Another man's opinion of the S6...
Drive Notes: 2014 Audi S6
By Road & Track Editorial Staff May 2, 2014 / Photos by Chris Doane Automotive
VIEW 15 PHOTOS
The R&T staff drives and performance tests hundreds of new cars every year. Because we don't have time to give each one the full review treatment, we share select logbook notes here, in a quick, easily-digested format. Unless noted otherwise, each test car is in the office for two weeks and is driven by every member of the editorial staff. Each staffer spends at least one day, but often more, in each car.
Alex Kierstein, Web Editor
There are fast cars that are easy to drive slow, sure. The S6 isn't one of them. Speeds creep up in this car, and the speed limit always feels way too slow. It's unlike a BMW, where the speed is there but needs to be consciously coaxed out of the car. Maybe that has something to do with the 420-hp twin-turbo V8, which doesn't have any power delivery faults I can think of—certainly not turbo lag. The seven-speed auto is damn good, too, shifting quickly and assertively, even with a hearty throttle stab. The ride is exceptional, a perfect blend of compliance and dampening. Looks-wise, the outside is typically S-car semi-anonymous, but handsome nonetheless. Let's call it subtle.
Inside, the S6 is elegant in the best Audi tradition. The 'pinstriped' wood inserts are a little gaudy, but everything else is fantastic. The seats are comfortable and supportive, the wheel is elegant and perfectly-sized, the small and unobtrusive shift paddles are nonetheless easy to use. The retractable folding infotainment screen has always been a dubious choice in my mind—a wart on the flow of the dash when open, useless when closed. Still, it's hard to fault the S6 when it does so much well.
A seamless, deep reserve of power. Elegant inside and out.
The pinstriped wood inserts are more Atlantic City than Zurich. Turbos muffle the growl of an excellent engine. No available manual.
READ: Our drive notes on the 2014 Audi Allroad
Chris Doane Automotive
Josh Condon, Senior Editor
Lots of super-fast luxury sedans are actually quite boring at legal speeds. Not this S6. At all. It's an incredibly engaging drive even cruising around town, with nicely weighted (if distant) steering, great body stiffness, and wonderful pedal response. And when you're on it, putting the 420 horses to a gallop ... good lord, does that 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 sound the business.
Inside it's even better. The other luxury manufacturers only occasionally challenge Audi's interiors, and I defy someone to find one more comfortable, more ergonomic, more thoughtfully considered, more sumptuous and satisfying than this one. Audi has driver position nailed—everything along the adjustment spectrum feels like some degree of right, and when it's dialed in, it's absolutely perfect.
Massively, explosively fast. Incredibly functional thanks to interior and trunk room for days. Beautiful inside and out. If you have the means and don't buy this car, we cannot be friends.
Wait, there's no manual. WHY NO MANUAL? Also, the stiff suspension soaks up road noise about as well as a fresh pine board.
READ: Our drive notes on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG
Chris Doane Automotive
Robin Warner, Road Test Editor
Audi S6: Vee mother-truckin' eight. Yeah. Two turbochargers—suck on that, air! The S6 is like loading up on testosterone therapy. You quickly feel more muscular, virile, and aggressive. But beware the side effects, like what-a-jerk behavior and showboatiness. The S6 makes 420 growly hp, enticing antics from the driver that ruin the otherwise understated looks. So, it’s fantastic.
To quote Montgomery Burns, “Out of my way, I’m a motorist!”
The S tronic, dual-clutch transmission shifts fast but saps smoothness.
READ: Our drive notes on the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor special edition
Chris Doane Automotive
David Gluckman, Associate Editor
You want understated looks, this is your ticket. I’m starting to think Audi doesn’t do enough to differentiate the A stuff from the S stuff from the RS stuff. But I guess some people like that; I know they do in Germany at least, where they rebadge the big-power stuff to blend in. Different from the American ethos, obviously.
Nice, comfortable, under-the-radar fast-making machine.
The transmission would keep me in an A6 or convince me to spend the extra cash for an RS7. In this package, for the around-town stuff it’s going to be used for, the dual-clutch just doesn’t cut it. About all it brings to the table is a crazy launch-control start, but even the RS7’s eight-speed auto manages a blood-draining takeoff.