Audi to Launch Four New S-Models for 2012

Volkswagen AG’s Audi premium car division will unveil four new S model all-wheel-drive autos at the Frankfurt motor show next month. The new models will feature the latest 4.0-liter, dual turbine V-8 direction engine Audi developed through its partnership with British automaker Bentley Motors Limited and will replace the S6, S7 and S8 sedans and the S6 Avant wagon.

The luxurious S8 sedan will feature a new 4.0-liter engine capable of 512 hp and 479 pounds-feet of torque. The new engine will replace the current 5.2-liter V-10 engine.

The new S8, S7 and S6 sedans are scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. late next spring. Audi currently has no plans to market the new S6 Avant wagon in the U.S.

The new S8 models will also feature an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and brake-energy and automatic start/stop recuperation. According to the automaker, the S8 will accelerate from 0-to-62 mph in a mere 4.2 seconds, and will have a top speed of 155 mph.

Despite the increase in performance, Audi says the new S8 will be more fuel-efficient than the current model, due in part to the vehicle’s cylinder-on-demand feature which selectively idles four of the engine’s eight cylinders during partial throttle loads.

The new S8 will also be quieter than the current model thanks to a highly advanced active-noise-cancellation system which suppresses wind and engine noise.

The noise suppression system incorporates four microphones strategically placed within the vehicle’s headliner. Cabin noise is collected and continuously analyzed by an onboard computer to identify wind and engine noises, or what the automaker terms “intrusive elements.”  When detected, these noises are cancelled out with antiphase sound which is played through the vehicle’s audio speakers.

The upgraded S6 and S7 sedans will receive a slightly less powerful V-8 powertrain capable of 414 hp and 406 pounds-feet of torque. Instead of the S8’s eight-speed dual clutch, the S7 and S6 sedans will be equipped with the seven-speed dual clutch S-tronic transmission. The current S7 and S6 models are fitted with six-speed automatic transmissions. The refreshed 2012 A6 and A7 sedans will also feature a host of standard features including all-wheel-drive, the new cylinder-on-demand system and the active noise cancellation system.

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