Fast four-doors have been around forever, but the Audi S6 provides an enticing mix of people-friendly room, blistering speed, all-weather traction and brand-name cachet. Three generations of S6 have graced our shores to date, though their sporadic appearances and truncated lifespans sure bring new meaning to the term "limited edition."
From the start, the S6's mission has been to be an extra-special version of Audi's already special A6 -- an end usually achieved by means of more power, a sportier suspension and performance-biased wheels and brakes. The S6 has always been abundant with the luxury content expected of Audi, and its midsize dimensions make it one of the better Audis for seating multiple passengers. Just keep in mind that the S6 focuses on performance, and as such its ride quality is harder-edged than that of other Audi vehicles.
Current Audi S6
Following hot on the heels of the recently redesigned Audi A6, the latest performance-focused S6 represents the fourth generation that debuts as a 2013 model. In contrast to its predecessors, the current S6 doesn't make huge leaps in power output compared to the outgoing model. A new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is rated at 420 horsepower (5 hp less than the previous 5.2-liter V10) and 406 pound-feet of torque (8 lb-ft more than before). All of this is channeled through a seven-speed automated manual transmission and distributed to all four wheels. It's unlikely that most drivers could discern such small differences in power, but they may appreciate the improved fuel efficiency.
As with any Audi, the S6's interior features the type of understated luxury that the brand is known for. With an austere design ethic mixed with top-notch materials, the cabin is as functional as it is attractive. On top of this, standard and optional features include a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension with variable damping, adaptive cruise control, various driver and safety assistants, night vision, carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive LED headlights, mobile WiFi, massaging seats and a navigation system with touchpad and handwriting recognition.
We've yet to drive the newest S6, but check back later this year for a complete review.
Read the most recent 2014 Audi S6 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Audi S6 page.