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2020 Audi S6 review: A beautifully balanced sport sedan

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

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

With the crimson-incredibly hot RS6 Avant now carrying Audi’s general performance baton, you can find a large middle ground between it and the increased-quantity A6 sedan. That room is where this 2020 Audi S6 life, but it truly is a great deal additional than just a tweener. With ease and comfort, tech and electricity in spades, the new S6 seriously stands out as the properly balanced most effective of all worlds.


  • Highly effective twin-turbo V6
  • 28 mpg highway is entirely achievable
  • Peaceful, snug cabin
  • Very best multimedia tech in the class

Do not Like

  • Most driver-support tech is just not conventional
  • Engine seem lacks character

The heart of the S6 is Audi’s 2.nine-liter twin-turbo V6. This is just not just a obtain-and-replace engine swap from the RS5, either — it adds a forty eight-volt gentle-hybrid procedure that powers an electric compressor, which will help feed in additional air to lower turbo lag. The outcome is the exact 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque you get in the RS5, but electricity arrives on a great deal additional promptly. Audi states the four,486-pound S6 will accelerate to 60 mph in a incredibly respectable four.four seconds.

When I to start with drove the RS5, I was a minor dissatisfied with the 2.nine-liter V6 — its buttoned-up character didn’t seriously feel at house in an RS-badged Audi sports activities car or truck. In the S6, however, this neat-and-collected demeanor is appropriate. You can find a prosperity of electricity below your appropriate foot whenever you require it, but the S6 hardly ever feels like it truly is trying as well tough to show off. It is really content to just toddle about at a snail’s pace in the city, but when you mash the throttle on a highway on-ramp, you can expect to be up to velocity in no time.

The S6’s ride good quality is seriously really serene. Even with this take a look at car’s upsized 21-inch wheels — part of the $one,750 Black Optic package — the S6 is smooth as butter. Alongside California’s notoriously janky 405 freeway, the air suspension soaks up tiny undulations from growth joints, and body motions are properly controlled. You can decide for a steel-spring sport suspension, but I would not. The conventional set up strikes a ideal equilibrium between smooth and organization.

Those people pleasantries extend to the relaxation of the S6’s dynamics, as well. The steering has a pleasant fat and is brief to respond the brakes are powerful and linear. The Quattro all-wheel-drive procedure sends electricity where it truly is expected for optimum grip though cornering. And though the S6 is just not nearly as sharp as the RS6 Avant, it’s going to still keep its individual on a winding highway. Toggle the Drive Pick to its sport environment and the S6 handles corners with self esteem.

Even greater, the S6 is just not a whole chug-a-lug in terms of gasoline intake. The EPA estimates this sedan will return eighteen miles per gallon city and 28 mpg highway, and it truly is quite quick to see an average a great deal nearer to the latter quantity — even with a major appropriate foot.

The S6 is an admirable performer, but it truly is also a terrific car or truck to drive on the every day. Highway and wind sound are just about nonexistent in the cabin, and the supportive sport seats are ideal for covering very long distances in ease and comfort. Total, the S6’s inside is just not as well distinct from the conventional A6 — help save the redesigned (and heated!) steering wheel — and which is high-quality by me. Audi is absolutely killing it with inside style, and the high-quality leather-based, open-pore wooden and aluminum trim all function with each other to create a cabin which is equally fashionable and ultra-quality.

You can find a ton of tech on present, as well, as evidenced by not 1, not two, but a few distinct screens. Audi’s Digital Cockpit is appropriate in front of the driver, with Google Earth maps and reconfigurable shows. No matter whether viewing uncomplicated gauges, media information, a full nav screen or driving details, Digital Cockpit is crisp and colorful. A great deal of other organizations are offering completely electronic gauge clusters now, but Audi’s still appears to be like the most effective to my eyes.

The MMI Touch Response tech housed in the centre stack is just as superb. The higher, ten.one-inch screen uses loads of colors and reconfigurable icons to navigate you as a result of distinct attributes, and the screen immediately responds to faucets and swipes with pleasant haptic feedback. Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are conventional here, but this is a rare scenario where the proprietary software is so very good, I you should not experience the require to depend on this smartphone-mirroring tech.

Absolutely nothing conveys a fashionable, techy inside like a few massive screens.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Underneath the major MMI screen is an eight.6-inch manage panel. This is where you interact with the local weather controls and many vehicle devices (cease/begin, parking sensor warnings, etc.), and the total screen can convert into a handwriting pad for vacation spot input or on the net lookup. It is really quick to use and properly enhances the MMI procedure found previously mentioned. As far as I am involved, no automaker can major Audi’s cabin tech video game appropriate now.

The S6 can be experienced with a massive volume of driver-support tech, as well, but sad to say, incredibly minor arrives conventional. The foundation S6 High quality Moreover ($74,895 which include $995 for vacation spot) can be experienced with a $2,250 Driver Support package, which adds adaptive cruise manage with traffic jam guide, Audi’s side guide, rear cross-traffic inform, traffic indicator recognition, lane-trying to keep tech and additional. But at that point, you happen to be greater off just ponying up the more $three,450 and heading for the loaded S6 Prestige ($80,595 which include vacation spot) where all of people attributes, moreover Audi’s matrix-style LED headlights, a electricity opening and closing trunk and a head-up screen are also included, amongst other niceties.

If you do spec all that tech, almost everything is effective as advertised. The adaptive cruise manage efficiently accelerates and brakes in traffic and I seriously like Audi’s Predictive Effectiveness procedure, which appreciates when you happen to be approaching a convert, hill or decreased velocity limit, and tells you to carry off the throttle. The way it gently buzzes the pedal takes a minor receiving made use of to, but drivers can also search for the eco-friendly “foot off the gasoline” icon in the bottom of the gauge cluster.

Phone me outrageous, but I favor the new S6’s rear conclusion to that of the S7 Sportback. 

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Like I claimed, the $80,595 Prestige product would seem like the appropriate way to go here, even if it is $5,seven-hundred additional than the foundation S6. But you can expect to want to go quick on the options, or that selling price can escalate immediately. Acquire this take a look at car or truck, for case in point: The Tango Pink paint charges $595, the Black Optic package is $one,750 and the lovely Bang & Olufsen 3D seem procedure is $four,900. This car or truck won’t even have the $four,000 S Activity pack (all-wheel steering, sport rear differential, crimson brake calipers, sport exhaust) or the $350 adaptive steel suspension. All loaded up, an S6 can climb as superior as $ninety five,000, and at that point, you might think about just having out a 2nd home finance loan and heading for the $109,995 RS6 Avant.

A frivolously optioned S6 can be experienced for about $80,000, and which is a great deal greater. The terrific general performance won’t require any incorporate-ons and the great cabin tech all arrives conventional. Moreover, think about this: An S6 is a full $ten,000 less costly than an equivalent S7 Sportback. Of course, the S7 offers hatchback features and it appears to be like a minor greater in profile, but the cars drive precisely the exact and the S6 is still a sharp-dressed sedan. A lot as I like the S7, I might entirely go for the S6.

I might be thrilled with that decision, as well — the S6 is a high-quality car or truck, and 1 I might like to drive everyday. Easy and supple but powerful and playful, the S6 properly balances equally finishes of the A6-to-RS6 spectrum.