If you’re looking for information on a newer Audi S6, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Audi S6 Review
The 2017 Audi S6 is based on the A6 premium midsize sedan, but turns up the volume on both the sport and equipment aspects. The S6 is supremely talented, devilishly fast and utterly desirable. While the driver sits in a beautifully executed cabin with lush materials and tasteful design, a twin-turbo V8 is delivering ballistic acceleration, the suspension offers poise and precision, and the all-wheel-drive system provides virtually endless grip. To call this car capable is like saying Professor Stephen Hawking is a pretty smart dude.
What’s New for 2017?
What We Like
Alluring mix of power and refinement; genuinely entertaining handling; all the luxury and technology of a regular A6; good fuel economy
What We Don’t
Doesn’t come cheap; no spring chicken
The S6 has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 developing 450 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual and all-wheel drive is standard. Fuel economy is remarkably good for this level of performance, rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 18 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 Audi S6 is available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
The Premium Plus ($71,850) comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, a model-specific body kit and accents, LED running lights and taillights, automatic xenon headlights, a sunroof, heated/auto-dimming side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an adaptive air suspension, 8-way power-adjustable and heated sport front seats with driver’s-side memory settings, a flat-bottom steering wheel, leather upholstery with diamond stitching, keyless entry/ignition, Audi’s Drive Select system (featuring electronic adjustments for steering, throttle and transmission), aluminum pedals, quad-zone automatic climate control , blind spot monitoring, parking sensors front and rear, a rearview camera, plus the Multi Media Interface (MMI) infotainment system, with an 8-in display, navigation with Google Earth, two USB ports, two SD card slots, Bluetooth phone/audio, HD Radio, satellite radio, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and a 10-speaker audio system.
The Prestige ($75,050) adds more luxury features, such as manual side sunshades and a powered rear sunshade, a power trunk lid, a head-up display, a 14-speaker/630-watt Bose system, LED cabin lighting and LED headlights.
Adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist and a 360-degree parking camera system are all part of the optional Driver Assistance package. The S6 Sport package brings dynamic steering, a torque-vectoring differential and a sport exhaust system with black tailpipes.
Other options include multicontour front seats, night vision, a top-view parking camera, massaging front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 15-speaker/1,300-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system and a Black Optic appearance package with 20-in wheels.
The S6 has great tech, from the standard iPod/Bluetooth integration and Wi-Fi hot spot function to the warm-sounding Bose stereo (although the optional Bang & Olufsen system is exceptional). The crisp, colorful MMI screen displays vivid Google Earth images in navigation mode and automatically retracts into the dash when not in use. The touchpad on the center console has handwriting recognition.
Trunk capacity is on the small side for this segment: 14.1 cu ft.
The Audi S6 comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock ventilated disc brakes and a blind spot monitoring system. Eight airbags are standard (front, front-side, front-knee and full-length side-curtain), with rear side airbags offered as an option. Also optional are lane-keeping assistance and Audi’s Pre-Sense Plus collision-mitigation system with automatic braking.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the S6 its maximum of five stars for both front- and side-impact protection. Similarly, the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the A6 (on which the S6 is based) its top rating of Good in every category.
Behind the Wheel
The cabin is beautifully constructed, with high-quality materials everywhere within sight and reach. The basic design is carried over from the A6, but the S6 adds numerous model-specific touches, such as the instrument cluster and badging on the steering wheel. The sport seats provide the robust lateral support lacking in the A6’s standard seats. The back seat’s bottom cushion is rather low by midsize luxury sedan standards, but most people should still be able to get comfortable back there.
It’s hard to overstate the excellence of the S6’s twin-turbo drivetrain. Acceleration feels impossibly swift and smooth, while the dual-clutch transmission delivers quick-yet-seamless shifts.
Despite many aluminum parts, this midsize sport sedan still weighs well over two tons, which makes its athleticism all the more impressive. Unlike the BMW 550i, the S6 feels light and responsive, and its precise steering inspires confidence in all situations. Drive with real enthusiasm and you can feel the rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system working to keep power and grip in sync.
Naturally, there’s a trade-off. The ride is on the firm side, even with Drive Select set to Comfort. But if nimble cornering is a priority, the S6 is as good as it gets in this segment.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 BMW M550i — The 5 Series is an all-new generation for 2017, and the 455-hp M550i is all-new in its own right.
2017 Cadillac CTS V-Sport — Superb chassis and comes to the party with 420 hp.
2017 Mercedes-AMG E 43 — A variant of the fresh and fantastic E-Class, the E 43 is a little down on power (396 hp) but comes with an adaptive air suspension as standard.
Used Audi S8 — As the performance version of the A8 flagship sedan, the S8 is even faster and more exclusive than the S6. It also has more occupant and cargo space. A certified pre-owned (CPO) S8 could be in the same ballpark price-wise as a new S6.
A new generation of A6/S6 is not far down the road. And that BMW M550i looks incredibly tempting. If you cannot wait, this generation is still excellent and still blessed with modern styling. Find an Audi S6 for sale