Audi S6 4.0 TFSI: Engine of the Year
Petrol engines don't sound the way they used to. The small 1.3s in Ford Ikons and the slightly larger 1.6s in the Palio GTXs and the Fiestas sounded like diminutive wolverines giving it all in a fight for their lives. But since the advent of turbocharging, 120bhp sounds like 80. Five hundred sounds like someone's playing back pre-recorded engine sounds inside a bathtub. So we didn't expect much from the turbo-charged 4.0-litre V8 of the Audi S6 with the now ozone-conscious cylinder shut-off tech.But start the engine and it sounds like the spark that triggers doom and violence. There's a lot of fake tech involved though... to make it sound like it does. Explaining that is going to bore you. And it involves us doing more research, which means more work. What matters to us is this. It sounds brilliant. It makes 414 effortless horses. And it has the ability to make the S6 disappear into the horizon as if it had an invisibility cloak.However, here's the astounding fact. The S6, with this engine, is more than half a second quicker to 100kph than the phenomenal Audi RS5. The S6 is heavier than the RS5, bigger than the RS5, has more doors than the RS5, has a smaller engine than the RS5 and makes fewer horses than the RS5. Yet, it's faster simply because of the tech behind the 4.0-litre TFSI. This engine's ability to produce 550Nm of torque at just 1,400rpm all the way up to 5,000rpm makes the S6 seem like a bargain compared to stalwarts like the BMW M5 and the Merc E63 AMG.The best bit about this engine? In this tune, the 4.0 is just about warming up. Things are going to rev up in 2014, with a 4.0 TFSI making 552bhp. We hope the earth will hold its axis with that sort of power going to the wheels. And we hope an award will help calm this raging inferno of a powerplant.