The 2020 Audi S6 debuts with a mild-hybrid V6 with electric turbochargers.
The new S6 also receives a new eight-speed automatic and Quattro AWD.
Pricing for the new Audi S6 starts just below $74,000. Expect it this fall.
The previous model Audi S6 came with a monstrous turbocharged V8 engine. That car had 450 tire-shredding horsepower and hit 60 mph in four seconds flat. If the BMW M550i is a sporty luxury car, you can think of the 2020 Audi S6 as a luxury car with sporting apprehensions.
Confused? Don’t be. Yes, there’s a difference between the two. And we’ll get more into that in a bit.
Still, if you’re pining for the A6, I’m betting the 2020 S6 will more than tickle your fancy.
The normal A6 comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with a 48-volt mild hybrid assist system. It produces 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The engine connects to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and Quattro all-wheel drive system. It allows the car to register a zero to 60 time of 4.8 seconds.
But for the new S6, Audi needs something to pace with the hot Mercedes-AMG E53 saloon, a car utilizing EQ Boost electrification and an on-board, 48-volt electrical system to produce 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. The biggest rival of the new Audi A6 is the hotter BMW M550i, which came with a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 mill with 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque. And if you really need to know, the M550i has the same engine and power output as the M850i Gran Coupe.
As you can see, the 2020 Audi A6 is facing serious competition.
Audi did the next best thing: load the new S6 with mind-numbing amounts of technology. The new 2.9-liter TFSI V6 is now equipped with electric turbochargers. The turbos draw power from the on-board 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Having electric turbochargers is a good thing. For starters, it doesn’t rely on exhaust pressure to spin wildly, which essentially means zero turbo lag at any engine speed. This also means the turbos can spool up instantaneously and provide an immediate response, according to Audi.
With that being said, the new electrified V6 churns out 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft. of torque, so you won’t exactly miss the lack of cylinders under the bonnet.
New Eight-Speed Automatic & Quattro AWD
The 2020 Audi S6 now comes with a new eight-speed Tiptronic automatic. The transmission replaces the dual-clutch seven-speed unit in the outgoing model. It also happens to be more capable of matching the low-end torque of the revised V6. Also standard is Audi’s Quattro AWD system with wheel-selective torque control. It delivers 60 percent of the available power to the rear axles, and 40 percent to the front in normal driving. The AWD system can shift as much as 70 percent of available torque to the front or 85 percent to the rear axle in demanding situations.
If you want to drive like a lunatic in your Audi S6, don’t forget the available Quattro sport differential. The system splits torque between the left and right rear wheel to enhance cornering agility. If you push hard, it can nearly transfer all torque to one wheel. The optional S Sport Package includes dynamic all-wheel steering, a throatier sports exhaust, and luscious red brake calipers. Throw in some more coin, and you get a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive damping.
Sportier Exterior Design
The new Audi S6 also receives a mild exterior makeover. It has S-model front and rear bumpers, aluminum exterior side mirrors, and a double-slat Singleframe grille in a platinum finish. The car also receives an alu-optic front splitter, a rear diffuser inlay in a black chrome matte finish, and four tailpipes. Standard are 20-inch wheels with summer performance tires. You can opt for larger 21-inch wheels if you live in places with pothole-free roads.
Interior fit and finish is one of Audi’s biggest strengths. The cabin is home to soft-touch plastics, leather, and metal trim. The switchgear clicks and clacks with German precision while the seats are comfortable enough to cradle the driver and passengers on those long and arduous journeys.
The 2020 Audi S6 has sporty seats wrapped in Valcona leather, a heated and multi-functional three-spoke steering wheel (with an S emblem), and stainless-steel door sills with an illuminated S logo. The car also comes standard with MMI navigation, 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower touchscreen displays, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a full suite of driver assistance features. The Audi Virtual Cockpit with Google Earth integration is standard as well.
2020 Audi S6 Pricing & Availability
The 2020 Audi S6 starts at $73,900 for the Premium Plus trim and $77,800 for the Prestige trim. The new S6 has a lower base price than the BMW M550i xDrive but is more costly than the Mercedes-AMG E53. The S6 is in the middle of the price range since it also ranks between the BMW and Mercedes-Benz in terms of power output.
As it stands, the new Audi S6 is a proper luxury car. It exists in the same realm as the Mercedes-AMG E53, although both have the required muscle to run wild on the Autobahn. However, the BMW M550i is a genuine sports sedan with a luxurious cabin. Want proof? The Beamer has more power than both the Benz and Audi. Enough said.
However, if you prefer the apathetic styling of Audi vehicles, the S6 will make you smile. First deliveries begin near the end of the year.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.