Audi S6

2 Aug, 2012 11:45am Lesley Harris

It doesn't look like it, but the latest Audi S6 has the performance of a true thoroughbred supercar

Verdict

4
It’s hard not to be impressed by the new S6. The remarkable V8 engine is a real highlight, thanks to its blistering pace and decent economy. Yes, the Audi isn’t as engaging as some rivals, and the looks are a little too discreet, but the blend of family friendly practicality and all-weather supercar performance makes it a hugely desirable choice.

Don’t be fooled by the Audi S6’s sober-suited looks. Beneath its understated four-door body beats the heart of a true supercar.

With the same twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 as used in the brilliant Bentley Continental GT V8, a grippy four-wheel-drive chassis and hi-tech air-suspension, the new car has all the ingredients to deliver serious driving thrills.

Sporty styling cues may have been kept to a minimum, but the 19-inch alloys, subtle bodykit, silver-finish door mirrors and quad-exit exhausts still manage to give the car plenty of appeal.

Inside, the standard A6’s spacious and beautifully built cabin is treated to a smattering of S logos, a pair of supportive sports seats for the driver and passenger, and an impressive haul of standard kit, including sat-nav, four-zone climate control and leather trim.

The driving experience is dominated by that remarkable V8 engine. With 414bhp and a muscular 550Nm of torque at just 1,450rpm, it blasts the S6 from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds.

Better still, this scorching acceleration is accompanied by a rumbling V8 soundtrack at high revs, while the seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox delivers quick and slick shifts.

Clever cylinder deactivation technology helps in achieving respectable CO2 emissions of 225g/km and promised fuel returns of 29.4mpg. On top of that, the S6 has Audi’s neat noise cancellation kit, which uses concealed microphones and the stereo speakers to reduce wind, road and engine noise.

The quattro all-wheel-drive system serves up staggering grip and traction, while the Audi Drive Select set-up allows you to tailor steering, throttle and suspension settings to suit the road conditions or your mood.

As a result, the S6 feels surprisingly agile and composed for such a big car. But the steering could do with more feedback, while even at its softest setting the air-suspension is a little firm.

At £53,995, the Audi undercuts rivals like the BMW 550i – plus it’s every bit as refined, roomy and practical as a normal A6.

Disqus - noscript

Erm, does the BMW come with "a
quattro all-wheel-drive system serving up staggering grip and traction"?? Not quite the S6's rival then. Do Audi still set the benchmark for cabin design and finish? Not an accolade ever lauded on a BMW. My view....the BMW is NOT a rival......

Had several of both marques. BMWs have been excellent, my Audi's full of faults without exception from failed gearboxes to faulty a/c and faulty seats/trim. I laugh out loud when I hear Audi quality, my 12yr old e46 cabin had less rattles than my new A5.

LoL. There is always 1. We have had an 2004 Allroad TDi. Bought 2 years old. 1 unscheduled visit to the dealer in 6 years for replacement of suspension bushes and CV boot. So happy with the car, I'm now selling to my best mate. Perfect? Of course not, but very very acceptable. Now on my old S-Class? Don't get me started.

then you're a very silly billy then if you can't see it as a rival, go back to your GCSE exams you silly child

Dear Autoexpress,
I like your truncated-format reviews that pack a lot on info into short texts, but surely you could include info on real fuel consumption (that's what you drive the cars for) instead of the "promised fuel returns", which I can look up in any spec sheet.

Key specs

  • Price: £53,995
  • Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 414bhp
  • Transmission: Seven-speed twin-clutch automated manual, four-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 155mph
  • Economy/CO2: 29.4mpg/225g/km
  • Equipment: Leather trim, climate control, Active Noise Cancellation, sat-nav, 19-inch alloys
  • On sale: March
AEX 1,339
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links