2020 Audi S6 review: A beautifully balanced sport sedan

Matthew N. Henry

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

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

With the pink-very hot RS6 Avant now carrying Audi’s overall performance baton, there’s a major middle ground involving it and the increased-volume A6 sedan. That room is exactly where this 2020 Audi S6 lives, but it is really substantially a lot more than just a tweener. With ease and comfort, tech and electrical power in spades, the new S6 seriously stands out as the properly balanced most effective of all worlds.


  • Powerful twin-turbo V6
  • 28 mpg highway is fully achievable
  • Tranquil, cozy cabin
  • Finest multimedia tech in the course

Never Like

  • Most driver-help tech isn’t really typical
  • Motor audio lacks character

The heart of the S6 is Audi’s two.nine-liter twin-turbo V6. This isn’t really just a discover-and-swap engine swap from the RS5, either — it adds a forty eight-volt delicate-hybrid technique that powers an electrical compressor, which allows feed in a lot more air to lessen turbo lag. The outcome is the exact 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque you get in the RS5, but electrical power comes on substantially a lot more instantly. Audi claims the 4,486-pound S6 will accelerate to 60 mph in a extremely respectable 4.4 seconds.

When I initial drove the RS5, I was a tiny dissatisfied with the two.nine-liter V6 — its buttoned-up character failed to seriously feel at residence in an RS-badged Audi sports activities auto. In the S6, though, this interesting-and-gathered demeanor is correct. You will find a wealth of electrical power less than your suitable foot every time you need to have it, but the S6 under no circumstances feels like it is really trying as well really hard to exhibit off. It is satisfied to just toddle around at a snail’s speed in the metropolis, but when you mash the throttle on a highway on-ramp, you will be up to velocity in no time.

The S6’s ride excellent is seriously really serene. Even with this check car’s upsized 21-inch wheels — part of the $one,750 Black Optic package — the S6 is sleek as butter. Together California’s notoriously janky 405 freeway, the air suspension soaks up smaller undulations from growth joints, and body motions are nicely managed. You can decide for a steel-spring sport suspension, but I wouldn’t. The typical setup strikes a fantastic equilibrium involving smooth and agency.

Individuals pleasantries lengthen to the relaxation of the S6’s dynamics, as well. The steering has a awesome bodyweight and is swift to react the brakes are solid and linear. The Quattro all-wheel-drive technique sends electrical power exactly where it is really demanded for utmost grip even though cornering. And even though the S6 isn’t really nearly as sharp as the RS6 Avant, it will nonetheless maintain its personal on a winding street. Toggle the Push Select to its sport location and the S6 handles corners with assurance.

Even far better, the S6 isn’t really a full chug-a-lug in terms of gas intake. The EPA estimates this sedan will return eighteen miles for each gallon metropolis and 28 mpg highway, and it is really fairly uncomplicated to see an normal substantially nearer to the latter amount — even with a major suitable foot.

The S6 is an admirable performer, but it is really also a great auto to drive on the each day. Highway and wind sounds are pretty much nonexistent in the cabin, and the supportive sport seats are fantastic for covering extended distances in ease and comfort. In general, the S6’s inside isn’t really as well various from the typical A6 — help you save the redesigned (and heated!) steering wheel — and which is fine by me. Audi is unquestionably killing it with inside design and style, and the fine leather, open-pore wooden and aluminum trim all perform with each other to generate a cabin which is both equally modern and ultra-high quality.

You will find a ton of tech on offer, as well, as evidenced by not a person, not two, but 3 various screens. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is suitable in entrance of the driver, with Google Earth maps and reconfigurable shows. Regardless of whether viewing very simple gauges, media info, a whole nav monitor or driving facts, Virtual Cockpit is crisp and colorful. A great deal of other firms are offering entirely electronic gauge clusters now, but Audi’s nonetheless seems to be the most effective to my eyes.

The MMI Touch Reaction tech housed in the middle stack is just as superb. The higher, ten.one-inch monitor takes advantage of a lot of hues and reconfigurable icons to navigate you by means of various features, and the show quickly responds to taps and swipes with awesome haptic comments. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are typical in this article, but this is a uncommon scenario exactly where the proprietary computer software is so excellent, I never come to feel the need to have to depend on this smartphone-mirroring tech.

Practically nothing conveys a modern, techy inside like 3 enormous screens.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Below the key MMI monitor is an 8.6-inch command panel. This is exactly where you interact with the local weather controls and a variety of automobile systems (prevent/start, parking sensor warnings, etc.), and the full monitor can transform into a handwriting pad for destination enter or on the web look for. It is uncomplicated to use and nicely enhances the MMI technique observed earlier mentioned. As much as I am worried, no automaker can prime Audi’s cabin tech match suitable now.

The S6 can be had with a enormous amount of money of driver-help tech, as well, but unfortunately, extremely tiny comes typical. The foundation S6 Premium Plus ($74,895 together with $995 for destination) can be had with a $two,250 Driver Guidance package, which adds adaptive cruise command with traffic jam guide, Audi’s facet guide, rear cross-traffic notify, traffic signal recognition, lane-keeping tech and a lot more. But at that level, you happen to be far better off just ponying up the further $three,450 and likely for the loaded S6 Status ($80,595 together with destination) exactly where all of individuals features, moreover Audi’s matrix-design and style LED headlights, a electrical power opening and closing trunk and a head-up show are also included, among other niceties.

If you do spec all that tech, every little thing functions as marketed. The adaptive cruise command easily accelerates and brakes in traffic and I seriously like Audi’s Predictive Effectiveness technique, which is aware when you happen to be approaching a transform, hill or lowered velocity restrict, and tells you to raise off the throttle. The way it carefully buzzes the pedal requires a tiny getting used to, but drivers can also glimpse for the inexperienced “foot off the fuel” icon in the base of the gauge cluster.

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

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Like I said, the $80,595 Status product seems like the suitable way to go in this article, even if it is $5,seven hundred a lot more than the foundation S6. But you will want to go uncomplicated on the possibilities, or that price can escalate quickly. Consider this check auto, for example: The Tango Pink paint prices $595, the Black Optic package is $one,750 and the attractive Bang & Olufsen 3D audio technique is $4,900. This auto won’t even have the $4,000 S Sport pack (all-wheel steering, sport rear differential, pink brake calipers, sport exhaust) or the $350 adaptive steel suspension. All loaded up, an S6 can climb as higher as $ninety five,000, and at that level, you may possibly contemplate just taking out a next house loan and likely for the $109,995 RS6 Avant.

A flippantly optioned S6 can be had for around $80,000, and which is substantially far better. The great overall performance won’t call for any include-ons and the outstanding cabin tech all comes typical. Plus, contemplate this: An S6 is a whole $ten,000 more affordable than an equivalent S7 Sportback. Yes, the S7 gives hatchback performance and it seems to be a tiny far better in profile, but the cars and trucks drive accurately the exact and the S6 is nonetheless a sharp-dressed sedan. Significantly as I really like the S7, I’d fully go for the S6.

I’d be thrilled with that option, as well — the S6 is a fine auto, and a person I’d really like to drive each day. Smooth and supple but powerful and playful, the S6 properly balances both equally ends of the A6-to-RS6 spectrum.

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