California is unlike any place. No where else in the world can you ski, surf and catch a celebrity sighting in the same day. There is also an inordinate amount of historical sites and national parks. So, we harnessed the power of the twin turbo V8 and zoomed off to Joshua Tree. If you like reading about cars, take a look at our 2014 Nissan GT-R Review.
There we challenged the Audi S6 to Joshua Tree’s dusty roads, steep and windy inclines – not to mention the inevitable LA traffic whilst leaving (this last one was promptly addressed using the S6’s ACC, or adaptive cruise control). Be sure to also check out the BMW M performance steering wheel that includes a built-in screen and LED lights. And while you are at it, also check out our review of the best luxury cars.
I couldn’t think of a better road trip car. Sure, it can’t hold as much gear as the S6’s brother, the S7. But with that comes a more head room in what is an exceptionally comfortable back seat – it played home to not one, but two naps by our female passenger. The adjustable chassis settings – you can lower and raise the S6 thanks to their adaptive air suspension – played perfect complement to the windy and sometimes unforgiving roads of Josh Tree. Goldie Lox would indeed agree that the S6 isn’t too hard, too soft, but is in fact just right.
Related: If you like this car, you might be interested in our 2014 Audi A6 TDI Diesel review.
Put simply, the S6 is a sleeper. The sprint to 0-60mph is beyond respectable, but you’d never know by gazing into its adaptive LED headlight. In fact, there isn’t much that separates the S6 from the A6, save for the quad tail pipes and slightly exaggerated wheel wells (and badging). Less attention means this beast can nonchalantly galavant down the road and avoid unwanted attention from tricked out Mustang owners.
I could delve into measurements, head room and all that. But why bother. I stand at almost 6′ 2″ and I could sit comfortably in the back with an averages sized person sitting, or in my case, sleeping in comfort in the front. Headroom in the rear is actually only .3-inches over the A/S7, but that number seems greatly understated when actually seated in the back. Moving to the front – the proportions between the dash and footwell are well balanced. I know, most people don’t think of that, but with my long legs it’s always a cause for concern when reaching for the steering wheel and attempting to not bang my knees on the underpart of the dash.
Related: Also check out our 2014 BMW 435i review.
I still can’t believe how good it is. Audi has outdone itself, and outpaced BMW in this department. Blasphemous I know, but I’ve driven BMW’s equivalent powertrain (650i GC) and Audi S6’s is better – largely because it’s delivers almost instant power. Numbers? 420hp and 406 lb-ft. This gets you underway and up to highway speed (60mph) in 4.5-seconds (I’ve read that it’s actually faster – perhaps closer to 4.1).
Silky, thanks to a dual-clutch seven speed. It’s fast and appropriately chooses gearing according to the situation (highway, spirited, or surface roads) at hand. Paddle shifters ensure that a downshift is never more than a fingertip away. However, some might take frustration with the S6’s inability to hold a gear regardless of what mode (manual sport) it’s in.
Yes, the S6 can come equipped with something called ACC, or Adaptive Cruise Control. By way of radar, it automatically detects the distance of the object (a car) in front of you, and automatically adjusts the cruise control speed. It can even bring the car to a full stop. Using it in combination with the Active Lane Assist, which steers it back into the lane if you have wandering eye, the S6 can just about drive itself (sort of, not really, but you get the point).
Oh Audi. When will you learn? Included is an antiquated iPhone 4s cord. So charging your smartphone, iOS or not, will require you to be two generations behind the last iPhone, which doesn’t seem to add up when you consider the ideal buyer of this car will more than likely have the latest iteration.
I’ve lamented about this in other Audis. In attempt to reduce fatigue when navigating parking lots, Audi boosts the steering to a disconcerting level. The result is steering that is about as wobbly as Jello. Good thing this isn’t a concern when above 50mph, give or take.
As always, thank you to Gabriel Souf0 for his amazing video skillz.