The days of subtle fast Audis appear to be gone; old ones to the rescue!
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, November 9, 2021 / Loading comments
On initial findings, it seems that the Audi RS3 is a great car. But there’s one thing that won’t change about the verdict when we get to drive one in the UK – it’s a bit much to look at. Previous generations could slip under the radar until warbling past; this new RS3, with its giant grille and angry attitude, announces its intentions from the off. Same with the current RS6 – it’s far more overt, all things being relative, than the old car.
Which is fine, typically, because the S models offer performance in a more subtle form. But look at the last S3 we tested. Even without the yellow paint, it’s far shoutier than previous generations. Times change and tastes change, clearly, which Audi has to move with. Except tastes don’t change much on PH, do they? Knowing what we like and liking what we know, we’re keen on fast Audis – the Avants in particular – being as discreet as possible.
This previous generation S6 is the perfect example. Silver means even the S-specific mirrors don’t stand out, the wheels are large but no larger than most A6 Avants on the road and the hints at its 420hp potential – the badges and exhaust – are fairly muted. Four seems a tad excessive, but then it’s become a trademark – even the four-cylinder S1 had them.
The C7 was a good generation of A6, with a return to form for the RS6 a real highlight. The S6 used the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, albeit in a lesser state of tune. Still, with 420hp and 406lb ft, it was potent enough to reach 62mph in less than five seconds – fast enough for most. Perhaps the driving experience wasn’t as eye-opening as an RS6’s, but for occupying the role of a big Audi ‘S’ model – quick, unassuming, great engine – the old S6 ticked a lot of boxes. Its diesel replacement has done an admirable job, too, but the choice between petrol V8 and V6 oil burner isn’t a hard one to make.
This 2015 S6 is for sale at £29k, presumably one of the last before a 2016 update to 450hp. It’s covered almost 60,000 miles with three owners, and looks largely blemish free: some leather has inevitably gone a bit shiny, but wheels and paintwork look in fine condition. If anything, the fundamentals of the interior are looking better with age, both analogue dials and chunky physical buttons taking pride of place. We’re nothing if not consistent in what we like…
This S6 is currently the most affordable C7 Avant on PH; it’s still possible to pay £45k for one of the last V8s. But beyond that, choices are pretty limited: an AMG E53 wagon is great, but arriving later means they remain almost £50k; neither BMW nor Jaguar has created a comparable model. And an RS6 can’t be had in similar condition for less than £45,000. Still, if an S6 is the answer to a car buying conundrum, expect to be very impressed. And for nobody else to understand why.
SPECIFICATION | AUDI S6 AVANT (C7)
Engine: 3,993cc, twin turbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],500-6,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],400-5,200rpm
0-62mph: 4.9 secs
Top speed: 155mph
Year registered: 2015
Recorded mileage: 58,000
Price new: c. £60k
Yours for: £29,000
See the original advert here
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