New for 2015
The Audi A6 is unchanged for 2015, but the head-up display and full LED headlights are now standard equipment on Prestige models.
The Audi S6 is the high-performance variant of the comfortable and competent A6 midsize luxury sedan. The S6 is mechanically identical to the S7, which changes only styling cues, and fits below the full-size S8 in the Audi lineup.
The 2015 Audi S6 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that produces 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, which is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that sends power through the quattro all-wheel-drive system. The EPA rates the S6 for 17/27 mpg city/highway, which isn’t bad considering the S4, with two less cylinders and a 90 hp deficit, only manages one-mpg better.
Audi is known for their interiors, and the S6 is no exception despite its sporting pretensions, with features such as LED headlights, a full-color head-up display, top-view multi-camera system, four-zone climate control, a corner view camera system, adaptive cruise control, Valcona leather seats with contrast diamond stitching, a Bose sound system, MMI infotainment system, and a seven-inch driver information screen.
The 2015 Audi S6 received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing received four ratings of Good (the highest possible rating is Good).
What We Think
The 2015 Audi S6 has a lot in common with the sleek S7, in fact it’s mechanically identical and the only differences are cosmetic. Of the two, however, the S6 is more reserved (not to mention nearly $8,000 cheaper) but packs the same punch. In a Driven review of the Audi S6 and S7 we said, “The eight-cylinder makes for visceral acceleration, but the [S6] is very much a well-mannered beast with a muted growl, linear power delivery, and supreme smoothness.” We explained that the S6’s competitors aren’t the BMW M5 or Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, but rather the BMW 550i xDrive and the Mercedes-Benz E400, the top-spec “regular” models.
We said, “Still, it’s important to note that Audi aimed for a sportier driving experience than those competitors. A key player in that pursuit is the seven-speed dual clutch automatic that replaces the A7’s eight-speed automatic. The eight-speed is a fast and fluid gearbox, but the S tronic transmission is even quicker and in dynamic mode it delivers a sporty kick with every gear change.” We tempered our enthusiasm by noting that the transmission had an occasional tendency to “thud” into gear when being driven at a slower pace.
“Luxury, performance, and style — the S6 delivers everything the A6 does, only with a sportier edge,” we wrote in a review. “We’re still smitten with the less powerful, more efficient supercharged V-6 in the A6, but the twin-turbo V-8 is similarly sweet for those who demand more. With the S6, Audi has taken one of the best cars on sale today and made it even better.”
- Powerful twin-turbo V-8
- Satisfyingly crisp upshifts when driven hard
- Controlled ride, but never harsh
You Won’t Like
- Looks too much like the A4/S4
- Occasional rough shifts when driving slowly
- BMW 550i xDrive
- Mercedes-Benz E400
- Cadillac CTS Vsport
- Jaguar XF 5.0 Supercharged