Fleet News

Audi S6

Audi

Review

I drove an awful lot of miles in the Audi S6. One trip encompassed Lincolnshire to Kent, on to Wiltshire, down to Cornwall and back to Lincolnshire.

It was not all in one go, but it might as well have been, for if there was ever a car that was born to go great distances at speed with tremendous grip in a very cool manner, the S6 is it.

It poured with rain constantly on the 400 miles back from Cornwall to Lincolnshire, but the wide four-wheel-driven footprint of the S6 thumped through all standing water it came across.

Public perception of the S6 is interesting. If I had been in BMW's equivalent, the M5, then I would have turned heads and attracted the odd scoff of jealousy. But in this car you can glide along in the knowledge that only an aficionado would know this was a £46,000 super-saloon – and that's the way I like it.

For the beauty of the S6 is in the detail: large 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, bloated wheelarches, double exhausts, metal grille and brushed aluminium wing mirrors hint at the beast trapped within. Otherwise it looks like a standard, economically graceful A6.

Audis, particularly the older models, often attract criticism that the steering lacks that intuitive feel that genuine drivers' cars have, and the S6 is no exception. Set up at speed for a constant corner and you often find the need to readjust mid-bend, an action no BMW would ever need. I think it is down to the fact that turning the wheel feels almost like fly by wire: there is no feel.

After a while, I did manage to adapt and then the S6 shows off all its talents, even in the depths of winter. In sport mode, throttle response is instant and even the gentlest poke of the toe results in a gush of acceleration.

The 4.2-litre V8, which can also be found in the A8, with a psychopathic twin-turboed version in the RS6, is tuned to give a noise like a hard-edged whirr rather than near silent whisper.

While it might not be the most evocative engine note in the world, it certainly transmits that it is is doing the job of flinging the car along at speed, and, it must be said, at 20mpg. Expect a white hot fuel card for the lucky owner of this car.

Acceleration is a huge ball of incessant, stomach-churning momentum, which picks the occupants up and hurls them down the road.

The 0-60mph time of around six seconds is not really representative, because at any point, at any speed, this huge mass of car will bark forward at the required velocity. With four-wheel drive and an automatic box, the S6 is a doddle to drive and should inspire confidence in anybody who gets behind the wheel.

Model: Audi S6
Price (OTR): £46,420
Engine (cc): 4,172
Max power (bhp/rpm): 340/7,000
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 310/3,400
Max speed (mph): 155 (limited)
0-62mph (secs): 6.7
Fuel consumption (mpg): 19.8
CO2 emissions (g/km): 343
CAP residual value (3yrs/60,000 miles): £13,275/29%

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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