2007 Audi S6 – Test drive and new car review – 2007 Audi S6

13 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2007 Audi S6 – Test drive and new car review – 2007 Audi S6
Audi S6

The car with a PhD in performance

The S6 is a new addition to Audi’s S lineup for 2007. The S6 boasts a 435 hp V10 engine, Quattro all-wheel-drive, and a level of technical sophistication that few cars achieve. It’s not cheap, though: $74,020 for starters (including destination and gas-guzzler tax), nearly $85,000 with all the options.

But open the throttle wide on an empty road — or, better yet, on a racetrack — and the S6 earns its price. EPA fuel economy estimates: 15 MPG city, 21 MPG highway.

First Glance: More than just a superficial sportster

Of all the cars in Audi’s lineup, I think the 6 benefits most from the S treatment. The A6 is home to some rather impressive technology, as are most Audis, but it’s not exactly the most thrilling car to drive. The S6 adds some much-needed character and excitement.

Examine it closely, though, and you’ll understand why Audi is so good at what they do. This isn’t just an A6 with a big engine, specially-tuned suspension and fancy body trim. Audi went through the 6 stem-to-stern and reworked the car to create something truly unique.

The S doesn’t quite turn the volume up to 11 the way the smaller RS4 does, but it’s a much more rewarding car to drive than the A6.

One of my favorite styling details is right up front: The daytime running lights, two lines of five LEDs (link goes to photo) set low on the front fascia, each LED representing one of the V10’s five cylinders.

It sends a clear message to the rear-view-mirror of the car in front: The S6 is coming, and you’d better get the hell out of the way. The S6 looks good in most colors, though my favorite — bright blue — is an extra-cost ($750) option. Unique 19 wheels also differentiate the car from the A6.

Continued below#8230;

In the Driver’s Seat: The carbon-fiber question

Interior makes S6’s intentions clear. Carbon fiber trim is optional, and that’s a shame. or is it?

Photo #169; Aaron Gold

The S6 features big heavily-bolstered front seats that are leather-lined, heated, power-adjustable, and have a big S6 logo stitched right into the seat backs. The car I drove was slathered in carbon fiber, which I think looks cool#8230;which leads me to wonder if auto writers in the 70s said the fake wood grain glued to the side of station wagons looked cool (or groovy or far out or whatever they said back then). The carbon fiber is a $300 extra-cost option; I think that’s a shame.

That said, if carbon fiber is, indeed, the wood-grain of the ’00s, perhaps making it optional will turn out to be a good thing. (By the way, if you don’t opt for the carbon-fiber, you get grey birch wood. Go figure.)

The S6 may not be cheap, but it’s nicely loaded: Power everything, dual-zone climate control, navigation system, and a high-end stereo are among the toys. Audi’s single-dial Multi Media Interface (MMI) controls the stereo, nav and many other functions; it’s neat to use but, in my opinion, still requires too much concentration to be diverted from the road. That said, the nav system shows turn-by-turn directions right on the dashboard. making it easier (and safer) to find your way through unfamiliar territory.

On the Road: Loads of power and the suspension to back it up

The big news is the big power: A 5.2 liter V10 engine tuned for 435 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to get the S6 to 60 MPH from rest in 5.1 seconds, according to Audi. The engine sounds great at wide-open throttle — it has the throaty yowl of a V8, but with a slightly less frenzied tempo — but frequent use of the 10-cylinder sound system is a great way to get to know every cop in the county on a first-name basis.

Be warned: The temptation of all that power is hard to resist.

Audi S6

FSI, Audi’s direct fuel injection system, helps give the engine its snappy throttle response. Direct injection also lowers emissions and boosts fuel economy, but not enough to prevent the S6 from getting slapped with a $1,300 gas guzzler tax in the US. I averaged just over 12 MPG in aggressive driving.

Handling borders on the unreal, thanks to Quattro all-wheel-drive and standard electronic stability control.

The one problem with the S6 is that it’s not available with a manual transmission. Sure, the 6-speed automatic has a manual mode, and it even has a Sport mode that gives you more aggressive throttle response. Still#8230;there ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.

Journey’s End: Unique among its competitors — and more affordable, too

V10 engine is great, but it’s only part of the S6’s winning formula

Photo #169; Aaron Gold

The Cadillac STS-V is another car to consider; it lacks a German pedigree, but with 469 supercharged horsepower and a price tag only slightly higher than the S6, it deserves at a test-drive. And for those who like to drive thumbtacks with sledgehammers, the 425 horsepower Chrysler 300C SRT-8 is as in-your-face as the S6 is subtle.

My one serious complaint about the S6 is the lack of a manual transmission. I know, I know — car writers generally prefer stick-shifts even though the buying public doesn’t. But there’s a level of driver involvement that only a clutch pedal can provide, and if ever a car were begging for that level of involvement, it’s the S6.

Still for those who not only love to drive but also appreciate engineering as an art form, the Audi S6 has no rival.

Audi S6
Audi S6
Audi S6
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