2020 Audi S6 review: A beautifully balanced sport sedan

    With 21-inch wheels and the Black Optic bundle, the S6 is kind of fetching.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    With the red-hot RS6 Avant now carrying Audi’s efficiency baton, there is a large center floor between it and the higher-volume A6 sedan. That area is the place this 2020 Audi S6 lives, nevertheless it’s rather more than only a tweener. With consolation, tech and energy in spades, the brand new S6 actually stands out as the superbly balanced better of all worlds.

    LikeHighly effective twin-turbo V628 mpg freeway is completely achievableQuiet, comfy cabinBest multimedia tech within the class

    Don’t LikeMost driver-assistance tech is not standardEngine sound lacks character

    The coronary heart of the S6 is Audi’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. This is not only a find-and-replace engine swap from the RS5, both — it provides a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that powers an electrical compressor, which helps feed in additional air to scale back turbo lag. The end result is identical 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque you get within the RS5, however energy comes on rather more instantly. Audi says the 4,486-pound S6 will speed up to 60 mph in a really respectable 4.4 seconds.When I first drove the RS5, I used to be a bit upset with the two.9-liter V6 — its buttoned-up character did not actually appear at house in an RS-badged Audi sports activities automotive. In the S6, although, this cool-and-collected demeanor is acceptable. There’s a wealth of energy underneath your proper foot everytime you want it, however the S6 by no means feels prefer it’s attempting too arduous to point out off. It’s pleased to simply toddle round at a snail’s tempo within the metropolis, however while you mash the throttle on a freeway on-ramp, you may be on top of things very quickly.

    The S6’s experience high quality is actually fairly serene. Even with this check automotive’s upsized 21-inch wheels — a part of the $1,750 Black Optic bundle — the S6 is clean as butter. Along California’s notoriously janky 405 freeway, the air suspension soaks up small undulations from growth joints, and physique motions are properly managed. You can go for a steel-spring sport suspension, however I would not. The customary setup strikes an ideal steadiness between delicate and agency.Those pleasantries prolong to the remainder of the S6’s dynamics, too. The steering has a pleasant weight and is fast to reply; the brakes are robust and linear. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system sends energy the place it is required for max grip whereas cornering. And whereas the S6 is not practically as sharp because the RS6 Avant, it will nonetheless maintain its personal on a winding street. Toggle the Drive Select to its sport setting and the S6 handles corners with confidence.

    Even higher, the S6 is not a complete chug-a-lug by way of gas consumption. The EPA estimates this sedan will return 18 miles per gallon metropolis and 28 mpg freeway, and it is fairly straightforward to see a median a lot nearer to the latter quantity — even with a heavy proper foot.

    The S6 is an admirable performer, nevertheless it’s additionally an amazing automotive to drive on the each day. Road and wind noise are virtually nonexistent within the cabin, and the supportive sport seats are good for masking lengthy distances in consolation. Overall, the S6’s inside is not too totally different from the usual A6 — save the redesigned (and heated!) steering wheel — and that is advantageous by me. Audi is totally killing it with inside design, and the advantageous leather-based, open-pore wooden and aluminum trim all work collectively to create a cabin that is each trendy and ultra-premium. There’s a ton of tech on supply, too, as evidenced by not one, not two, however three totally different screens. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is correct in entrance of the driving force, with Google Earth maps and reconfigurable shows. Whether viewing easy gauges, media information, a full nav display or driving knowledge, Virtual Cockpit is crisp and colourful. A variety of different corporations are providing absolutely digital gauge clusters now, however Audi’s nonetheless seems to be the very best to my eyes.The MMI Touch Response tech housed within the heart stack is simply as fantastic. The higher, 10.1-inch display makes use of a number of colours and reconfigurable icons to navigate you thru totally different options, and the show shortly responds to faucets and swipes with good haptic suggestions. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are customary right here, however it is a uncommon case the place the proprietary software program is so good, I do not really feel the necessity to depend on this smartphone-mirroring tech.Nothing conveys a contemporary, techy inside like three big screens.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Below the primary MMI display is an 8.6-inch management panel. This is the place you work together with the local weather controls and numerous car methods (cease/begin, parking sensor warnings, and so on.), and the entire display can flip right into a handwriting pad for vacation spot enter or on-line search. It’s straightforward to make use of and properly enhances the MMI system discovered above. As far as I’m involved, no automaker can high Audi’s cabin tech sport proper now.The S6 might be had with an enormous quantity of driver-assistance tech, too, however sadly, little or no comes customary. The base S6 Premium Plus ($74,895 together with $995 for vacation spot) might be had with a $2,250 Driver Assistance bundle, which provides adaptive cruise management with site visitors jam help, Audi’s aspect help, rear cross-traffic alert, site visitors signal recognition, lane-keeping tech and extra. But at that time, you are higher off simply ponying up the additional $3,450 and going for the loaded S6 Prestige ($80,595 together with vacation spot) the place all of these options, plus Audi’s matrix-design LED headlights, an influence opening and shutting trunk and a head-up show are additionally included, amongst different niceties.If you do spec all that tech, all the pieces works as marketed. The adaptive cruise management easily accelerates and brakes in site visitors and I actually like Audi’s Predictive Efficiency system, which is aware of while you’re approaching a flip, hill or decreased pace restrict, and tells you to carry off the throttle. The approach it gently buzzes the pedal takes a bit getting used to, however drivers also can search for the inexperienced “foot off the gas” icon within the backside of the gauge cluster.Call me loopy, however I want the brand new S6’s rear finish to that of the S7 Sportback. 
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Like I mentioned, the $80,595 Prestige mannequin looks like the fitting method to go right here, even whether it is $5,700 greater than the bottom S6. But you may wish to go straightforward on the choices, or that value can escalate shortly. Take this check automotive, for instance: The Tango Red paint prices $595, the Black Optic bundle is $1,750 and the beautiful Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system is $4,900. This automotive does not even have the $4,000 S Sport pack (all-wheel steering, sport rear differential, crimson brake calipers, sport exhaust) or the $350 adaptive metal suspension. All loaded up, an S6 can climb as excessive as $95,000, and at that time, you may contemplate simply taking out a second mortgage and going for the $109,995 RS6 Avant.A flippantly optioned S6 might be had for round $80,000, and that is a lot better. The nice efficiency does not require any add-ons and the superb cabin tech all comes customary. Plus, contemplate this: An S6 is a full $10,000 cheaper than an equal S7 Sportback. Yes, the S7 presents hatchback performance and it seems to be a bit higher in profile, however the automobiles drive precisely the identical and the S6 continues to be a sharp-dressed sedan. Much as I really like the S7, I’d completely go for the S6.I’d be thrilled with that selection, too — the S6 is a advantageous automotive, and one I’d like to drive on a regular basis. Smooth and supple however highly effective and playful, the S6 completely balances each ends of the A6-to-RS6 spectrum.

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