2018 Audi S6: A tamed beast

The classic Audi look

There is nothing more soothing than looking at a car and recognizing it. The 2018 Audi S6 is the kind of car that fulfills that wish. One glance at it and you will know which car it is. The recognition is almost immediate. Unchanged from the previous year’s model the S6 looks like the suave machine it did. The design of the car is nothing out of the ordinary. The car looks a lot like its younger sibling, the A6 and that is a good thing. Audi cars are very easy to recognize and with the S6 you get a car that looks modest and sleek. Nothing too jumpy here, just simple clean lines.

The trapezoidal grille and the typical Audi headlamps give the car the recognition it deserves on the road. The muscular hood and the smooth roofline make the 2018 Audi S6 look like just another Audi on the road. You also get a strip of chrome that runs under the windows and is only visible when the sun shines on it, a neat trick if you ask us.

The car’s rear is where you get a glimpse of what’s inside. The rear diffuser hints at the car’s racy nature, the quad tipped exhausts confirm it. You will only truly sense the depth of the car once you know what’s under the hood and once you drive it. Overall, the car’s appearance is pleasing, not breathtaking.

The word we would associate with the Audi S6? Suave.

A Rocketship under the hood

Perhaps the biggest determiner for the 2018 Audi S6’s success is the engine. While modest it may look, the engine under the hood is an absolute beast. The car comes with a massive twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine that delivers a stunning 450 bhp. The car also has a massive torque output of 406 lb-ft, which means it has no problems taking off the line.

The combination of the torque and power pushes the 2018 Audi S6 0-60 times to a lightning-fast 4.3 seconds. The numbers are absurd. The car puts out more power than a sports car and can also beat it in a drag race, all the while carrying 5 people inside, talk about a beast. We are glad Audi has equipped the car with a rocket, which gives it much-needed character.

Audi’s refined drive with an edge

While the 2018 Audi S6 specs are eye-popping and will have you questioning whether it is a sports car or a sedan? The real-life performance is slightly askew. The car does a good job of putting the engine under wraps when it needs to. Who needs a gurgling V8, drooling, every time you press the throttle.

The S6 drives beautifully, much like the mid-sized luxury sedan it is. The car does well to cater to its target audience. The car’s performance numbers speak for themselves and combining the massive engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic was a stroke of genius. You will be able to call on the engine’s massive power reserves anytime you want.

However, the 2018 Audi S6 manages to underplay the power card. The handling is precise and does not let you feel the bumps and edges of the road all too well. We think Audi wanted its drivers to feel at ease and yet have tons of power on tap. You get a very refined driving experience that strips you from accessing the raw power, good and bad in a lot of ways. Audi has delivered a machine capable of superb performance and also a very smooth drive.

Interiors fit for a king

The quality is typical Audi, top-notch. Subtle hints of carbon fiber on the dash, the diamond-quilted leather seats, and the contrast stitching all help elevate the classiness of the cabin. The 2018 Audi S6 does not shy away from the quality and it is evident in both the ergonomic setup of the cabin and the materials used.

The controls knobs and buttons are tactile and easy to use. The flat-bottom steering wheel is a particularly classy touch, showing that the car is indeed all about performance. You cannot find any traces of cheap plastic or budget modules in this car and for the 2018 Audi S6 price, you will be glad you did not.

On the tech side of things, you get an MMI system engineered by Audi directly. The infotainment system is quick, intuitive, and the clarity of the graphics is appreciable. There are also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity options. The sound system is from Bose and can fill up the cabin quite nicely.

Trims, features, and safety

There are two models for the 2018 Audi S6, the Premium, and the Prestige. You get the aforementioned features as standard on both models but with the Prestige the benefits increase. There is a heads-up display, a powered trunk lid, a 15-speaker system from Bang and Olufsen, and 360-degree parking cameras.

There are also optional packages such as the Driver Assistance package, which adds a slew of tech assistance features designed to help ease the burdens of driving. The Comfort Seating package adds seats with massage and ventilation, and a richer softer leather is used. The S6 Sports package adds a sport steering and exhaust, along with a dynamic torque-vectoring rear differential. The Cold Weather package adds heating to the seats and steering. The Black Optic package adds a new wheel design and a fresh glossy black exterior trim. 

As for safety, the 2018 Audi S6 reliability is top-of-the-line. The car borrows all the safety features from the A6, which received 5 stars from the NHSTA.

The verdict

The 2018 Audi S6 is a statement car. It is for those that like to stay subtle and yet have an ace up their sleeve. In this case, the ace would be the ferocious V8 engine that lives under the hood. As for the 2018 Audi S6 problems, we could be nitpicking here but the design feels like it could do with a refresh and the drive could benefit from the true nature of the engine.

However, Audi has chosen to keep the formula the same. They know the kind of customers it will attract and we think they have managed to rope in people from outside their target audience with this offering.

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