• High-performance variant of the A6 mid-size luxury sedan
  • New twin-turbo V8 produces 420 horsepower
  • The S6 performance, efficiency, safety and comfort

One of three high-performance "S" models from Audi at the LA Auto Show, the all-new S6 makes its first US appearance in LA. Audi focused on improving efficiency; a V8 in this fourth-generation S6 replaces its predecessor's V10. The new car gives up two cylinders but little else. Thanks to the new twin-turbo V8 engine and an array of performance enhancements, the new S6 delivers muscle and agility - and is even quicker than the old car. Plus, it's packed to the gills with high-tech wizardry for comfort and safety, and Audi wraps it all in a package that subtly sets it apart.

An exclusive grille and bumpers, a trunk lid spoiler, rear diffuser and four-outlet exhaust distinguish the S6. The wheels are unique, too, and available in 19-inch and 20-inch styles. The motorsports-inspired inside treatment includes an S-specific instrument cluster, sport seats with diamond stitching and extensive aluminum accents.

The new, 420-horsepower 4.0-liter engine is muscular yet efficient, thanks in part to cylinder deactivation. The S6 uses active engine mounts and active noise control to minimize any intrusion from the deactivation system's operation. Still, zero to 62 mph takes just 4.8 seconds, and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

A seven-speed S tronic automated manual transmission with paddle shifters delivers power to all four wheels, and a torque vectoring rear differential aids cornering. Adaptive air suspension provides four settings and can lower the body to improve handling.

Other cutting-edge systems enhance safety and comfort. A heads-up display, parking system with top-view camera, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and night vision with pedestrian detection are all available on the S6. Audi's MMI navigation is standard and provides voice recognition and a host of connectivity capabilities.

Cars like the S6 command a premium price and are clearly not for everyone. But those seeking an exclusive model that provides exceptional performance, luxurious appointments, high-tech gadgets and relative efficiency may find the new S6 to be a good alternative.

What it means to you: Audi's new S6 offers an appealing balance of performance and luxury, and has more power and better fuel-efficiency than the old model.

See more LA Auto Show news.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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