New Car Review

2013 Audi S6: New Car Review

Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 Audi S6 Prestige
Used 2013 Audi S6
  • New Car Review

    Even in the twilight years of its generation, the 2017 Audi S6 rocks the premium midsize sport sedan class.
  • New Car Review

    The 2016 Audi S6 premium midsize sport sedan stakes its claim as one of the best in a class full of amazing cars.
  • New Car Review

    Although the premium midsize sedan class keeps evolving, the 2018 Audi A6 remains fit enough to survive and thrive.
  • New Car Review Video

    The 2013 Audi S6 is a high-performance car and a luxury car rolled into one, with plenty of style, too. Here are 5 reasons to grab the keys.
See all Audi S6 articles
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs

author photo by Josh Sadlier June 2012

Pros: Seductive mix of acceleration and refinement; genuinely entertaining handling; all the luxury and technology of a regular A6

Cons: Doesn't come cheap

What's New: The Audi S6 is all-new for 2013.

Doubling down is supposed to be risky, but putting chips on the 2013 Audi S6 must have been a complete no-brainer for Audi. That's because the regular A6 sedan on which it's based is already an excellent sport sedan in its own right. We've driven plenty of high-performance models that were based on subpar mainstream products, and that's a recipe for disappointment. But when you start with a car as solid as the A6, how can you go wrong?

Well, surely there are ways, but we're pleased to report that Audi has managed to avoid them with the new S6. It all starts under the hood, where Audi has ditched the A6's excellent supercharged V6 in favor of a much more excellent twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Audi fans might be dismayed that the exquisite 4.2-liter V8 has been passed over here-but fear not, the S6's twin-turbo V8 is a thing of beauty, delivering its formidable 420 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque in an incredibly well-mannered fashion.

Eagle-eyed observers will note that the S6's power figures are basically neck and neck with those of BMW's 550i sedan. This is significant, because it means that the 560-horsepower BMW M5 sedan remains unchallenged by Audi-in a straight line, at least. But if you're looking for a mid-size luxury sedan that can more or less do it all, from acceleration and handling to comfort and technology, the 2013 Audi S6 is one of just a few cars in the world that we consider safe bets.

Comfort & Utility

The 2013 Audi S6 is offered in one well-equipped trim level. It comes with 19-inch or 20-inch alloy wheels, quad exhaust tips, xenon headlamps, an adjustable air suspension, a sport rear differential, a sunroof, Audi's Drive Select system (featuring electronic adjustments for steering, throttle and transmission) and Multi-Media Interface (MMI), leather upholstery, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles, power sport seats with diamond stitching, a Google-Earth-based navigation system, Wi-Fi capability and a Bose audio system. Options include LED headlights, a head-up display, a top-view parking camera, massaging front seats and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.

The S6's cabin is beautifully constructed, with high-quality materials everywhere you look and touch. The basic design is a carryover from the A6, of course, but the S6 adds numerous S-specific touches such as a unique instrument cluster and S6 badging on the steering wheel. We love the sport seats, which provide that robust lateral support that the A6's standard seats lack. The back seat's bottom cushion is rather low by mid-size luxury sedan standards, but most folks should still be able to get comfortable back there.

The S6's ergonomics are generally satisfactory. As in other Audis, little things like adjusting the fan speed can be needlessly complex, but most major controls are straightforward. Happily, the MMI system has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, with simplified menu structures and extra physical buttons that help streamline common tasks. The MMI control knob falls readily to hand, allowing the driver to use the center armrest and the knob at the same time.


Like the A6, the S6 is a high-tech haven inside. Well, unless you like to keep your MP3s on a flash drive, since the S6 features SD card slots instead of a USB port. Otherwise, this Audi's technology comes up aces, from the standard iPod/Bluetooth integration to the warm-sounding Bose stereo. Your passengers will undoubtedly be impressed by the crisp, colorful MMI screen, which displays vivid Google Earth images in navigation mode and automatically retracts into the dash when not in use. There's even a touch pad on the center console that can recognize commands you scrawl on it with your finger.

Performance & Fuel Economy

The all-wheel-drive S6 sports a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 rated at 420 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual. It's hard to overstate this drivetrain's excellence: acceleration feels impossibly swift and smooth, while the dual-clutch transmission delivers quick yet seamless shifts. Although the previous S6 enjoys bragging rights on paper with its 435-hp Lamborghini V10, the 2013 S6 is actually quicker, so the only thing missing is the V10's spine-tingling wail.

Oh, and the V10's miserable fuel economy is also gone, as Audi expects the twin-turbo V8 to return about 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway, thanks in part to a cylinder deactivation system that enables the engine to cruise with just 4 cylinders.


The 2013 Audi S6 comes with standard stability control and four-wheel antilock ventilated disc brakes. Ten airbags are located throughout the cabin (front, front side, front knee, rear side and full-length side curtain). The S6 also offers a blind-spot warning system and night vision assist with pedestrian detection.

The A6 family had not been crash tested by the government as of this writing, but the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the A6 its top rating of Good in every category.

Driving Impressions

Audi likes to talk about all the S6's aluminum parts, but this mid-size sedan still weighs well over two tons, which makes its athleticism all the more impressive. Unlike the 550i or even the M5, the S6 feels light on its feet, and the responsive, precise steering imparts confidence in all situations. If you're really driving with enthusiasm, you can feel the rear-biased Quattro all-wheel drive working with the standard sport rear differential to keep power and grip in sync. Indeed, the S6 drives remarkably like the sporty S4, despite being considerably larger and heavier. Naturally, there's a tradeoff here: the S6's ride is on the firm side, even with Drive Select set to Comfort. If you want a car that's going to pound highways into submission, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class might be more your speed. But if nimble cornering is a priority, the S6 is as good as it gets in this segment.

Other Cars to Consider

BMW 5 Series: The 4-cylinder 528i won't cut it if you're cross-shopping an S6, but the six-cylinder 535i, eight-cylinder 550i and just plain ridiculous M5 give you a compelling range of high-performance options.

Infiniti M56: Infiniti doesn't really have a dedicated performance line like the Germans, but the M56 comes with a 420-hp V8 right out of the box, and the S version handles exceptionally well.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class: You can't go wrong with either the E550 or the E63 AMG: both now offer twin-turbocharged V8s in differing states of tune. The E-Class isn't what we'd call agile, but boy, does it devour miles on the Interstate.

AutoTrader Recommends

he S6 comes loaded up, so the only question is whether you like it more than its rivals. We're not sure which one we'd choose, but the S6 is an incredible all-around package, no doubt about it.

Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2013 Audi S6 Prestige
Used 2013 Audi S6
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Audi S6: New Car Review - Autotrader