Lifestyle

Seduction with silky whiplash - Audi's S6 and S7 road test

The Audi S7 Sportback.
The Audi S7 Sportback.

MODEST yet classy, the latest "S" models from Audi do little to shout about their performance credentials.

While it has badging at the back and "V8 T" nomenclature on the right front panel, there is little externally to detect the fun that lies within. But launch the engine, caress the right pedal, the S models shed their executive persona and motoring erotica erupts.

These twins under the skin have a strapping 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 under the bonnet which generates serious speed.

And they are part of an exclusive club. If the starting price of $168,900 for the S6 and $179,900 for the S7 doesn't make them special enough, only 50 of each model will be available.

Both have sub-five second times for the 0-100kmh sprint while also having a sensible side. They have a system which can switch off four of the eight cylinders to help reduce fuel consumption.

Comfort

Sporting seats stamped with S6 or S7 provide an indication of the brutal traits harnessed within.

Beautifully stitched across the lumbar in diamond shapes and with raised side sections, the front pews hug you into place without being restrictive. The layout maintains the traditional Audi blueprint which is functional - once you have the hang of the main operating system. It can be fiddly on first initiations as you scroll through the various menus for sat nav, audio and car settings using a dial on the dash.

Those up front enjoy the best of luxury, and there is also reasonable leg and head room in the back for adults. The S7 is only a four-seater, and the raked lines that look so alluring from the outside might cause some issues for taller passengers.

Throughout the cabin are the finest of finishes, along with slick sporting touches like stainless steel pedals, carbon inlays on the dash and doors, while the driver also has the licence saving head-up display that projects your speed onto the windscreen.

On the road

A dual turbo system delivers seamless power. From the moment you stamp your right foot, the sporty Audi pairing hauls their refined rear ends without issue.

An ability to reach 100kmh from a standing start in under five seconds was once an exclusive club owned previously by the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, but these Audis seem to manage the task without raising a sweat.

But they are not only good in a straight line. The S6 and S7 don't shy away from a bend and embrace attacking the twisties with vigour as the driver gets good feedback through the steering.

You can choose between driving styles, including comfort, dynamic and automatic.

It changes the suspension and raises, lowers or stiffens the car depending on your wishes, with the S7 able to alter its ride height by 10mm - the S6 by 20mm (this also helps to avoid things like gutters).

The 4.0-litre V8 is partnered with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic which does a good job with timely changes for the most part - and you can take control manually with paddle shifters.

Although if left in sport mode things can get clunky at lower speeds as it holds gears too high and thuds its way into changes between cogs.

Audi has armed the models with active noise control, which uses similar technology to the noise-cancelling earphones.

There is limited noise entering the cabin, although you can hear the wonderful tune of the V8 once you get up into the rev range - particularly in the S7.

What do you get?

Given these are special editions, Audi has given the S models impressive specification.

Among the highlights are sat nav, stereo/DVD system with 60-gig hard drive, keyless entry and four-zone climate controlled air-con.

Safety is well looked after with the latest in anti-lock brakes and stability control functionality.

Other options

Apples for apples competition is tough, but you could also consider the Mercedes-Benz CLS500 ($210,800), Jaguar XF V8 Portfolio ($146,100) or the V6-powered BMW Gran Coupe ($184,800).

Running costs

The cylinder deactivation system is silky-smooth and drivers will rely on the information display to see when four cylinders have been stopped.

That system, together with automatic stop-start when stationary, helps keep fuel consumption below 10 litres per 100km - that's good for a performance machine.

Insurance won't be cheap, neither will the servicing. You do get complimentary roadside assist.

Practicality

Audi markets the models as performance with everyday practicality and it's hard to argue. You get good boot space and enough real estate to handle four adults.

Funky factor

Big 20-inch alloys and quad pipes are the greatest hint that the S6 and S7 are something special.

The pair's styling is an athletic understatement ... like Usain Bolt racing in a tailored suit.

The lowdown

Surprise packets don't come much better than the S6 or S7.

While the V10 is gone, this new twin-turbo V8 is a burly unit. It slings you away from the line with consummate ease and with limited fanfare … everything feels so effortless.

Audi has filled another niche with the sedan and sportback models, perfect for those who want the commonsense of four doors and cabin space without sacrificing performance.

The writer was Audi's guest in Montville.

What matters most

The good stuff: Outstanding acceleration, practical set-up.

What we'd like to see: More V8 note (especially in the S6).

Warranty: Three-year unlimited kilometre while there is also 24-hour roadside assist for three years after the car is first registered.

Topics:  audi cars motoring road test



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

$1.5 billion Ripley development on track for new year

Construction of Ripley Town Centre stage one is set to begin next year.

Town Centre 80% sold to Coles, speciality stores

Woollies heart attack: Doctors used a defibrillator 40 times

LIFE SAVERS: Ed Stubbs (centre) had a heart attack at the Inala Woolworths store and was helped by quick think store manager Marc Roper (right) and customer David Duprat (left) who administered CPR.

VIDEO: Survivor says thanks to the heroes who saved his life.

REVEALED: Shopping centre announces new dining options

Redbank Plaza announces the new food and drink options opening in store.

SUSHI, health food and vegan donuts just some of the food on offer.

Local Partners

FLOOD RISK: Mayors launch plan to protect $260M industry

A COMPREHENSIVE plan to deal with the flood risk to rivers and lakes in the Lockyer Valley has been launched.


Top 5 Christmas events around Ipswich

The Twighlight Christmas Parade was just the first of many events around the region.

THERE are plenty of exciting Christmas activities coming up.

It's official, Christmas has started in Ipswich

TIS THE SEASON: Plenty of families got into the holiday spirit at the Christmas Twilight Parade.

PHOTOS: Annual Twilight Parade draws hundreds, more events to come

What's on this weekend

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

Things to do in Ipswich

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Paris Hilton fumes at clumsy partygoers

A reveller spilt their drink on Paris Hilton's DJ decks

Winnie Harlow isn't a role model

Winnie Harlow insists she isn't a role model.

Felicity Jones proud of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story role

Felicity Jones feels it is "important" for a woman to head Rogue One

Kiwi's plea to Ellen DeGeneres to save bakery after quake

Ellen... we need your magic.

Family had to be helicoptered out after powerful quake

Seacrest: Things are "going better" for Kim and Kanye

Ryan Seacrest says things are "going better now" for Kanye West

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

Santos responds but Tully says easements issue must be addressed

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!