Audi S6

The A6 lineup includes models with turbocharged 4-cylinder (2.0T), supercharged V6 (3.0T) power, and a direct-injected 3.0L V6. A6 2.0T models are offered with either front-wheel drive or quattro all-wheel drive, while 3.0T models all include quattro. 2.0L turbocharged models now generate 252 horsepower, while 3.0L-powered models manage 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. The Prestige trim ups that output to 340 hp and 325 lb-feet of torque.

Base models of the A6 with front-wheel drive (dubbed FrontTrack) include a continuously variable transaxle (CVT), but the rest of the lineup utilizes the excellent 8-speed Tiptronic automatic. Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system is also available with either engine. The system is a rear-biased version of Audi's quattro system that provides balanced handling, while the A6's construction uses a combination of aluminum panels and high-strength steel to save weight and improve the A6's nimble, responsive feel.

Thanks to Audi Drive Select, steering and throttle are adjustable, as is transmission behavior. Inside, the A6 is beautifully detailed, with a wraparound design, supportive seats and just the right amount of bright trim. All models save the base Premium, 4-zone automatic climate control and ventilated seats are also available. In addition, there are some standout technology features, such as built-in Wi-Fi connection and integrated Google Local Search.

The A6 is also strong on safety features, with a Pre Sense system, which initiates protective measures if it anticipates a collision, included in all A6 models. There's also available adaptive cruise control and an Audi side assist option that warns of vehicles potentially in the driver's blind spot. Those willing to splurge on options are also able to get a night-vision assistant and head-up display, as well as the phenomenal 1,300-watt, 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. A 630-watt, 14-speaker Bose surround sound system is also available.

Key trim levels for the A6 2.0T are Premium and Premium Plus, while the 3.0T starts at Premium Plus and are also offered in a Prestige trim. Premium Plus models add keyless start, LED running lamps, a parking-sensor system, 4-zone climate control and Audi's MMI Touch screen-driven interface with HD Radio, plus navigation with SiriusXM traffic. The top Prestige model steps up to Bose surround system, heated-and-ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable steering column, LED headlamps, LED ambient lighting, Audi side assist with Pre Sense, plus appearance extras.

The Prestige A6 is comes with a tuned version of the 3.0L V6 and all-wheel drive. The trim includes sport-tuned suspension, a sport differential and a head-up display.

The S6 is a high-performance variation on the A6 but a big step up in performance, thanks to its 420-horsepower, 4.0L turbocharged V8 engine, along with a special 7-speed S tronic gearbox and various other performance upgrades. The S6 has a stiffer performance suspension, as well as an air suspension system with variable damping and four modes. The S6 supports its performance credibility with upgraded ventilated disc brakes with matte-black calipers, a 4-outlet dual exhaust and special 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels. A "cylinder on demand" system can temporarily shut some cylinders off to save fuel, while active engine mounts and active noise cancellation keep the vibration at bay. Inside, the S6 gets special power-adjustable S6 sport seats, Valcona leather seats with diamond stitching, leather steering-wheel trim with colored stitching, illuminated door sills and special sport seats.

Editors' Review

With the red-hot RS6 Avant now carrying Audi's performance baton, there's a big middle ground between it and the higher-volume A6 sedan. That space is where this 2020 Audi S6 lives, but it's much more than just a tweener. With comfort, tech and power in spades, the new S6 really stands out as the perfectly balanced best of all worlds.

The heart of the S6 is Audi's 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6. This isn't just a find-and-replace engine swap from the RS5, either -- it adds a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that powers an electric compressor, which helps feed in more air to reduce turbo lag. The result is the same 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque you get in the RS5, but power comes on much more immediately. Audi says the 4,486-pound S6 will accelerate to 60 mph in a very respectable 4.4 seconds.

When I first drove the RS5, I was a little disappointed with the 2.9-liter V6 -- its buttoned-up character didn't really seem at home in an RS-badged Audi sports car. In the S6, though, this cool-and-collected demeanor is appropriate. There's a wealth of power under your right foot whenever you need it, but the S6 never feels like it's trying too hard to show off. It's happy to just toddle around at a snail's pace in the city, but when you mash the throttle on a highway on-ramp, you'll be up to speed in no time.

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The Good ~ Powerful twin-turbo V6 ~ 28 mpg highway is totally achievable ~ Quiet, comfortable cabin ~ Best multimedia tech in the class

The Bad ~ Most driver-assistance tech isn't standard ~ Engine sound lacks character

The Bottom Line The Audi S6 occupies a great middle ground between the base A6 and raucous RS6 Avant. It's a sport sedan I'd love to drive on the daily.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 9.5
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 10

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