Auto Review: Audi S6: A state-of-the-art stunner

By Bill Heald - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Thu., Jul. 11, 2013
Contributed
- Contributed Photo

Every once in a while, it’s instructive to take a look at the latest technology displayed in very upscale sedans. Audi has long been a purveyor of the latest electronic wizardry, and this week’s S6 test auto is a smorgasbord of contemporary automotive development. Driving this formidable sport sedan, I often felt like I was interacting with a machine of the future, thanks to all the wild equipment on this refined, high-performance sporting platform. As if Audi’s A6 isn’t potent enough, the S6 is reinforced with more of everything, especially performance hardware that’s balanced with the latest in safety technology. There’s so much here that I don’t have room to cover every component, but I’ll try to hit the major advances to give you an idea of how far engineering has progressed in this luxurious, dynamic machine.

The S6 spares no expense at swinging for the bleachers in terms of performance, and for 2013 they increased quickness while improving fuel economy. Gone is last year’s 5.2-liter V10 engine, and in its place we have a brand-new 4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 with 420 horsepower that is not only more potent, but claims a 25-percent increase in fuel efficiency. This, in turn, uses a 7-speed S-tronic Automatic transmission that doles out power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro AWD system. The extensive use of aluminum in the body keeps down the mass and the S6 thundered us to 60 mph in around 5 seconds. A Drive Control knob lets you select Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual settings to fine-tune the driving response, and the air suspension, along with electromechanical steering, results in razor-sharp handling and a well-controlled ride. Seriously strong brakes hauled the car down from 60 mph in an average of 113 feet.

As impressive as the car’s performance is (and the comfort level is likewise superb for all occupants), the futuristic electronics are enough to make you think you’re in secret agent territory. Active Lane Assist could lead you to believe there’s a ghost on board, too, as it can steer the car back into the center of your lane when it detects you straying over the line. This is part of the optional Innovation Package that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, which can detect stopped cars in front of you and fully brake the car at speeds below 19 mph (perfect for stop-and-go situations). The navigation system incorporates Google maps with satellite pictures in mapping, and a heads-up display is only bested by the Night Vision assistant that uses infrared camera technology to show things like pedestrians and deer on the screen to help you avoid them in the dark. Of course, there’s also the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system that has tweeters that rise out of the corners of the dash like little flying saucers (which only seems fitting).

Incredible performance, amazing devices and a mind-blowing sound system make the 2013 Audi S6 a stunner, and the EPA rates the car at 17 MPG city/27 highway. With options, the sticker came to a lofty $87,720. www.audiusa.com.


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