If you want to combine top performance, first-class luxury, and all-wheel-drive, it would be hard to improve on the Audi S6. Of course, all that top-level stuff comes with a price tag, but for Audi enthusiasts, the package is worth every penny.
For the last several decades, Audi has built its reputation on its quattro all-wheel-drive system. The quattro system is ranked among the top AWD systems in the world, and Audi has refined it through several generations since the 1980s.
Maintaining traction in the Audi S6 is critical, because you've got a truly impressive engine under the hood. Audi uses a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine rated at 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque in this vehicle. The engine is mated to a 7-speed "S tronic" twin-clutch automatic with paddle shifters and sport mode.
The twin-clutch transmission with quattro AWD delivers all that engine power to the wheels efficiently, giving you a luxury sedan that can accelerate from 0-60 in just 4.4 seconds and achieve a top speed of 155 mph. Audi provides the S6 with several driving modes, including comfort, automatic, dynamic, and an individual mode if you want to set your own steering, suspension, and engine response parameters.
The interior of the Audi S6 is all top-grade, from the quilted red Valcona leather seats to the real open-grain birch wood inlays. The test car came with the optional Alcantara headliner, so everything you might touch in the S6 has the feel of luxury. As you drive, the cabin is quiet, with only the song of the high-revving V8 making itself known to you. Of course, you can put that in the background by turning up the Bose Surround sound system that comes with the S6 as standard equipment.
The Audi in-car tech system also comes with standard navigation, phone support, and every possible music source you might want. You get a backup camera as standard equipment, but the advanced safety and convenience items come as a Driver Assistance package, with adaptive cruise control for stop-and-go driving, forward collision mitigation, active lane keeping assistance, automatic high beams and a surround-view camera system. There's also a Prestige package with LED headlights, a head-up display on the windscreen, power trunk, power rear sunshade, and rear side window sunshades.
On the road, the S6 is as near to perfect as a sedan can be. There's ample power under your foot, a smooth, pleasant ride, responsive steering, and a sense that you could drive anywhere in the world and arrive feeling as fresh as when you started your journey. If that's what you're after, you really should consider the Audi S6.
2017 Audi S6 4.0T quattro S tronic
Base price: $71,850
Price as tested: $82,425
Type: Midsize sedan
Engine: 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 (450 hp, 406 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 7-speed twin clutch automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 18/27
Overall length: 194.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,389 pounds
Final assembly: Neckarsulm, Germany