Loosen the purse strings for an Audi
With over 50 houses changing hands for over €1m a pop this year it looks as if there is a goodly number of 'haves' as distinct from the 'have-nots' out there who are prepared to loosen the purse strings to buy their hearts' desire. This reassuring indicator that confidence may be slowly growing will be welcome news to the Audi people here as they prepare to launch their new breed of super-saloons on the market.
The S6, S7 and S8 come with super-heavy price tags and will most likely only adorn driveways leading to million-euro homes with price tags quoting €86,900, €106,540 and €103,540. Not for the faint-hearted but those unlocking the vault are in for awesome power driving.
Audi is attacking both ends of the market with beginner cars also and now has over 40 models to lure young and seasoned drivers into its brand, a strategy that VW and other brands are following. The all new S6, above, is faster, with a smaller engine and more luxurious than the previous model. A new 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine replaces the old 5.2 litre V10 and puts out 414 bhp through a 7-speed S-tronic box. This gives a 0-100km sprint in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) with a claimed fuel consumption of 9l/100km (30 mpg).
A new fuel saving feature is the cylinder deactivation system which switches off four cylinders when power is not required while cruising on motorways. Also on board is an elaborate camera system to help parking. It can take an overview of the car -- front, rear and sides in an on-screen picture so there is little chance of damaging the expensive paintwork or kerbing 20" alloys while you park. The list of hi-tech items goes on -- noise cancelling technology for super-quiet drives at high speeds and Drive Select lets the driver pick the suspension, steering, engine and gearbox settings to suit the mood and road conditions. The best drive is in Dynamic mode where grip and power are extraordinarily good.