Audi S6 (2012–2018)

Model History

August 2011

New S6 revealed

In the S6 and S6 Avant the new 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 delivers ample power with real world fuel economy in keeping with the times.It appears here in 420PS form, and provides a constant 550 Nm of torque from 1,400 to 5,300 rpm, enough to catapult the S6 from 0 to 62mph in 4.8 seconds and the S6 Avant in 4.9 seconds, and to spur them on to an electronically governed top speed of 155mph.

The 4.0 TFSI brings Audi's downsizing strategy to the high-performance class. Compared to the 5.2-litre V10, it offers even stronger performance while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25 per cent. Average fuel economy is 29.1mpg in the S6 and 28.8mpg in the S6 Avant, well above that of the competition.

A number of technologies contribute to this impressively uncompromising performance, including the familiar recuperation and start-stop systems, and also a new cylinder on demand cylinder management system which deactivates four of the engine's eight cylinders under part load to conserve fuel and improve efficiency. When this process takes place the Active Noise Cancellation system (ANC) is activated. Four microphones integrated into the headlining record the noise in the cabin, which is then analyzed by a computer. If the computer detects intrusive sound elements, it broadcasts an antiphase sound through the speakers of the sound system. This sound combines with the intrusive sound and largely cancels it out.

Independent of this, active, electronically controlled engine bearings use targeted counterpulses to attenuate low-frequency vibrations. A sound actuator, flaps in the exhaust system, the engine shroud and a newly developed two-mass flywheel with a centrifugal force pendulum in the seven-speed S tronic also contribute to the sonorous sound and smoothness of the engine.

When it comes to power transmission, the S6 and S6 Avant also exemplifyVorsprung durch Technik. Power is channeled through a fast-shifting, seven-speed S tronic transmission to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, which incorporates a self-locking centre differential and torque vectoring.

The two new S models are fitted as standard with adaptive air suspension in its firmer sport configuration. The tautly tuned air suspension with variable damping lowers the body by 10 millimetres, and provides for highly precise handling without compromising comfort. 19-inch cast aluminium wheels in a unique five parallel spoke design frame the black calipers of the powerful front and rear internally ventilated disc brakes, which can be replaced by carbon fibre-ceramic discs as an option.

The Audi drive select driving dynamics system is also standard. It influences numerous features within the car, including the throttle pedal response, the shift points of the S tronic transmission, the servo boost of the electromechanical steering and the characteristics of the adaptive air suspension. The driver can adjust the operation of these systems in five stages.

The structure of the cars themselves also plays a significant part in their dramatically improved dynamics. They are unusually lightweight because their bodies are roughly 20 per cent aluminium. The Audi S6 has a kerb weight of just 1,895 kilograms, and the S6 Avant 1,950 kilograms both comparatively impressive figures for eight-cylinder executive class cars.

At 4,931 millimetres, the S6 is 16 millimetres longer than the A6; with the 4,634-millimetre S6 Avant, the difference is 8 millimetres. Their single-frame grille sports aluminium applications and chromed horizontal double bars. Another chrome strip adorns the front bumper. The exterior mirrors feature aluminum-look housings, and the side sills are distinctively shaped. Xenon headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lights and all-weather lights are standard, as are LED rear lights.

The S6 saloon has a spoiler on the boot lid; the Avant has a roof spoiler. With both models, the diffuser on the rear bumper is platinum grey with an aluminum-look offset edge. The four chrome-tipped tailpipes are elliptical. The S models are available in a choice of eight colours, including the exclusive shades Estoril Blue, crystal effect and Prism Silver, crystal effect. The body displays S6 and V8T badges.

The interior of the S6 and S6 Avant continues the sporting theme in an equally understated and elegant way. There are S6 badges on the key, the leather sports steering wheel and the instruments. The illuminated door sill trims and the displays for the MMI and the driver information system also highlight the S6 logo on start-up. A red ring adorns the start-stop button, an aluminium clasp the selector lever. The footrest, the pedals and the soft keys of the MMI operating system are finished with a gleaming aluminium look.

As befits an S model the equipment list for the new S6 and S6 Avant is exhaustive, and can be supplemented by all of the high-end options in the A6 model series. These include LED headlights, adaptive light, head-up display, the parking system plus with 360° camera, powered rear hatch control including optional sensor control, a 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and MMI navigation plus incorporating the MMI touch input system, which when combined with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone with SIM access profile enables in-car internet connection.

From the list of driver assistance options customers can also choose the various versions of the Audi pre sense safety system, adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, Audi side assist, active lane assist, the speed limit display and the night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians. The list of options for the Avant, which offers up to 1,680 litresof luggage space, also includes the panoramic glass roof.

What does a Audi S6 (2012 – 2018) cost?

List Price from £61,905
Buy new from £51,489
Contract hire from £754.31 per month