The Sleeper

Behind the wheel of the striking new Audi S6 Sedan.

Blisteringly fast when required and as gentle as a lamb when what you want is a luxury conveyance – the S6 Sedan is the sedan for all seasons and reasons.

15 June, 2020


The S6 Sedan is a wolf in, well, wolf’s clothing – but a stylish wolf

It’s always interesting to note the reaction of other motorists and those on the street when you get behind the wheel of a new Audi. Sometimes you can tell that the onlooker knows their cars and has perhaps read about the pending arrival of the model in question. Other times – and depending on the model – it is more a nodding appreciation or even a quizzical look from someone trying to identify the new model.

Not surprisingly an Audi R8 will garner plenty of attention and the first-ever SQ8 also attracted plenty of looks on its recent release drive.

The new Audi S6 Sedan is a particularly interesting one, because in a world of SUVs it doesn’t tend to stand out, and yet in a recent extended drive, the performance sedan never failed to turned heads everywhere it went. On the freeway, ducking out to the shops or taking a spirited run along some fairly isolated B roads, it attracted plenty of attention and all of it of the curious or appreciative kind.

And that’s the sort of car the new S6 Sedan is. Understated and yet with a presence that captures attention – the right kind of attention. It wouldn’t be accurate to call it a sleeper because frankly it’s pretty obvious that it’s something special – it’s a wolf in, well, wolf’s clothing – but a stylish wolf. The low, seductive burble of the 2.9 litre bi-turbo TFSI V6 engine, even at traffic lights, is also a fair giveaway that it’s not just a luxury sedan, and under load, you’d get no prizes for guessing it’s fast. But one of the beauties of the S6 Sedan is that it doesn’t scream look at me. 

But its presence is just the beginning with the S6, which is both a supremely luxurious car and a beautifully balanced performance sedan.

Design is always a matter of personal tastes but the S6 strikes the right balance of sporty character with a certain restrained elegance. The quattro blisters over the wheel arches give it a strong, muscular stance, and the wide Singleframe grille accentuates that with a ‘low slung’ look. Indeed the S6 is significantly lower than the A6 Sedan on which it’s based, sitting 20mm lower and capable of dropping a further 10mm using the dynamic model in the drive select.

Based on the Audi Prologue design concept which was one of Audi design guru, Marc Lichte’s first projects when he joined Audi, it is so much more than a sports sedan. 

The huge 21-inch wheels with red brake callipers add to the ‘purposeful’ appearance and the addition of a black exterior styling package and the high-definition Matrix LED headlights are all subtle but distinctive indicators of the type of car this is. Likewise the quad exhausts and slim boot lid spoiler are all giveaways but again, without the need for chest beating.

Just sitting still the S6 Sedan has a real presence that’s hard to quantify, but it just ‘works’.

What also works is the 2.9-litre, twin-turbocharged TFSI V6 engine that delivers 331kW of power and 600Nm of torque from under 2000rpm and on through the rev range. 

Just sitting still the S6 Sedan has a real presence that’s hard to quantify, but it just ‘works’

Mated to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, the S6 hits 100km/h from a standing start in 4.5 seconds

Significantly lighter then the V8 used in the previous model (26kg to be precise) it is also assisted by the presence of an Electric-Powered Compressor (EPC) working with a 48-volt main electrical system (MHEV) to maximise performance and also reduce fuel consumption in the process. 

Mated to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, the S6 hits 100km/h from a standing start in 4.5 seconds and then just keeps on accelerating effortlessly with a top speed capability well past anything legal on Australian roads.

Being an ’S’ car, power goes down to the road via the brand’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive and with new adaptive air suspension, progressive steering and wheel-selective torque control all standard equipment, the handling is nothing short of superb, with a surefooted feel that never feels anything but assured no matter the conditions. Extremely rewarding to drive on twisting backroads, the agility and unbridled performance of the S6 Sedan is all the more impressive given the level of equipment and luxury appointment it carries as standard. This after all is a large, luxury sedan, not a race car and from the generous room for five adult passengers and their luggage, to the state-of-the-art infotainment, safety and driver assistance systems, it is every inch the luxury conveyance.

Fine Nappa leather adorns the specious interior, from the S sports seats to the centre console, dash and armrests, while the ambient lighting package (a personal favourite) allows you to create distinctive ‘moods’ in the cabin and completely changes the sensation of driving at night. Indeed the S6 also sports an air quality package, that includes air ionisation and its own two distinctive fragrances.

The cabin uses the latest Audi interior design elements and technology with Audi connect plus and MMI navigation plus with MMI touch response and the 10.1-inch and 8.6-inch touch screens with haptic and acoustic feedback. Likewise the Audi virtual cockpit and head-up display are also standard equipment along with the Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System, wireless Apple CarPlay and Audi phone box light (with wireless charging for mobile phones) and two rear USB outlets. 

On top of all this, the S6 Sedan sports a full complement of safety and driver assistance equipment with everything from Adaptive cruise assist with Stop&Go and traffic jam assist, to Audi pre-sense front, collision avoidance assist and turn assist and Audi side assist with cross traffic assist to name just a few. 

In every respect the S6 Sedan is a whole lot of car, in fact it’s really two very distinct vehicles seamlessly married to arrive at a perfect single unit. Priced from $149,900* the S6 offers up limousine quality ride and the highest levels of finish and appointment to satisfy the most fastidious of luxury car buyers, But at the same time, it also delivers extraordinary levels of performance and handling that make it a hugely rewarding driver’s car. That combination in unison and the effect the styling has on other road users is simply impossible to ignore.

(*Manufacturer List Pricing [MLP] – excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges) 

In every respect the S6 Sedan is a whole lot of car, in fact it’s really two very distinct vehicles seamlessly married together