Audi’s never-ending quest for the top spot in premium brands in South Africa got a boost recently with the release of their entry-level Sports cars, this time in the C and D segment. They’re not as fast, bespoke or terrifying as the iconic Audi RSs, but the new S6 and S7 won’t disappoint either.
As Audi put it, the S range is one up on their S-line cosmetic range, throwing in for extra dough a bespoke and faster engine. But do the number Series of BMW or the consonant Classes of Mercedes-Benz need to be worried?
Off the bat, this car is comfortable, quick and easy to live with. It’s easier to live with at least than the monstrous S8 which we’ll get to in another article.
While there is no direct competitor for the S6, you’ll no doubt have a BMW 5 Series or an E-Class of some description in mind when buying, but here’s what the S6 offers.
Firstly they’ve added some new bumper treatment to go along with the familiar S model’s pronounced sille. In the back there are 4 tailpipes to ward off any would-be robot racers, and an integrated rear-spoiler
The engine in both the S6 and the S7 is a monstrous V8 Twin Turbo producing 309kW and 550Nm. That’s good for a 0 – 100km/h in the S6 of 4.8 seconds, according to Audi.
Getting in to the S6 is a pleasant enough experience, albeit a bit predictable and plain, that is of course if you’ve already owned or sat in an Audi. Everything’s quite commonplace and recognisable, and for that we can’t commend or criticise the German brand. Don’t expect any shocks in the cabin is all.
The drive is comfy, while the steering is a tad light, but the balance on the S6 can only be matched by its much bigger brother, the S8.
Immediately as you get in to the S7, the differences between it and the S6 are stark. Surprising since they both enjoy the same V8 Twin Turbo engine.
Two things will immediately jump out at you: the steering on the S7 is much, much heavier than the S6, and you’re treated to a symphony of V8 throat exercises which you don’t get in the S6.
The steering’s not too heavy, it just means that you’re going to be working a lot harder while driving at pace in the S7. It’s a good feeling. Like you actually matter to the cars desire to run off the road in to oncoming traffic.
The soundtrack of the S7 is amazing, and you’ll find yourself accelerating in short bursts just to show off the lungs on the car. Even more impressive is that Audi have their Cylinder on Demand system at work in these models. The system deactivates four of the eight cylinders at low load and certain driving situations, reducing fuel consumption by up to 10 percent (its 9.7 litres in the S6 and S7). When in V4 mode, the active noise control system (ANCS) is activated, which counteracts unwanted noise by broadcasting targeted cancellation sounds into the vehicle interior via the sound system’s loudspeakers. Bleh! That last bit was a bit of a mouthful, but you get the idea.
But it’s the slope of the S7 that turns men into swoony Shakespearean actresses. The appeal of the Sportback is as unexplained as why George Bush got two terms in office. And the fact that it nestles itself home in a rear spoiler that pops up at over 120km/h? Well that’s just gravy.
Audi S6: R834 600
Audi S7 Sportback: R919 600