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R&T Long Term Drive Notes

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Old 05-05-2014, 04:29 AM   #1
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Default R&T Long Term Drive Notes

Another man's opinion of the S6...
http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-revi...s6-drive-notes

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.

PLUS:
A seamless, deep reserve of power. Elegant inside and out.

MINUS:
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.

PLUS:
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.

MINUS:
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.

PLUS:
To quote Montgomery Burns, “Out of my way, I’m a motorist!”

MINUS:
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.
PLUS:
Nice, comfortable, under-the-radar fast-making machine.

MINUS:
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.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #2
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Interesting that the last entry says the S-tronic "doesn't cut it" for around town, but makes no mention of any kind of lag issue. And the previous entry goes out of the way to say that there ISN'T any lag. Not sure, if they see no lag, why the S-tronic would be lacking around town? In D, it's a great transmission (if we are presuming the lag issue isn't tranny related).
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:35 PM   #3
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Interesting that the last entry says the S-tronic "doesn't cut it" for around town, but makes no mention of any kind of lag issue. And the previous entry goes out of the way to say that there ISN'T any lag. Not sure, if they see no lag, why the S-tronic would be lacking around town? In D, it's a great transmission (if we are presuming the lag issue isn't tranny related).
I think it's is probably related to this comment from the above passage "MINUS:
The S tronic, dual-clutch transmission shifts fast but saps smoothness."

You definitely feel the DCT lurch forward and have harsh downshifts when in Sport mode. When I leave it in Drive/Auto mode I think it is very well behaved. Not sure if this is the combo the author used though...
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:41 AM   #4
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Interesting that the last entry says the S-tronic "doesn't cut it" for around town, but makes no mention of any kind of lag issue. And the previous entry goes out of the way to say that there ISN'T any lag. Not sure, if they see no lag, why the S-tronic would be lacking around town? In D, it's a great transmission (if we are presuming the lag issue isn't tranny related).
They said theres no turbo lag, different than transmission lag.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:28 AM   #5
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I haven't really noticed any throttle lag.
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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They said theres no turbo lag, different than transmission lag.
Absolutely they're different. My point is, many of us are a year into ownership and WE still don't know what causes the lag. But we do know there's lag (possibly in only some cars, possibly in all, but with owners who don't notice it). I wouldn't expect that someone jumping between a dozen cars over the course of a year would know exactly what the nature of any lag they experienced on a particular car was. But they specifically said there was NO "turbo" lag, which I read as "no lag AT ALL". And if they happened to get lucky enough to get a car that doesn't have this lag, then I am surprised they'd have complaints about the S-Tronic, particularly in D (as opposed to Sport mode).
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:32 PM   #7
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Turbo lag is one of the few problems this car has. I wish audi would take care of this with an update or something?
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:41 PM   #8
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Turbo lag is one of the few problems this car has. I wish audi would take care of this with an update or something?
Welcome. But just to drive the point home: after a full year, no one knows exactly what is causing "lag"; if indeed you're talking about the lag that is noticeable when slowing down, as for a red light, in "D", and then attempting to accelerate before stopping (as when the light turns green as you decelerate).

Brainstormed/hypothesized causes for this lag have been numerous: mechanical engagement time of the S-Tronic, software programming of the S-Tronic ECU, software programming of the throttle tip in mapping, faulty brake switch sensor, and yes, turbo lag.

However, turbo lag seems like the LEAST likely option, as under most circumstances there is zero lag. Turbo lag would be noticeable under virtually all acceleration scenarios, not just one particular scenario.

Do search on the subject; you'll find myriad posts regarding this issue (and unfortunately, no confirmed cause or fix).
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:24 PM   #9
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Interesting the first reviewer thinks the S6 has a stiff suspension. Compared to what? A 60's caddy? Also, not sure what the suspension has to do with road noise.

I also think its weird their problems with the Stronic transmission.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Canyons6 View Post
Turbo lag is one of the few problems this car has. I wish audi would take care of this with an update or something?
If you experience turbo lag, then there's a problem with your car. I have ample experience with turbocharged engines and can vouch that this is one of the most responsive setups in existence.

What you have to remember is that any turbocharged engine will have increasing torque from idle through the mid-range. The bottom end may not be soft (and this one isn't) but the mid-range will always feel stronger. This is not "turbo lag" per se, but a natural consequence of how turbos operate.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:48 PM   #11
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i dont think turbo lag indicates a problem with the car. all turbos have a certain amount of lag. some are worse than others. our S6 lag is not very noticable.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:31 PM   #12
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They said theres no turbo lag, different than transmission lag.
The car does not down shift from 3 to 2 fast enough and rolling through a corner and then gassing it will show the problem. Easy solution I discovered on the track, manually downshift to 2 going into the turn with the left paddle (you do not have to be in manual mode to do this either). Boom, no lag out of the turn. You just have to remember to do this if you want the quick response. Careful though, you will burn through tires with all that juice coming out of the turns.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:35 PM   #13
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The car does not down shift from 3 to 2 fast enough and rolling through a corner and then gassing it will show the problem. Easy solution I discovered on the track, manually downshift to 2 going into the turn with the left paddle (you do not have to be in manual mode to do this either). Boom, no lag out of the turn. You just have to remember to do this if you want the quick response. Careful though, you will burn through tires with all that juice coming out of the turns.
Im not sure why you quoted me on that. I was stating that theres a difference between turbo lag and transmission lag. In the article they said theres no turbo lag which I agree with. I never said theres no transmission lag.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:38 PM   #14
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Im not sure why you quoted me on that. I was stating that theres a difference between turbo lag and transmission lag. In the article they said theres no turbo lag which I agree with. I never said theres no transmission lag.
I was posting a workaround to the transmission lag. You had the post I picked that referenced the problem correctly.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #15
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I was posting a workaround to the transmission lag. You had the post I picked that referenced the problem correctly.
Ahh I gotcha. Makes sense, thanks for posting the workaround.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:06 PM   #16
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Either way there is a lag and we know they can get read of it by engine & transmission tune. I'm just too much of a chicken to do it. My buddies s4 has a transmission issue and the dealer said Audi will not cover it and there is nothing they can do about it.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:02 AM   #17
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Almost one year and @ 16k miles I experience zero turbo lag. It's the tranny lag (or whatever term you want to use) that drives me crazy. That said, the S6 is the best car I've ever owned including all other German makes!
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:25 AM   #18
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If you experience turbo lag, then there's a problem with your car. I have ample experience with turbocharged engines and can vouch that this is one of the most responsive setups in existence.

What you have to remember is that any turbocharged engine will have increasing torque from idle through the mid-range. The bottom end may not be soft (and this one isn't) but the mid-range will always feel stronger. This is not "turbo lag" per se, but a natural consequence of how turbos operate.
It is all relative. Compared to the instant throttle response of my M3, the S6 definitely feels sluggish. In fact, compared to a highly tuned NA motor, all turbos will feel sluggish. Of course the trade-off is that enormous swell of mid range torque. This is really a hot topic currently in the BMW M3/M4 world as the new twin turbo inline-6 makes it debut
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #19
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It is all relative. Compared to the instant throttle response of my M3, the S6 definitely feels sluggish. In fact, compared to a highly tuned NA motor, all turbos will feel sluggish. Of course the trade-off is that enormous swell of mid range torque. This is really a hot topic currently in the BMW M3/M4 world as the new twin turbo inline-6 makes it debut
Funny you should mention this. My brother just picked up a low-mileage 2011 M3 (in the subtle shade of Fire Orange) and tracked it last weekend. He's completely smitten and loves the throttle response, high rev limit and wail of the V8. On the other hand, he instructed a student with a Cobb-tuned 135i and was blown away by the torque. Sometimes you just have to pick your poison - instant throttle response or the slam in the small of the back as revs build.
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