AUDI

AUDI A6 DIESEL SALOON 50 TDI Quattro Vorsprung 4dr Tip Auto

Fuel

FuelDiesel

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph5.4s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2187 g/km

There have been more powerful Audi S6 models in the Ingolstadt brand's history, but never one boasting as much as 700Nm of pulling power. This fifth generation 'Type 4K'-series car, introduced in 2019, gets that courtesy of a torque-rich V6 TDI engine: yes, for the first time in an S6, there's diesel power - and it's the only option. Audi promises that this black pump-fuelled unit fully delivers on the promise of the red rhombus-backed S badge but is also in it for the long haul. We'll see.

TORQUE SHOW

What's this? An Audi S6 with diesel power. Can that make sense? Jonathan Crouch drives it to find out.

Ten Second Review

There have been more powerful Audi S6 models in the Ingolstadt brand's history, but never one boasting as much as 700Nm of pulling power. This fifth generation 'Type 4K'-series car, introduced in 2019, gets that courtesy of a torque-rich V6 TDI engine: yes, for the first time in an S6, there's diesel power - and it's the only option. Audi promises that this black pump-fuelled unit fully delivers on the promise of the red rhombus-backed S badge but is also in it for the long haul. We'll see.

Background

While Audi's RS models have been getting progressively more powerful, some of its 'S'-badged sporting models have been going in the opposite direction. Take the S6. The third generation 'Type 4F' model which sold between 2004 and 2011 had a Lamborghini Gallardo-derived petrol V10 developing a massive 429hp. That was replaced in 2012 by a 414hp petrol V8 in the fourth generation 'Type 4G'-series model. Seven years later, this fifth generation 'Type 4K'-series car arrived with an output of 'just' 350hp. And you get a diesel engine, though a very impressively-specified 3.0-litre V6 TDI one. Anyway, don't worry: there are compensations. Pulling power this time round rises hugely despite the power output drop - from 550 to a massive 700Nm. So this S6 should prove as quick as its badge suggests it ought to be.

Driving Experience

The 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine used here with its electrically-powered compressor is basically the unit originally introduced in Audi's SQ7 large SUV, but has been embellished here with a 48-volt electrical system, which has taken the powerplant's total power output to 350hp. All of those braked horses are transmitted via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission to the car's quattro all-wheel-drive system. The electrically powered compressor is the major reason for this S6 model's startling performance. 62mph from rest takes just 5.0s in the saloon model - which is virtually the same as was achieved by the far more powerful 4.0-litre petrol V8 of the previous generation model. And you get that performance here with far more pulling power this time round thanks to dual supercharging that sees the electrically powered compressor working in tandem with the exhaust turbocharger and producing 700Nm of torque.

Design and Build

You won't be considering an Audi S6 if you want to shout about your performance pretensions. This car doesn't do that. In fact, over the years, it's got the whole business of not doing that down to a fine art. A lot of it's in the detail. Audi S cars have a reputation for styling subtlety and whether you order it as a saloon or an Avant estate, this one is no exception. This silver horizontal lower splitter creates an enormous feeling of width at the front, linking the two air inlets and ending with the two winglets at the air ducts. As with other A6 variants, piercing LED headlamps flank the wide Singleframe grille. Side-on, you'll notice these big 20-inch wheels with their 'S'-specific design. And perhaps also the wide sills and the silver door mirror casings. At the rear, the S6 features an integrated spoiler that visually extends the boot lid. A diffuser insert in dark chrome matt adds the finishing touch to the lower rear end. The four tailpipe trims are in gleaming chrome. The cabin is as well appointed as you'd expect from a range-topping A6 model, with beautiful monogrammed leather sports seats, and an S-specific graphic layout for the standard-fit Audi Virtual Cockpit instrument binnacle digital display which here features a central rev counter. The back seat offers reasonable space for three adults, but much more comfortable room for two and you get a fold down centre armrest with storage and cup holders. Out back, in this saloon model there's a 530-litre boot; if that's not enough, the alternative Avant estate variant gives you 565-litres.

Market and Model

Prices start at around £60,000 - that's for this S6 saloon variant. The alternative Avant estate model is around £2,500 more. In both cases, you can also specify a plusher 'Vorsprung' level of trim - but it'll cost you: think in terms of around £17,000 more for that. Bear in mind that for a slight premium over the price of the standard S6, you can have all the same engineering in the five-door A7 Sportback 'Gran Turismo'-style body shape if you'd prefer that. On the standard model, there are lots of options. You're probably going to want to pay extra for the lovely 'S sport seats with their integrated headrests. And you can add in ventilation and massage features, along with top-end Valcona leather to the front chairs. If you're thinking of taking your S6 to a track day (it'd certainly be fun to dismay the circuit regulars in a diesel car), then you'll need to consider the optional six-piston ceramic braking system, replacing the standard steel discs. The ceramic set-up is made from light, abrasion-resistant carbon fibre with 400mm discs at the front and 370mm discs at the rear. The complete ceramic brake system weighs nine kilograms less than its steel counterpart, so it significantly reduces unsprung masses with the effect of further enhancing driving dynamics, especially when cornering.

Cost of Ownership

While the electrically powered compressor boosts the performance, the mild-hybrid system of this car helps to improve fuel efficiency. The 48-volt MHEV set-up comprises a 'BAS' belt alternator starter and a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 10Ah housed in the vehicle floor beneath the luggage compartment. The BAS is connected to the crankshaft. During deceleration it can recover up to 8kW of power, which it then stores in the lithium-ion battery. When the driver accelerates again, the BAS reacts instantly by restarting the engine. MHEV technology allows for start/stop operation from a speed as low as 13mph. Thanks in part to the integration of the mild-hybrid system and the vehicle sensors, the S models realize a fuel saving of up to 0.4 litres in real driving conditions and can coast for up to 40 seconds with the combustion engine deactivated. WLTP fuel economy values for the S6 TDI Saloon range from 35.8mpg to 36.2mpg, equating to NEDC-correlated CO2 emissions of 164g/km. The figures for the S6 Avant are 34.9mpg to 35.3mpg and 171g/km.

Summary

It's tempting to dismiss this S6 on a number of grounds. For Audi owners, it's not as agile as an S4 that would save you plenty. And it's not as fast as the kind of RS 6 that wouldn't cost that much more. And that's before you even start to think about the talented opposition. But as soon as you do, you begin to realise that within its little market niche, this car is something quite special. It's also a very clever contender indeed. Over 35 miles to the gallon from a car that, de-restricted, would probably reach well over 180mph? And at the same time, pulling power that would embarrass most of this model's powerful petrol-engined rivals. So what if an RS6 is faster? Or an M5 or an E63 come to that. This, in contrast, is the stealth bomber of the executive segment, the car that creeps in under the radar. The only one in its sector with diesel drive. And the only one with Audi's S-inspired ring of confidence. Four rings in fact.

  • Privacy glass
  • Electric front/rear windows
  • Rain and light sensors
  • Adaptive windscreen wipers with integrated washer jets
  • Heat insulating glass in side and rear windows
  • Heat insulating glass in windshield

  • EBD - Electronic brakeforce distribution
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) including ABS, ASR and EDL
  • Electromechanical parking brake

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • Adaptive air suspension

  • Voice control system
  • Audi smartphone interface
  • Bluetooth interface

  • Dynamic all wheel steering
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Audi drive select

  • Power door closure
  • Automatic start/stop system with coasting functionality
  • Electric boot lid release

  • 7" high resolution colour driver information display system
  • Head up Display
  • Service interval indicator

  • Gloss black exterior mirror housings
  • Frameless auto dimming interior rear view mirror

  • Fine grain ash natural grey brown upper inlay

  • Diesel particulate filter
  • 48V Mild hybrid technology

  • DAB Digital radio
  • USB connection
  • Auxiliary input socket
  • Audi music interface at rear

  • Illuminated door sill trims with S logo
  • Matt black rear diffuser with diffuser strip and tailpipes in chrome
  • Matt black side air intake grille with inlay in matt aluminium
  • Gloss black highlights on the exterior area of the Audi Single frame
  • Gloss black highlights on the side windows trim strips
  • Gloss black highlights on the radiator grille
  • Gloss black highlights on the front and rear bumpers
  • Panoramic opening glass sunroof

  • LED rear lights
  • Headlight washers
  • LED signature front daytime running light
  • Signature rear LED light design
  • HD Matrix LED headlights with dynamic front and rear indicators
  • Audi beam projecting the word Vorsprung onto the floor from the driver and front passenger doors

  • 4 zone deluxe automatic climate control

  • Electric steering wheel adjustment
  • Tool kit and car jack
  • 3 spoke high multi-function leather steering wheel with shift paddles
  • Stainless steel pedals and foot rest
  • Black cloth headlining
  • Leather gear knob
  • Front centre armrest
  • Valcona Leather with S embossing + front super sport Seats

  • Non smoking pack - A6
  • Technology pack - A6
  • City assist pack - A6
  • Comfort and sound pack - A6
  • Tour pack - A6

  • Extended pedestrian protection measures
  • Audi pre-sense front
  • Tyre pressure warning light
  • Airbags - Front side, front and rear including head
  • Black seatbelts
  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Seatbelt monitoring

  • Front head restraints
  • Rear headrests
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • 4 way electric lumbar support for driver and front passenger
  • 40/20/40 split folding 3 rear seat bench in 3 parts with rear centre armrest
  • Electrically adjustable front seats with driver memory
  • ISOFIX child seat mounting and Top Tether with front passenger airbag deactivation

  • Anti theft alarm with tow away protection
  • Anti-theft wheel bolts and wheel loosening detection
  • Immobiliser
  • Remote central locking
  • Keyless Go

  • Quattro all wheel drive with self locking centre differential

  • Illuminated sun visors with vanity mirrors

  • Tyre repair kit

  • CO2 (g/km): 150
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 187
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 188
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 187
  • HC: N

  • Engine Code: 4A2BLAWF5
  • CC: 2967
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Cylinder Layout: V6
  • Number of Valves: 24
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Combined (mpg): 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 39.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.2

  • Generation Mark: 5
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 9000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 93
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 85
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 81
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 76
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 286
  • Badge Engine CC: 3.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • AdBlue: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 40E
  • Coin Series: Vorsprung
  • Coin Description: TDI Quattro
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - BHP: 286
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.4
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 210
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3500
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 457
  • Engine Torque - NM: 620
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 63.2

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Front: 255/35 R21
  • Wheel Style: 5 DOUBLE ARM
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/35 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Length: 4939
  • Width (including mirrors): 2110
  • Height: 1457
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Wheelbase: 2924

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 530
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.1
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1825
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2510
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 63
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 685

  • Black carpets: £0

  • 73 litre fuel tank: £115
  • 63 litre fuel tank: Included

  • Audi exclusive/customised paint: £3,000
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Metallic paint: £685
  • Pearlescent paint: £685

  • Black steering wheel insert: £0
  • Centre armrest in rotor grey: £0
  • Centre armrest in black: £0
  • Luggage compartment floor covering: Included

  • Storage pack - A6: £100
  • Full leather pack - A6: Included
  • Extended leather pack - A6: £0

  • Metallic - Glacier white: £685
  • Metallic - Floret silver: £685
  • Metallic - Mythos black: £685
  • Metallic - Firmament blue: £685
  • Metallic - Tango red: £685
  • Metallic - Vesuvius grey: £685

  • Pearl - Daytona grey: £685

  • Solid - Ibis white: £0
  • Solid - Brilliant black: £0

  • Audi Exclusive - Custom: £3,000

  • Towbar preparation: Included
  • Electrically swivelling trailer towing hitch: £825

  • Valcona leather - Rock grey + front super sport seats with S embossed logo: £0
  • Valcona leather - Anthracite + front super sport seats with S embossed logo: £0

  • 21" 5 double arm Audi sport cast aluminium design, matt titanium look and high sheen alloy wheels: Included
  • 21" 5 arm blade gloss anthracite black diamond cut alloy wheels: £150

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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