German automaker Audi produces a glamorous array of precisely mannered sedans and wagons, plus curvaceous convertibles. Audi uses alphanumeric designations for cars of subcompact, compact, mid-size and full-size classes, with engines of four, six and eight cylinders -- thus the tags of A3, A4, A6 and A8, plus sport series of S4, S6 and S8. In '07, Audi introduces multiple new models geared for sporty performance, include the Q7 SUV, a high-revving RS4 sedan, A4 and S4 convertibles, and V10-equipped S6 and S8 sedans. Audi's TT series of a slinky sports coupe or daring convertible roadster skip over 2007 while awaiting all-new designs for 2008.
Audi A3 Series
Audi's subcompact A3 Sportback five-door hatch continues as A3 2.0T FrontTrak with front-wheel-drive (FWD) or A3 3.2 S-line Quattro with all-wheel-drive (AWD). 2.0T stocks a 2.0-liter four-in-line with turbo-charger and inter-cooler plus Audi's FSI (fuel straight injection) to make 200 hp with a manual six-speed or DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) shifter. 3.2 S-line packs a 3.2-liter V6 worth 250 hp with DSG. 2.0T scores the S line Package showing aggressive fascias and bi-Xenon headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting, as the 3.2 S-line offers a new Technology Package and the Audio Package with Sirius satellite radio service.
Compact cars from Audi shake out as four-door sedans and five-door wagons (called Avant) or drop-top variations (Cabriolet) with FrontTrak (FWD) or Quattro (AWD) traction. Also, sports performance models derived from A4 Quattro wear the badge S4. Base model A4 2.0T FrontTrak carries the 2.0-liter turbo FSI plant with a manual six-speed or Audi's Multitronic continuously-variable transmission (CVT). A4 in luxury mode with V6 power is the A4 3.2 Quattro worth 255 hp. S4 models for sedan, wagon and convertible employ a big V8 pumping 340 hp with manual six-speed or automatic six Tiptronic shifter.
Audi's new high-performance sports sedan brings a 4.2-liter direct-injection V8 FSI engine pumping 420 hp with six-speed manual transmission and Quattro AWD system using a rear-based dynamic asymmetrical torque split. RS 4 has a sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), as wheel track width increases over the S4 sedan by 1.5 inches to boost tire grip. Massive brake rotors run to 14.4 inches up front and 12.8 inches in back. And stock wheels are 19-inch alloys capped by 255/35 performance tires. A Premium Package adds Audi Navigation plus Bose audio equipment and a six-disc CD changer.
Audi A6 Series
Middle-size Audi cars conform to sedan and wagon (Avant) formats with sensuous sheetmetal shapes. The series begins with A6 3.2 CVT FrontTrak sedan and A6 Avant 3.2 Quattro, each with Audi's aluminum 3.2-liter V6 that sparks with 255 hp and ties to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission or the CVT. More muscle goes to the A6 4.2 sedan or wagon, which nets a new aluminum 4.2-liter FSI V8 rated at 350 hp. The S-line sporty trim package works for the A6 sedan as well as the Avant wagon, with an optional upgrade to 19-inch BBS-style wheels.
A new high-performance mid-size sedan derived from the A6 series rolls out in 2007 under the label of S6. Running gear for S6 is staggering. Core ingredients are a 5.2-liter FSI V10 that churns at 420 hp with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission coupled to Audi's Quattro AWD system. The S6 rolls on 19-inch wheels and flashes a single-frame grille with vertical struts up front and a spoiler on the tail. Luxurious appointments in the five-seat cabin include Silk Nappa leather upholstery and Birch Gray wood trim or optional carbon fiber.
Audi A8 Series
Audi's large-car series -- cast on a unitized aluminum structure, then fitted with sophisticated mechanical systems and extravagant luxuries -- comes in two lengths with A8L riding on a stretched wheelbase with generous legroom for riders in rear quarters. A8 and A8L carry the new 4.2-liter FSI V8 worth 350 hp and a ZF six-speed electronic automatic transmission with Tiptronic manual shift mode. A8L W12 gets a W-shaped 12-cylinder engine displacing 6.0 liters and producing 450 hp through the six-speed Tiptronic automatic. All A8 cars also earn Audi's Quattro AWD and ESP (electronic stabilization program).
Audi's full-size A8 sedan spins off a new high-performance variation for 2007 badged as the S8. Lurking beneath the hood is Audi's new quad-cam 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine which produces 450 hp and massive torque directed through a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission shuttled to Audi's Quattro AWD system rigged with asymmetric/dynamic torque split biased to rear wheels. The super sedan rolls on 20-inch wheels and contains a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension plus heavy-duty brakes. Lavish cabin appointments range from Valcona leather upholstery to DVD-based navigation, Bose surround-sound audio equipment and seat heating for every passenger.
Audi introduces the large-scale crossover Q7 SUV featuring a cabin containing three tiers of seats with rear rows that fold flat into the floor. A big 4.2-liter FSI V8 delivers 350 hp with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and Audi's Quattro full-time AWD traction system. Or a 3.6-liter FSI V6 achieves 280 hp. The optional S line package adds sport seats and 21-inch alloy wheels with performance tires. Other options include the Open Sky panorama glass sunroof, adaptive air suspension, adaptive cruise control and power controls for folding the third seat plus power operation of the tailgate.