Audi S6 2014
At first glance, it looks as though CAFE standards got another one. Gone is the 435-horse-power, Lamborghini-derived V-10, replaced with a V-8 that makes 15 fewer ponies than its predecessor. Think that means we’re not having as much fun for a 25-percent boost in fuel efficiency? Think again. Not only is the S6 nearly as potent with two fewer cylinders, but when combined with aluminum body panels, it weighs less overall and puts fewer pounds over the front axle, reducing understeer. Part of that sportiness comes from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which replaces the previous car’s six-speed automatic, and Quattro all-wheel drive, which can send up to 70 percent of power to the front, or 80 percent to the rear. The zero-to-60 sprint takes 4.5 seconds, 0.6 of a second less than the old V-10 powered car. In fact, the new S6 performs better than the old Audi S6 in nearly every metric and is giving Mercedes and BMW management something to lose sleep over. This is especially true in Europe, where the Audi RS6 Avant is running about with 560 horsepower.
Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8
0-60: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph (unlimited)
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
Torque: 406 foot-pounds