By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
When someone we meet finds out we write about cars, inevitably the first question is, “What’s your favorite car; or what’s the best car?” We assume they think we might have a quick, easy answer. We don’t.
2017 Audi S6
We hem and haw before responding something like, “It depends on how much you have to spend or the type of car you want.” Then the conversation topic gets detailed or changed.
Certainly, we have favorites, but when it comes to naming one car we must break them down into different prices and categories.
Of the sedans that we’ve driven in the last year in the $60,000 to $80,000 price range, the Audi S6 gets us the most excited. Of course, that could change in six months, but for right now, and in that price range, it’s a “keeper.”
In case you haven’t looked at the Audi lineup lately there are 11 sedans, six crossovers, five coupes, five convertibles and another six vehicles on the way. Of the sedans, the S6 falls right in the middle with the main designations being 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 series. The Audi A6 and S6 are the same car, but the S means the car has Audi’s famous performance treatment.
While the Audi A6 is offered with a choice of a turbocharged four cylinder or supercharged V-6, the S6 raises the ante to a 450-hp, twin turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine. The engine drives through Audi’s smooth seven-speed S tronic® transmission to the quattro® all-wheel drive. The car is very quick for a 4,400-pound sport sedan. Zero to 60 mph takes 4.4 seconds, according to Audi numbers and top track speed is limited to 155 mph. All this comes with a beautiful deep-throated exhaust note following right behind and total absence of turbo lag.
The Audi Adaptive Air Suspension which underpins the S6 works wonders. The Comfort Mode provides just that, a remarkably smooth comfortable ride even when dealing with the growing number of potholes we have on our roads as winter comes slowly to an end, this year. On the other hand, when the Dynamic mode is in play, the S6 takes on a significantly more aggressive composure – it’s much like the Clark Kent vs. Superman contrast.
Visually the signs to watch for when trying to identify the S6 (other than the big “S” on its chest, it’s an S before the 6 both front and rear model badges) is the quad chrome exhaust outlets, the S6-labeled brake calipers on the massive brakes, enlarged air intakes and a small spoiler on the trunk. The changes are subtle but powerful. Inside there are a few identity upgrades like red diamond patterned seats, aluminum trimmed pedals and few other differences.
Not only is the interior beautiful, it has outstanding ergonomics and very comfortable seating. It’s not overly roomy in the rear, but there’s plenty of room for average size adults. We like the three-spoke flat bottom steering wheel with the conveniently placed controls on the upper spokes and the MMI® (Multi Media Interface) control system mounted on the center console at the point where the driver’s hand drops naturally off the steering wheel. This is one of the best systems we’ve seen to control information, navigation, entertainment, communications and some vehicle functions.
Like most expensive cars the 2017 Audi S6 comes well equipped with all the latest driver aids and safety features. This one is available in two trim levels: Premium Plus and Prestige, which have respective base prices of $71,850 and $75,050, including the destination charge. There are about $20,000 in options available for the Prestige trim level which add features like upgraded paint, larger wheels and tires, driver assists, comfort enhancements, a sport package, night vision and even a $4,900 Bang & Olufsen® Advance Sound System for the audiophile buyers.
Few cars we have driven have offered the high level of overall driving response, precision and comfort that the 2017 Audi S6 has. Any way we look at it, it’s an outstanding car.