Audi S6

The Car Connection Audi S6 Overview

The Audi S6 is the performance version of the A6, the German automaker's mid-size sedan. On sale in the U.S. since the mid-1990s, the S6 at times has been joined by a hotter RS 6 edition, in the U.S. and in other markets.

Audi's S6 joined the A6 family shortly after the Audi 100/200 was renamed as the A6. Usually sold as a four-door sedan, it has also been offered in Avant wagon form.

The Audi S6 is a rival for cars such as the Jaguar XFR, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, and BMW M5.

For 2017, the S6 carries over after a mild refresh last year. 

MORE: Read our 2017 Audi S6 review

That first S6 sold in the U.S. went on sale in 1995, and slipped off the radar after just one model year. It was powered by a turbocharged inline-5 engine rated at about 227 horsepower, and teamed with a manual transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. It passed out of the lineup quickly as Audi swapped out the old A6 for a new model with a more distinctive shape, though it didn't get around to offering a new S6 until the 2002 and 2003 model years. This version would be powered by a 4.2-liter V-8 with about 340 hp, with a new 5-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive—along with new features such as stability control, side airbags and a navigation system.

In its third generation, the S6 was based on a new body style, the A6 that was introduced for 2005. It was a striking shape, with the now-trademark "tornado" line along the lower sill, and it also had a more freely styled interior compared to the previous generation. When the third-gen S6 arrived in 2007, it was powered by a Lamborghini-derived V-10 engine; the 5.2-liter made 425 hp and sent its power through a 6-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive. The engine made a fabulous noise, but performance was disappointing considering the pedigree. This generation also saw the new Audi Multi-Media Interface (MMI) infotainment controller for the first time, handling navigation, media, and other settings.

Today's fourth-generation Audi A6 went on sale in the 2012 model year, but the S6 wouldn't return until 2013. While basic sedans came with a choice of inline-4 and V-6 engines, the S6 sports a new twin-turbo 4.0 TFSI V-8 engine. It's rated at 420 hp and is capable of 0-60 mph runs of less than 4.8 seconds. The S6 gets additional performance improvements like a sport differential, sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission—plus appearance changes like a four-outlet exhaust, special wheels, and two additional, exclusive "S" colors: Estoril Blue and Prism Silver. Like the A6, the S6 also offers beautifully rendered navigation mapping via Google Earth mapping, and in-car wireless Internet, under the Audi Connect banner.

The current S6 shares the A6's Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS, and the NHTSA gives the S6 five stars in all of its tests.

Well-heeled buyers can opt for pricey packages on the S6, including front seat massage functions, sport differentials, a top-notch Bang & Olufsen sound package, and a black Alcantara headliner.

Both the A6 and S6 received mild styling updates for the 2016 model year. The most obvious exterior touches include restyled lighting units, while inside, the interior gets improved materials and a tweaked layout. The S6 received a 30 horsepower boost up to 450 hp.

For 2017, the S6 stayed the same as the year before it.

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
Thursday, July 2, 2015
2016 Audi S6 4-Door Sedan Prestige

an amazing combination of luxury and performance

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
In select mode a high performance machine that is quick in response and effortless. Comfort mode suspension is a bit soft for me but the performance mode has excellent response on high speed curves or... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Sunday, April 19, 2015
For 2015 Audi S6

excellent vehicle

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
If you like a performance automobile that's fun to drive with decent fuel economy you will enjoy this vehicle.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
2014 Audi S6 4-Door Sedan Prestige

Audi- there is no substitute

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
I have owned Audi's since 1998. A4's, Allroad, A4 Cab, S4 and now the S6. hands down best vehicle I have owned. No flash, just style + performance.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Yes
See all user reviews »
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection
Stay up-to-date
Get updates about this model emailed to you.
  • New car reviews for this model by our editors
  • News including price changes, new models, or recall info
  • New incentives and rebates that are being offered for this vehicle