Audi has just released the US-market version of the new S6. Unlike the European version, which has a diesel V6 with 342 hp and 516 lb ft of torque, the US is getting a 2.9 liter gasoline twin-turbo V6 with 444 hp and 443 lb ft of torque. To reduce turbo lag, the turbochargers are electric, and are powered by a 48V mild-hybrid system, which also boosts efficiency and probably your mechanics profits once the warrantee expires.
Power is sent to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. By default, 60 percent of the torque is sent to the rear, but it can send up to 85 percent of the available torque to the rear or 70 percent to the front if needed. It also uses the brakes to transfer torque across the axle, which improves traction, but wears out brakes faster. However, this will be reduced if you order it with the Quattro Sport rear differential, a torque-vectoring differential which can send almost all the available torque to one wheel. With this option installed, the rear brakes won’t need to be used for torque vectoring. For the best handling capabilities, you can order it with the S Sport package, which includes all-wheel steering, sports exhaust, and red brake calipers. Combined with adaptive dampers, it should offer solid driving dynamics and excellent refinement and comfort.
In true Audi fashion, the S6 doesn’t look too different from the regular A6. It has some larger, more aggressive vents, and larger wheels, but it could still easily be mistaken for a regular A6. Some will find that boring, but there are still plenty of people who prefer subtle styling. They could have done a better job of integrating the sensors for the adaptive cruise control though. They’re literally two black squares stuck over the grille. And I wouldn’t be surprised if only one was functional, with a second being added for the sake of symmetry. Most cars only have one sensor.
At the rear, the only thing that will give away the fact that this isn’t a regular Audi is the badge, and the quad-exit exhausts. Are they real? We don’t know yet, but they’re as fake as Donald Trump’s tan on the European version.
Interested? The S6 sedan goes on sale later this year starting at $73,900. No mention of a wagon, but Audi are yet to rule out bringing it to the US.