2013 Audi S6
2013 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Lesley Wimbush

Even blindfolded, I’d have no trouble identifying an Audi cabin. They’re unmistakable – not because of the sense of solemn, acoustic hush, but that characteristic scent: the redolent fragrance of fine leather that’s inspired many of my colleagues to label them the best-smelling interiors in the business.

The 2013 Audi S6 I’m climbing into this week is no exception – and is a good example of why Audi’s interiors are the benchmark to which other automakers aspire. It isn’t just the level of craftsmanship – although the cabin is replete with the finest materials and executed with a rather staggering attention to detail. Sometimes the touches are so subtle that the impact is subliminal. The way the doors close with that authoritative “thud”, sealing off the outside world with more than just insulation.

2013 Audi S62013 Audi S62013 Audi S6
2013 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

The surfaces – high quality materials that are firm, yet yielding to the touch, and pebbled with interesting textures.

Then there are the obvious lashings of beautifully wrought opulence.

Crisply rendered gauges that resemble fine chronography.

Leather seating that is not only adjustable ten ways, but intricately stitched in a diamond pattern.

In my tester, the optional “Beaufort Oak” trim elicited sighs from passengers, who couldn’t resist running a finger across its satin grain.

2013 Audi S6
2013 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

The 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system – its crystalline high notes delivered by a pair of sculpted aluminum tweeters mounted on the dash and bass line exquisitely rendered as if by Yo Yo Ma’s cello. These are the things that bear the unmistakable stamp of Audi craftsmanship.

From behind the wheel, there’s another set of subtleties that become apparent with familiarity: the way the hand-stitched leather wheel feels just right in the hands – sculpted perfectly to accept the thumbs in the correct nine o’clock and three o’clock positions; the buttons that are exactly where you expect them to be, so that your fumbling right hand instantly lights upon them without tearing your eyes from the road; that seamless integration speaks of careful attention to the driver’s needs – where everything is designed to provide an intuitive driving experience.

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