More direct for even greater dynamism
The entire drivetrain of the Audi S6 has been designed from scratch. The engine's power on the S6 is translated into locomotion by a six-speed tiptronic as standard, which adapts to the driver's style by means of an intelligent feature. It performs this as a function of the momentary lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces and the amount of engine power that is currently being called up. The software program that controls the tiptronic electronically has been optimised to deliver more dynamic gear changes; the gear changes are noticeably swifter in the one-touch mode in particular.
The driver can call up the automatic transmission's "S" sport mode via the selector lever – the shift characteristics here are set for higher engine speeds.
And it is possible to change gear manually in both modes by means of the aluminium-look shift paddles that are located behind the steering-wheel rim and move in unison with the steering wheel itself (they are, in effect, mounted on the steering wheel). The selector lever has an aluminium look and – like the steering wheel – is trimmed in smooth leather.
The servotronic steering with its direct ratio makes a noticeable contribution to the agile handling of the S6.
Power and control
Typically for an Audi, the new Audi S6 takes quattro permanent four-wheel drive as its basis. Its virtues are already widely acknowledged: superior traction in all driving conditions. More than a quarter of a century of expertise acquired in this domain by the Ingolstadt-based brand has led to the development of a new quattro generation with asymmetric/dynamic torque split – further evidence of Audi's guiding principle of "Vorsprung durch Technik".
A self-locking centre differential, installed longitudinally in the driveline, distributes power between the front and rear wheels, always according to the prevailing situation. The normal split is 40 percent to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear – this slight bias in favour of the rear has been chosen to place even greater emphasis on the sporty, dynamic character of the new Audi S6.
If the surface conditions change – for instance if they become wet or slippery, or if the car is driven onto a different type of road surface – this purely mechanical differential responds without any delay; depending on the requirements at any given moment, it can divert up to 85 percent of power to the rear wheels or as much as 65 percent to the front wheels. If a wheel on one axle spins (wheel slip), it is moreover brought under control by the Electronic Differential Lock EDL, which applies the brakes. This newly configured package of technical features guarantees a further increase in agility, particularly spontaneous turn-in properties and even greater driving stability.
The electronic stabilisation program ESP shuts down in two stages: when the ESP button is pressed once, only the ASR traction control system is deactivated; the ESP remains active, to stabilise the car if needed. The instrument cluster briefly displays "ASR off" and the ESP symbol remains permanently lit. It stays active in the S6 until ASR is switched back on by pressing the ESP button a further time. On the new S6, ASR does not cut in automatically once a defined speed is exceeded (as is the case on the A6).
If the ESP button is pressed for longer than three seconds, all ESP functions are switched off. Only the electronic differential lock EDL and the anti-lock braking system ABS now remain active. Pressing the ESP button a further time switches all ESP functions on again.
As a result, the desired degree of electronic assistance can be determined by the driver via the ESP button. Without ASR traction control, the degree of stability can, within certain limits, be determined by the driver via the accelerator pedal. Drivers with sporting ambitions who may wish to probe the limits of handling can in addition completely deactivate the ESP functions with the second stage.
The drivetrain concept of the new S6 systematically and permanently ensures that the enormous forces generated by the V10 engine can genuinely provide efficient, minimal-loss propulsion, something that vehicles with one driven axle only rarely achieve. It is consequently able to develop and use high levels of power all the time.
The equipment, data and prices stated here refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. Subject to amendment; errors and omissions excepted.