Last week saw PH pit Mercedes' E53 AMG against the new Audi S6 Avant in a battle for slightly-less-than-super estate supremacy - a comparison you'll be able to read more about on the site tomorrow. In the meantime, though, our thoughts turned to the manufacturers' past fast fare, and to one car in particular.
The C6 generation of Audi S6 seems about as close to a factory-approved sleeper as it's possible to get. Though undoubtedly a handsome car, its four relatively small exhausts and simple lines are at odds with today's equivalents, which seek to shout about any increase in potency, no matter how insignificant, with carbon trim, stainless tips and blingy badges. The absence of flared arches and aggressive aero addenda, meanwhile, leaves little hint at the performance lurking within.
As the seller rightly points out, attempts to link the S6's V10 to that of the Lamborghini Gallardo should be left in the rumour mill of the internet. Component sharing could be generously described as minimal, with the Audi unit designed to offer greater low-down torque thanks to its longer stroke and wider bore. This meant that the cylinder block, pistons, camshaft and crank were all different, while the Audi's more restricted engine bay necessitated the use of many other bespoke components, too.
Nonetheless, the result was still a sensible, spacious and refined estate car with an all-aluminium 5.2-litre V10 in its nose. Outputs of 435hp and 398lb ft of torque combined with a six-speed ZF transmission and quattro all-wheel drive were enough to see the S6 to 60mph in just 5.2 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Despite having that 220kg lump fully ahead of its front axle the Audi handled reasonably well, too, thanks in part to inheriting the RS4's 40:60 torque split.
Based on the photos supplied, this example looks to be in generally excellent condition; a superb way to get from A to B with the maximum of style and minimum of fuss. Provided it's mechanically sound, that is - otherwise a great deal of fuss will likely ensue. Luckily, if the ad is to be believed, we have good reason to be optimistic about it running smoothly. Having been rigorously researched before purchase and daily-driven for 12,000 miles since, there have been no major faults to report, any niggles seem to be purely of the cosmetic kind, and a strong service history ought to give potential buyers added peace of mind.
With only 211 other S6 Avants of this generation ever having been sold in the UK, and similarly-engined cars not exactly a common sight to begin with, today's Spotted could be a bargain way into V10 ownership. And if it does end up costing you your house in fuel, tyres and maintenance, well, at least it's big enough to live in.
SPECIFICATION - AUDI S6 AVANT
Engine: 5,204cc V10
Transmission: 6-speed tiptronic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 435@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 398@3,000-4,000rpm
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 86,000
Price new: £56,600
Yours for: £10,499