2007 Audi S6
2007 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Bob McHugh

Photo Gallery: 2007 Audi S6

An innocent looking mid-sized sedan, the Audi S6 actually belongs to an elite high-powered club that currently has two, maybe three other members: the BMW M5, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and perhaps the Cadillac CTS-V. The membership fee is in excess of $100,000 for all, bar the Cadillac.

The S6 is a higher-performance version of the Audi A6, a luxury sport sedan. The most distinctive difference is a 5.2-litre, 435-horsepower V10 engine, which is crammed into the engine-bay of the S6.

This V10 engine has smaller, lighter pistons than a similar size V8, so it can rev higher – and it’s more compact than a V12. The tachometer turns red at 7000 rpm for this light-weight (just 220kg/484 lb) V10 that features four-valve per cylinder technology and (FSI) direct fuel injection.

This same V10 engine can also be found in Audi’s new flagship sedan the S8. There’s also an engine connection to Italian super-car manufacturer Lamborghini, another subsidiary of Audi’s parent company Volkswagen.

2007 Audi S6
2007 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

Of course there’s more to the S6 than its high-tech engine. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-mode shift paddles on the steering column. And the steering, chassis, suspension and brake systems have all been modified to high-performance status.

The S6 also sports the latest generation Quattro all-wheel drive system. This also separates the S6 from its prime competitors, all of whom are rear-drive only vehicles. Audi has tweaked the drive bias a little so that 60% of power normally goes to the rear wheels of the S6.

There’s really very little to distinguish an S6 from an A6. Yes, it has S6 and V10 emblems, the fenders are flared a tad more to accommodate special 19-inch wheels and it has some modest side skirting, but they still look very similar. My test car, however, was painted an ultra bright blue that did stand out from the crowd.

Interior impressions

2007 Audi S6
2007 Audi S6
2007 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

Typically, Audi does a wonderful job on interiors and the S6 is no exception. Light tan-coloured leather upholstery was matched with brushed aluminum trim and a carbon fibre look fascia on the top of the centre console. The richly upholstered full-bucket style front seats offered excellent side support and came with a power lumbar support with an up/down adjustment, in addition to firmness. Small storage pockets with drop-down doors are fitted just below the front cushions.

The after-dark look of the dash panel is also notable with its impressive array of red back-lighting on switches and features. And a centre dash remote release for the glove box door adds another sophisticated touch to a very classy interior.

Standard safety features includes belt force limiters on all five seat belts while side airbags for the rear seats are available. Quattro drive and its high-tech ESP stability control system should also make it easier to avoid a collision.

Driving impressions

The S6 does make some sacrifices in comfort to improve performance. If daily use comfort is more important to you than an occasional burst of exhilarating performance, the A6 would be a better choice. Not that the S6 is uncomfortable or difficult to drive in traffic – far from it. But the suspension is decidedly stiffer and it’s a noisier environment. The V10 engine offers a surprisingly healthy amount of low-end pulling power and appears happy to submissively toddle around, until you unleash its wrath.

2007 Audi S6
2007 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

It’s a fairly loud motor. Luscious bubbly sounds are heard when you press on the gas pedal and they become a throaty roar if you push harder. The power is exhilarating and the S6 also excels on getting the power to the wheels. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system combined with stability control make sure that none is wasted and give the driver a feeling of supreme control and confidence.

On the downside, road noise from the tires (Continentals), a high-pitched hum on some road surfaces, was more than I expected. On cold start (overnight) my S6 needed some warm-up time before it ran smoothly, and on a couple of occasions I noticed, what sounded like, valve gear noise. It disappeared fairly quickly and ran smoothly otherwise, so I presume it was just a service issue with this particular engine.

The brake system deserves a special mention. Exceptionally good stopping power allowed the S6 record the shortest stopping distance from 100 km/h (37 metres) at the 2007 Canadian Car of the Year ‘Testfest’ held in Niagara last October.

2007 Audi S6
2007 Audi S6. Click image to enlarge

The S6 also comes with some very fancy electronic features. With the key in your pocket you can open the doors and stop and start the engine. The engine stop and start buttons are on the centre console and so is the electronic park-brake toggle switch.

The six-speed automatic transmission could also be manually shifted with paddle style levers on the back of steering wheel. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of these and you can make lightning shifts without taking your hands off the wheel – very cool.


The price may be daunting, but in super-sedan circles it’s actually reasonable. And for me, the all-weather advantage of Quattro all-wheel-drive makes it the leader of this excusive club.

Pricing: 2007 Audi S6


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Related stories on Autos


  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 BMW M5
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2007 Cadillac CTS-V

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