Audi has revealed two sporty variants of its A6 and A7 models, with the two new variants now equipped with diesel engines.
The new cars – the S6 and S7 – sit between the standard ‘A’ Audis and the racy ‘RS’ versions, and aim to offer rapid yet understated performance. The S7 is offered as a five-door hatchback with a coupe-like stance, while the S6 is available as a standard four-door saloon or as an Avant (estate).
Both cars feature a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine producing 344bhp and a huge 700Nm of torque, with the latter figure coming from an electrical compressor that aims to offer instant torque.
While purists might be annoyed at the shift to diesel power (past S6s and 7s used to come with V8 and V10 petrol engines), their performance remains impressive. The S6 saloon can accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds, with the S7 and S6 Avant taking a tenth of a second longer. All three deliver an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.
As with the standard A6 and A7 range, the S variants feature a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which helps to recover energy when the model is decelerating and coasting for up to 40 seconds at a time. This energy is then stored in a lithium-ion battery. It means that not only do these S variants offer spirited performance, but also decent efficiency.
Permanent four-wheel-drive features as standard, while all-wheel steering is offered as an optional extra. This enables the S models to be more manoeuvrable at lower speeds and offer more direct steering at higher speeds. Sports suspension sees the body of the cars being lowered by up to 20mm too.
While S variants typically favour subtlety over aggressive styling, small differences such as a dark chrome grille, a wider rear diffuser, 20-inch alloy wheels, revised sills and four tailpipes help to differentiate the models from the standard Audis they are based on.
The S6 also features aluminium accents in the rear splitter and an integrated rear spoiler, while the S7 comes with larger air inlets, aluminium mirrors and trim strips on the side sills.
While the UK is only expected to receive the S6 and S7 TDI variants, other markets will have the models powered by a 444bhp 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine.
Sales for the S6 and S7 are set to start in the summer, with UK pricing to be announced nearer the launch.