June 1, 2020


Connecting People

2020 Audi S6 review: A beautifully balanced sport sedan

With 21-inch wheels and the Black Optic bundle, the S6 is quite fetching.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

With the purple-hot RS6 Avant now carrying Audi’s functionality baton, you can find a big center floor between it and the higher-quantity A6 sedan. That place is exactly where this 2020 Audi S6 lives, but it really is considerably additional than just a tweener. With convenience, tech and electrical power in spades, the new S6 definitely stands out as the beautifully well balanced finest of all worlds.


  • Impressive twin-turbo V6
  • 28 mpg highway is entirely achievable
  • Tranquil, relaxed cabin
  • Ideal multimedia tech in the course

You should not Like

  • Most driver-aid tech just isn’t standard
  • Motor audio lacks character

The heart of the S6 is Audi’s 2.nine-liter twin-turbo V6. This just isn’t just a locate-and-replace motor swap from the RS5, possibly — it adds a 48-volt moderate-hybrid program that powers an electric powered compressor, which assists feed in additional air to decrease turbo lag. The final result is the exact 444 horsepower and 443 pound-ft of torque you get in the RS5, but electrical power comes on considerably additional right away. Audi says the 4,486-pound S6 will accelerate to sixty mph in a pretty respectable 4.4 seconds.

When I very first drove the RS5, I was a very little unhappy with the 2.nine-liter V6 — its buttoned-up character did not definitely look at residence in an RS-badged Audi sports car or truck. In the S6, although, this awesome-and-collected demeanor is suitable. There is certainly a prosperity of electrical power underneath your right foot any time you need to have it, but the S6 under no circumstances feels like it really is attempting as well challenging to clearly show off. It is pleased to just toddle all-around at a snail’s speed in the city, but when you mash the throttle on a highway on-ramp, you may be up to speed in no time.

The S6’s trip high quality is definitely quite serene. Even with this test car’s upsized 21-inch wheels — section of the $one,750 Black Optic bundle — the S6 is smooth as butter. Together California’s notoriously janky 405 freeway, the air suspension soaks up small undulations from expansion joints, and system motions are nicely managed. You can choose for a steel-spring activity suspension, but I wouldn’t. The standard setup strikes a perfect balance between soft and firm.

All those pleasantries lengthen to the relaxation of the S6’s dynamics, as well. The steering has a pleasant body weight and is speedy to answer the brakes are strong and linear. The Quattro all-wheel-drive program sends electrical power exactly where it really is expected for optimum grip although cornering. And although the S6 just isn’t approximately as sharp as the RS6 Avant, it’s going to still maintain its have on a winding highway. Toggle the Travel Select to its activity location and the S6 handles corners with confidence.

Even greater, the S6 just isn’t a complete chug-a-lug in terms of gas usage. The EPA estimates this sedan will return 18 miles per gallon city and 28 mpg highway, and it really is rather uncomplicated to see an ordinary considerably nearer to the latter selection — even with a major right foot.

The S6 is an admirable performer, but it really is also a wonderful car or truck to drive on the day by day. Road and wind noise are virtually nonexistent in the cabin, and the supportive activity seats are perfect for masking long distances in convenience. Over-all, the S6’s interior just isn’t as well different from the standard A6 — help you save the redesigned (and heated!) steering wheel — and that’s good by me. Audi is certainly killing it with interior layout, and the good leather, open-pore wood and aluminum trim all do the job together to create a cabin that’s each modern and extremely-top quality.

There is certainly a ton of tech on present, as well, as evidenced by not one particular, not two, but 3 different screens. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is right in front of the driver, with Google Earth maps and reconfigurable shows. Whether or not viewing straightforward gauges, media facts, a total nav screen or driving info, Virtual Cockpit is crisp and vibrant. A large amount of other providers are offering entirely digital gauge clusters now, but Audi’s still appears the finest to my eyes.

The MMI Touch Reaction tech housed in the heart stack is just as amazing. The higher, ten.one-inch screen works by using heaps of colours and reconfigurable icons to navigate you through different options, and the screen quickly responds to faucets and swipes with pleasant haptic comments. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard here, but this is a exceptional circumstance exactly where the proprietary software is so good, I will not truly feel the need to have to rely on this smartphone-mirroring tech.

Almost nothing conveys a modern, techy interior like 3 substantial screens.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Down below the most important MMI screen is an eight.six-inch command panel. This is exactly where you interact with the weather controls and numerous vehicle techniques (prevent/begin, parking sensor warnings, etc.), and the total screen can transform into a handwriting pad for location input or on the net search. It is uncomplicated to use and nicely enhances the MMI program observed over. As much as I’m worried, no automaker can major Audi’s cabin tech sport right now.

The S6 can be experienced with a substantial quantity of driver-aid tech, as well, but sadly, pretty very little comes standard. The base S6 Top quality Furthermore ($74,895 which includes $995 for location) can be experienced with a $2,250 Driver Assistance bundle, which adds adaptive cruise command with website traffic jam support, Audi’s aspect support, rear cross-website traffic notify, website traffic signal recognition, lane-holding tech and additional. But at that stage, you are greater off just ponying up the additional $3,450 and heading for the loaded S6 Prestige ($eighty,595 which includes location) exactly where all of these options, additionally Audi’s matrix-layout LED headlights, a electrical power opening and closing trunk and a head-up screen are also included, between other niceties.

If you do spec all that tech, almost everything performs as marketed. The adaptive cruise command smoothly accelerates and brakes in website traffic and I definitely like Audi’s Predictive Effectiveness program, which is aware when you are approaching a transform, hill or decreased speed limit, and tells you to elevate off the throttle. The way it gently buzzes the pedal requires a very little receiving utilized to, but drivers can also look for the inexperienced “foot off the fuel” icon in the bottom of the gauge cluster.

Simply call me insane, but I like the new S6’s rear end to that of the S7 Sportback. 

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Like I said, the $eighty,595 Prestige design looks like the right way to go here, even if it is $5,700 additional than the base S6. But you may want to go uncomplicated on the options, or that cost can escalate quickly. Get this test car or truck, for case in point: The Tango Pink paint costs $595, the Black Optic bundle is $one,750 and the lovely Bang & Olufsen 3D audio program is $4,900. This car or truck won’t even have the $4,000 S Sport pack (all-wheel steering, activity rear differential, purple brake calipers, activity exhaust) or the $350 adaptive steel suspension. All loaded up, an S6 can climb as superior as $95,000, and at that stage, you could possibly look at just taking out a 2nd mortgage loan and heading for the $109,995 RS6 Avant.

A flippantly optioned S6 can be experienced for all-around $eighty,000, and that’s considerably greater. The wonderful functionality won’t need any incorporate-ons and the exceptional cabin tech all comes standard. Furthermore, look at this: An S6 is a total $ten,000 cheaper than an equal S7 Sportback. Certainly, the S7 presents hatchback functionality and it appears a very little greater in profile, but the vehicles drive exactly the exact and the S6 is still a sharp-dressed sedan. Significantly as I enjoy the S7, I would entirely go for the S6.

I would be thrilled with that option, as well — the S6 is a good car or truck, and one particular I would enjoy to drive every day. Clean and supple but impressive and playful, the S6 beautifully balances each ends of the A6-to-RS6 spectrum.