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First drive: Audi S6 Saloon. Image by Audi.

First drive: Audi S6 Saloon
Audi's quietest q-car, the S6, gets another 30hp, for a tasty total of 450hp.

 



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Audi S6

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Mid-life revisions for the Audi A6 range bring more equipment and greater economy. Oh, and another 30hp for the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8-engined S6. The RS 6's understudy just got faster - though no more exciting.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Audi S6 Saloon
Price: 58,000
Engine: 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol
Transmission: four-wheel drive, seven-speed automatic
Body style: four-door saloon
CO2 emissions: 214g/km
Combined economy: 30.7mpg
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph: 4.4 seconds
Power: 450hp at 5,800- to 6,400rpm
Torque 550Nm at 1,400- to 5,700rpm

What's this?

The RS 6's oft-forgotten understudy. The Audi S6 is one of only two petrol-engined A6s offered in the UK, their brief being entirely different to that of the big-selling turbodiesel choices. So the A6's usual P11D business users won't be ticking the box marked 'S6' any time soon, the 450hp super saloon appealing to a very different audience. The thing is we're not entirely sure who that is, for while the appeal of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine is unquestionably high, it's not a car that sits particularly comfortably in the line-up.

How does it drive?

The Audi S6's 450hp maximum power figure is 30hp more now than it was previously, allowing it reach 62mph from rest in just 4.4 seconds before hitting its 155mph electronic speed limiter. The twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is unquestionably an impressive unit, it keen to rev, quick responding and, thanks to cylinder-on-demand technology when you're not in a hurry, reasonably (relatively speaking) frugal. There's a quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission, along with plentiful options for tuning the drivetrain, steering, air suspension, exhaust note and even the sport differential via Audi's Drive Select system.

The thing is, no amount of fiddling ever delivers a car that engages quite as much as a 450hp super saloon should, the S6 retaining its predecessors' ability of making its performance seem all fairly ordinary, and controlling it remote. There's no denying its outright competence though, the S6 able to carry its easily-gained speed without any fuss, it gripping hard, turning accurately and even managing to ride well; it's just there's very little in the way of excitement when you do so.

That's always been true of the S6 though, its role a difficult one to quantify. If you want a really bombastically fast A6 then there's the RS 6; if you want a fast, yet more dignified one then the biTDI 3.0 quattro has that angle covered. One for the petrol die-hards then, but if you're that enthusiastic about your performance cars the rather one-dimensional way it goes about its business isn't going to excite. Fast, unquestionably, but in every other way it feels rather ordinary, or at least not so demonstrably different to its A6 relations to recommend it.

Verdict

Can a 450hp, twin-turbo V8 super saloon really be dull? In the case of the Audi S6 then the answer is definitely yes. Given the bombastic nature of its RS 6 relation, and the not-dissimilar real-world performance appeal of the A6 3.0 biTDI, the S6's appeal is difficult to qualify. But then it's always been so, filling a brief for a small number of buyers looking for speed without a corresponding increase in thrills and engagement. For that narrow brief it works, but it's bettered by several rivals and, more significantly, by ostensibly sensible models in its own line-up.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

5 5 5 5 5 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3 3 3 3 3 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Kyle Fortune - 23 Oct 2014









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2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.



2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 

2015 Audi S6. Image by Audi.
 






 

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