Audi India has launched the sporty Audi S6 sedan at a price tag of Rs. 85.99 lakh, which does make for a pretty compelling buy. This is a car that will appeal to buyers looking for an everyday use family sedan that can also double up as a car to take to the race track on weekends. And how!
The car looks no different compared to the regular A6, except for the wheels and the subtle S6 badging on the exteriors (and even on the brake callipers). However, don’t be fooled by the very gentlemanly Audi A6 looks on the Audi S6. That little S6 badge is a sign of what’s under the hood and that’s what really makes all the difference.
The Audi S6 is powered by a 4 litre (3,993 cc), V8 (eight-cylinder) turbocharged petrol engine producing a whopping 420 bhp of power between 5500 and 6400 rpm. It also puts out peak torque of 550 Nm between 1400 and 5200 rpm. This power is transmitted via a seven-seed S-tronic automatic gearbox with paddle shifts to all four wheels using Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system, that can alter the amount of torque going to the front and rear wheels depending on the driving conditions. All that power ensures you get pinned back in your seat when you floor the pedal, taking the car from zero to 100 kmph in 4.6 seconds and hitting an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph (for safety reasons).
But it’s not really a fuel guzzler, because if you drive it around with just part throttle open, it has an intelligent cylinder-on-demand mechanism. With only moderate power needed, the engine shuts down cylinders 2,3,5 and 8, effectively making it a four cylinder engine (two-cylinders on each bank of the V block are shut down). This makes it more fuel efficient, with a claimed efficiency of 10.3 kmpl! Not bad for a sports car at all. Also Read: Audi Q5 road test and review: An impressive all-rounder
The interiors of the Audi S6 are feature loaded. It comes with full leather upholstery, heated & cooled powered front seats, dual zone climate control, separate rear blower control, pop-up MMI interface with multiple car settings for the suspension and drive mode, 10-speaker sound system, sunroof, electric rear sunblind, and an exclusive S6 monogrammed instrument console, with the speedometer calibrated all the way to 300 kmph. It comes with a host of safety features including ABS, traction control and eight airbags. Other unique features include active noise cancellation (where the car reduces the noise levels inside the cabin) and adaptive air suspension. The rear is pretty comfortable as well, but in this car, it’s the driver’s seat that matters. This isn’t one to be chauffeur driven in. Also read: Audi A6 Special Edition first drive: Makes a statement
Driving the Audi S6 on the Race Track
We got to experience the new Audi S6 on the Buddh International Circuit in the Audi Sports Car Experience format (where 3-4 cars head out in a batch with an instructor’s car in the lead, doing laps of the circuit). Strapped into the driver’s seat in the Audi S6, I hit the start button to be greeted with a muted burble of the V8 that soon settled into a quiet hum. Also read: Audi R8 supercar experience on the F1 track
At speeds below 100 kmph, you barely hear the engine and the car moves along quietly. But after the third turn on the circuit when you can go flat out on the back straight, that’s when you hear all eight cylinders create a beautiful note than only a die-hard petrolhead would love – the roar of a V8, which is very subtle in the S6. We went through a slalom course and an ABS-test zone, both of which were dispatched with ease in the S6. It’s the fast corners that get interesting.
Now here’s a sedan that has the underpinnings of a sports car, but not the mass. Hence getting into a corner fast produces bucket loads of wheel squeal as you feather it through a corner avoiding understeer (going into a front wheel slide) or oversteer (back stepping out). Steering feedback is precise and firm, and one does not need to turn it too much – just moderate input provides the desired turning results. The dynamic air suspension does its job as intended and these are things you take for granted in this car. With so many electronic nannies doing their job, you really just have to focus on the road ahead and the car will do the rest.
What we think
The Audi S6 is a car you have to have on your shopping list if you have a need for speed, yet also need a car that is fairly practical as an everyday corporate sedan. It is understated in its looks, completely at ease in the corporate world, but is capable of unleashing the devil in you on the race track! Also read: Audi RS5 launched in India