Audi brings trio of S cars to Los Angeles

Audi brings trio of S cars to Los Angeles
Audi shows off its 2013 S8, left, and S7. (David Undercoffler / Los Angeles Times)

Audi’s open secret heading into the L.A. Auto Show was the North American introduction of some power.

If you’ve been paying attention to the company over the last 12 months, you know Audi has attracted plenty of attention and accolades for a trio of luxury cars, the





And, as sure as there are four rings on the grille, you knew S variants of each were headed our way.

Now they’re here, introduced as 2013 models.

At the top of the lineup is the all-new S8. Its engine is a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 that makes 520 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Audi says this beast will do zero-to-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

To increase the S8’s fuel economy, the engine features cylinder deactivation; at highway speeds, the S8 uses only four of its eight cylinders.

The car is expected to get a city/highway combined fuel economy rating of 23 miles per gallon.

If the S8 is too much sauce for your pasta, consider the S6 or S7. Since the A6 and A7 are mechanically identical, it should come as no surprise that their respective performance variants also share parts.

A 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 powers each, putting out 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Being that it’s a turbo, that torque comes during a broad range of 1,400 to 5,300 rpm.

Audi says the S6 will do zero-to-62 mph in 4.8 seconds as it hurtles towards its top speed of 155 mph.

The S7 has the same top speed, but a slight weight penalty means it sees 62 mph in 4.9 seconds.

Many enthusiasts will probably take note that Audi is finally bringing to the U.S. its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission; it sees its first use in the S6 and S7.

The cars will also feature Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel drive, a locking center-differential and torque-vectoring.

Trim changes for all three S cars are minor, in keeping with Audi’s subdued philosophy toward its sport iterations. Brushed aluminum rear-view mirrors; quad tailpipes and a unique grille and rims are as much leg as you’ll see.

Expect to find this S line of cars hit showrooms toward the end of summer 2012.