Audi is finding ways to keep driving forward despite the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
The German brand’s Australian arm has introduced online sales, extended warranties and offering incentives (including five-year warranty and free servicing) for buyers before the end of June. It’s also unleashing two sports sedans to help get people excited about its line-up again. The S6 and S7 Sportback twins-under-the-skin have been officially launched this week, adding some punch to the luxury sedan market.
Small engine, bigger power
In this age of stricter emissions standards, Audi has ditched the twin-turbo V8 petrol engine of the old models and replaced it with a state-of-the-art powertrain that combines a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine with an electric compressor and 48-volt mild hybrid electrical system.
While the old engine was bigger it has been out-gunned by this new offering, the new 2.9-litre V6 unit produces 331kW of power and 600Nm of torque; while the V8 only made 309kW/550Nm.
The electric powered compressor (EPC) is able to use the hybrid system to spin up the turbos for better response and reduced turbo lag. The 48-volt system also allows the car to coast and save fuel, by switching off the petrol engine for short periods while cruising and relying on the battery for motivation.
The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission in both cars.
Tuned for performance
While both cars are luxury models with premium cabin treatments, Audi Sport has overhauled the chassis to ensure they handle like sports sedans. Adaptive air suspension is standard to ensure it can be both comfortable and responsive on demand.
Also included is the brand’s famous quattro all-wheel drive system with a self-locking centre differential. Audi’s progressive steering system is also fitted as part of the upgrades.
The braking hardware is impressive, with standard 400mm front discs with six-piston calipers and 350mm rear rotors. If that isn’t enough, customers can option carbon ceramic brakes for an extra $18,000.
Modern styling with retro touch
The new A6/A7 range were first previewed by the Audi Prologue concept car unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Motor Show, which showcased the latest generation of the brand’s sedan styling. That means a large single front grille and strong character lines down the flanks, including a nod to one of the brand’s performance icons – the Audi Quattro. The front and rear guards have pronounced “blisters” inspired by the Quattro, which gives it a sportier look.
It also means it provides an ideal starting point for Audi Sport to add its more aggressive front bumper and 21-inch alloy wheels.
On sale now
While sales of sedans, even luxury ones, are in steep decline, Audi Australia said it never questioned the value of bringing the S6/S7 down under. Both bring a dynamic and technological image to the brand and will account for up to a quarter of all A6/A7 sales, if projections are accurate.
Despite offering more power and technology than their predecessors, Audi Australia has dropped the price for both models too. The S6 will start at $149,900, with the S7 Sportback starting from $159,500 (plus on-road costs).