design credentials of the S6 Sedan, four tailpipes, 21-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels, showing off red brake callipers, and a boot lid spoiler feature as standard.

INTERIOR
The well-appointed sports interior offers plenty of space for passengers. The rear seats can be split 40:20:40 and for the first time, the S7 Sportback has room for five.

Standard are panoramic sunroof, metallic paint, a leather interior package of centre console, dashboard, door rails armrests in fine Nappa.

The mood can be set with a colour interior ambient lighting package, while control buttons in black gloss have haptic feedback. An air quality package, inclusive of two fragrances and air ionisation, radiates fresh air scents throughout the cabin.

INFOTAINMENT
Audi connect plus technology is enhanced by MMI navigation plus with MMI touch response and 10.1-inch and 8.6-inch touch screens with voice activated feedback.

Both models also come standard with an Audi virtual cockpit, wireless Apple Carplay, Bang and Olufsen 3-D Sound System, wireless charging for mobile phones and two rear USB outlets.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
An all-new 2.9-litre bi-turbo TFSI V6 engine is enhanced by an electric powered compressor mated with 48-volt main electrical system, putting out maximum power of 331 kW and peak torque of 600 Nm.
Both S models are equipped with an eight-speed tiptronic power transmission, supported by the legendary Audi quattro all-wheel-drive technology.

SAFETY
The S6 Sedan and S7 Sportback have a five-star ANCAP safety rating and are equipped with a comprehensive suite of safety systems, including traffic jam assist, 360-degree cameras with kerb view function, Audi pre-sense front and side assist with cross-traffic alert, collision avoidance assist, turn assist and intersection assist.

An active bonnet protects pedestrians who are unfortunate enough to be hit by the car, a head-up windscreen display is in direct sight of the driver and there’s tyre pressure monitoring.

DRIVING
The S6 Sedan (and S7 Sportback) illustrates the advantage of electrical power coming in instantly to aid the internal combustion engine. It gets to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds (S7 Sportback in 4.6 secs).

The mild hybrid system can briefly add up to 7 kW of boost at engine speeds up to 1650 rpm, which helps to reduce turbo lag, regenerative braking can contribute up to 8 kW to recharge the lithium-ion battery, allowing the car to coast for up to 40 seconds with fuel savings of up to 0.4 litres per 100 kilometres. Every little bit helps, as the car can be a bit thirsty.

This adds up, says the maker, to a combined urban / highway consumption of 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres. On test the S6 Sedan recorded 14.5 litres per 100 kilometres in a city and suburban commute and 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres during motorway cruising.

Engine and transmission settings are at the driver’s fingertips, with the engine offering a soundtrack to match the driver’s intent. Superb.

The S6 Sedan and S7 Sportback feature progressive steering and wheel-selective torque control as standard, creating sporty, agile and stable handling on the road.

New adaptive air suspension technology offers the ability to adjust the height of the vehicle at different levels. In its standard setting, the ride height of the S6 Sedan is 20 mm lower in comparison to the A6 Sedan, and can be lowered an additional 10 mm during dynamic mode, or raised by up to 20 mm.

Sharing the S6 Sedan experience is part of the fun and sports seats up front is the go. The rear seats offer good leg and head room – unless you’re sitting in the middle spot where the large transmission tunnel is intrusive.

Storage spots around the cabin include a good-size glove compartment, a centre console with couple of cupholders with a 12V power outlet in between, while front and rear doors can take in one bottle each to maintain occupant hydration on lengthy drives.

SUMMARY
The Audi S6 Sedan is the complete executive package, from comfort and convenience to performance and company car park presence. The competitive price should not attract a ‘please explain’ from the most fastidious accountant.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
Audi S6 sedan $149,900
Audi S7 Sportback $159,500
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi S6 2.9L TFSI Quattro 6-cylinder petrol MHEV 8sp automatic)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 2.894 litres
Configuration: Six cylinders in ‘V’, electric powered compressor
Maximum Power: 331 kW @ 5700-6700 rpm
Maximum Torque: 600 Nm @ 1900-5000 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded petrol 98 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.4 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed double clutch, AWD

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4954 mm
Wheelbase: 2933 mm
Width: 1886 mm
Height: 1446 mm
Turning Circle: 11.9 metres
Kerb Mass: 1985 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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