Audi’s S6 sport sedan goes one more year unchanged following a mid-cycle update in 2016, meaning this fast mid-sizer keeps on with a 4.0L turbo V8 that cranks 450 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro AWD.
Let’s be honest: the A6 that serves as the basis for this car is a fine luxury sedan in its own right, but if you’re stepping up to the S6, it’s for the additional performance brought by the two extra cylinders that live under the hood.
This is nowhere near the ultimate in Audi sedan performance, though. The S6 is handily outstripped by the RS7, a super-hot version of the A7 hatchback that shares its underpinnings with the A6 and can be had with as much as 605 hp.
It might leave the S6 in the dust, but this traditional sedan is still a formidable competitor for V8 variants of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, not to mention the capably quick Cadillac CTS V-Sport. In fact, Audi’s conservative styling tendencies could be considered a distinct advantage for drivers looking for a q-ship that better avoids attracting attention the way other luxury sedans do.
There are no additions to the S6’s standard features list for 2018, which once again includes 20-inch wheel and tires, sport differential, speed-sensitive power steering, LED headlights, daytime running lights and taillights, automatic high beams and headlight washers, power open/close trunk with hands-free activation, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, Valcona leather seating with eight-way power and four-way lumbar up front, four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, electric rear-window sunshade, navigation, 14-speaker stereo, blind spot monitor, top-view camera and front and rear parking sensors.
Surprisingly, given its not-insignificant performance intentions, the S6 inherits a fuel-saving engine auto stop/start system from the lesser A6, and gets a cylinder-on-demand system to further improve the car’s at-the-pump performance. Those nods to economy help cut consumption to 13.3 and 8.8 L/100 km in city and highway driving, respectively.
Notable options in the S6 include a seating package that adds 14-way power adjustment up front, along with a massage function, ventilation and memory. The driver assistance group brings pre-sense plus, active lane assist and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function. Finally, there’s the Arras Red Design Line package that adds red leather seats with black stitching, carbon inlay with red twill and extended leather.
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