Driven: Audi S6

A low-slung premium executive saloon from the firm synonymous with low-slung premium performance executive saloons (that isn’t an M car)? Yes please.

What is it?
I’ll tell you what it’s not. It’s not as RS6, it’s not an RS in general rather a humble S. Which is no humble brag at all – they typically offer similar performance with a more street-oriented, compliant ride. It’s not an S4 (smaller) or S8 (larger) sedan but instead the happy medium. A very fast (very)”happy medium.

How does it look?
Fierce. Menacing, aggressive – but handsome too. Sort of, pressed and tailored suit with the sinewy meat of a pugilist underneath. This thing that can fight, and it looks it. Adjectives aside, it’s looks are enhanced by ‘S’ addenda, aero and tinsel, clues at the performance under the metal. Piercing new LEDs have been employed at the front for a rear-view mirror filling scowl, and the overall stance looks grounded. It’s low centre of gravity accentuated by the bold horizontal lines in its metal.

What about living with it?
The Audi S6 is a veritable tour de force and that extends into its incredibly comfortable and semi-luxurious living quarters. Safety and toys abound in what feels like a very premium living quarter. One where every tactile surface goads the driver into action. And for everyone else a multitude of connectivity and multimedia options.

How does it go?
Under that blackened bonnet resides a 2.9l doubly blown V6 to the lofty tune of 331kW and 600Nm. Naturally, a Quattro all-wheel drive system reigns it in by divvying up the sum of its might amongst all four wheels. At its inception twenty years ago, an Audi S6 could keep from zero to one hundred in 5.7 seconds. Today, this car can achieve the same sprint in 4.5 seconds. What is lost in cylinders – two, going from a V8 to this V6, it has gained in turbochargers. Eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox top speed is restricted to 250kph. Compliant adaptive suspension means ita soft when you need it to be and firms up when you’re bristling for some spirited piloting. Curiously, the S6 features a 48-volt electrical system married to an electric-powered compressor (EPC) making it in effect a mild hybrid.

Should you buy one?
At R1 401 500, the S6, while not a full-on RS car presents itself as a less shouty but about as capable performance saloon that can do all the things. All of them. Be quick. Be stylish. Be pragmatic. Don’t get it if you want the fastest sedan ever conceived. But do get it if you’re a fan of the Ingolstadt marque and the S6 is in your budget, you won’t look back on your purchase. It’s sharp as a tack and comfy as a sofa and won’t look out of place in front of a posh restaurant or clawing into an apex at your local race circuit. Not many cars can achieve that at any price point.

Quick Stats: Car Name
Price: R1 582 400
Powertrain: 2.9l awd, 331kW, 600Nm, 8-speed Tiptronic auto
Performance: 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds, 250kph top speed, 8.3l/100km fuel consumption

 

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