It’s not a misprint. The concept of hybrid or electrically assisted vehicle powertrains has now been immersed deeply in the operating systems of what were traditionally gasoline-fueled powertrains. Audi, which has pushed the boundaries of this sort of technology considerably farther than most manufacturers, has announced that the forthcoming 2020 edition of its S6 midsize sports sedan will have an electrically boosted and managed network of turbochargers.
Here are the basics on how everything works. Thew S6 engine is a 2.9-liter TSFI V-6 with twin turbochargers. The turbos are programmed to produce a broader range of torque at varying engine RPMs, aided by a new 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle compressor that’s powered by electricity rather than exhaust gases or a pulley, the latter in supercharger fashion. The electric compressor, being offered for the first time in a U.S.-spec Audi, spins up to 70,000 RPM and responds to inputs in fewer than 250 milliseconds. It virtually eliminates turbo lag at any engine speed, and gives the S6 an output of 444hp with 443-lbs.ft. of torque, good for a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds. Hey, Audi didn’t rack up all those Le Mans victories without learning a thing or two about this stuff. With the standard quattro all-wheel-drive system and eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, with an available performance differential, the 2020 S6 will retail for $73,900 is Premium Plus trim and $77,800 with the Premium outfittings.