2020 Audi S6 review: A beautifully balanced sport sedan

With 21-inch wheels and the Black Optic package, the S6 is quite fetching.


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With the purple-incredibly hot RS6 Avant now carrying Audi’s effectiveness baton, there’s a large center floor concerning it and the higher-quantity A6 sedan. That space is in which this 2020 Audi S6 life, but it can be a great deal far more than just a tweener. With convenience, tech and electricity in spades, the new S6 genuinely stands out as the completely well balanced very best of all worlds.

Like

  • Effective twin-turbo V6
  • 28 mpg highway is fully achievable
  • Tranquil, snug cabin
  • Greatest multimedia tech in the class

Will not Like

  • Most driver-aid tech isn’t really common
  • Motor sound lacks character

The coronary heart of the S6 is Audi’s two.9-liter twin-turbo V6. This isn’t really just a obtain-and-swap motor swap from the RS5, possibly — it provides a forty eight-volt gentle-hybrid method that powers an electrical compressor, which assists feed in far more air to decrease turbo lag. The result is the very same 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque you get in the RS5, but electricity comes on a great deal far more immediately. Audi claims the four,486-pound S6 will accelerate to sixty mph in a really respectable four.four seconds.

When I initially drove the RS5, I was a very little let down with the two.9-liter V6 — its buttoned-up character failed to genuinely feel at residence in an RS-badged Audi sports activities auto. In the S6, nevertheless, this amazing-and-gathered demeanor is acceptable. You can find a prosperity of electricity underneath your suitable foot every time you have to have it, but the S6 under no circumstances feels like it can be making an attempt way too tricky to display off. It’s delighted to just toddle around at a snail’s speed in the town, but when you mash the throttle on a highway on-ramp, you can expect to be up to pace in no time.

The S6’s trip high-quality is genuinely quite serene. Even with this exam car’s upsized 21-inch wheels — element of the $1,750 Black Optic package — the S6 is smooth as butter. Together California’s notoriously janky 405 freeway, the air suspension soaks up small undulations from growth joints, and body motions are properly controlled. You can decide for a metal-spring activity suspension, but I would not. The common setup strikes a fantastic balance concerning comfortable and business.

People pleasantries prolong to the rest of the S6’s dynamics, way too. The steering has a great fat and is fast to reply the brakes are robust and linear. The Quattro all-wheel-generate method sends electricity in which it can be required for utmost grip even though cornering. And even though the S6 isn’t really almost as sharp as the RS6 Avant, it’s going to nevertheless maintain its very own on a winding road. Toggle the Drive Choose to its activity environment and the S6 handles corners with self-assurance.

Even better, the S6 isn’t really a overall chug-a-lug in conditions of gasoline consumption. The EPA estimates this sedan will return 18 miles per gallon town and 28 mpg highway, and it can be rather straightforward to see an typical a great deal closer to the latter range — even with a major suitable foot.

The S6 is an admirable performer, but it can be also a good auto to generate on the day-to-day. Road and wind noise are pretty much nonexistent in the cabin, and the supportive activity seats are fantastic for masking very long distances in convenience. General, the S6’s inside isn’t really way too different from the common A6 — save the redesigned (and heated!) steering wheel — and that is fantastic by me. Audi is certainly killing it with inside style and design, and the fantastic leather, open-pore wood and aluminum trim all work collectively to develop a cabin that is both equally modern and extremely-quality.

You can find a ton of tech on provide, way too, as evidenced by not a person, not two, but 3 different screens. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is suitable in entrance of the driver, with Google Earth maps and reconfigurable displays. No matter if viewing straightforward gauges, media facts, a full nav display screen or driving data, Virtual Cockpit is crisp and vibrant. A great deal of other companies are offering entirely electronic gauge clusters now, but Audi’s nevertheless seems the very best to my eyes.

The MMI Contact Reaction tech housed in the centre stack is just as superb. The upper, ten.1-inch display screen takes advantage of lots of colours and reconfigurable icons to navigate you as a result of different attributes, and the exhibit rapidly responds to taps and swipes with great haptic opinions. Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are common below, but this is a unusual circumstance in which the proprietary software package is so excellent, I will not come to feel the have to have to depend on this smartphone-mirroring tech.

Almost nothing conveys a modern, techy inside like 3 large screens.


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Beneath the main MMI display screen is an 8.six-inch handle panel. This is in which you interact with the climate controls and various auto programs (end/begin, parking sensor warnings, and many others.), and the full display screen can turn into a handwriting pad for spot input or on the internet search. It’s straightforward to use and properly complements the MMI method identified over. As far as I’m concerned, no automaker can major Audi’s cabin tech recreation suitable now.

The S6 can be experienced with a large quantity of driver-aid tech, way too, but regretably, really very little comes common. The foundation S6 Quality Plus ($seventy four,895 like $995 for spot) can be experienced with a $two,250 Driver Assistance package, which provides adaptive cruise handle with targeted traffic jam help, Audi’s facet help, rear cross-targeted traffic warn, targeted traffic indicator recognition, lane-retaining tech and far more. But at that position, you are better off just ponying up the additional $three,450 and going for the loaded S6 Prestige ($80,595 like spot) in which all of those attributes, in addition Audi’s matrix-style and design LED headlights, a electricity opening and closing trunk and a head-up exhibit are also involved, among the other niceties.

If you do spec all that tech, every thing is effective as advertised. The adaptive cruise handle efficiently accelerates and brakes in targeted traffic and I genuinely like Audi’s Predictive Performance method, which is aware when you are approaching a turn, hill or decreased pace restrict, and tells you to lift off the throttle. The way it carefully buzzes the pedal will take a very little getting made use of to, but drivers can also glimpse for the environmentally friendly “foot off the gasoline” icon in the base of the gauge cluster.

Connect with me ridiculous, but I desire the new S6’s rear close to that of the S7 Sportback. 


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Like I said, the $80,595 Prestige model looks like the suitable way to go below, even if it is $five,seven-hundred far more than the foundation S6. But you can expect to want to go straightforward on the alternatives, or that price tag can escalate rapidly. Get this exam auto, for illustration: The Tango Red paint fees $595, the Black Optic package is $1,750 and the wonderful Bang & Olufsen 3D sound method is $four,900. This auto doesn’t even have the $four,000 S Activity pack (all-wheel steering, activity rear differential, purple brake calipers, activity exhaust) or the $350 adaptive metal suspension. All loaded up, an S6 can climb as significant as $ninety five,000, and at that position, you may possibly contemplate just getting out a 2nd mortgage and going for the $109,995 RS6 Avant.

A flippantly optioned S6 can be experienced for around $80,000, and that is a great deal better. The good effectiveness doesn’t demand any include-ons and the outstanding cabin tech all comes common. Plus, contemplate this: An S6 is a full $ten,000 cheaper than an equivalent S7 Sportback. Yes, the S7 provides hatchback functionality and it seems a very little better in profile, but the automobiles generate just the very same and the S6 is nevertheless a sharp-dressed sedan. Significantly as I love the S7, I might fully go for the S6.

I might be thrilled with that option, way too — the S6 is a fantastic auto, and a person I might love to generate daily. Smooth and supple but potent and playful, the S6 completely balances both equally finishes of the A6-to-RS6 spectrum.