Audi S6 Avant: Spotted

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.

5,204cc V10
Transmission: 6-speed tiptronic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 435@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 398@3,000-4,000rpm
CO2: N/A
MPG: 18-22mpg
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 86,000
Price new: Β£56,600
Yours for: Β£10,499

See the full ad here.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (43) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Jim on the hill 13 Aug 2019

    Great article, it does look rathe subtle compared to modern options.

  • Searider 13 Aug 2019

    I thought about one of these but the size and complexity of that engine was one brave pill too far.
    I went for a 3.0TFSI instead, which with a remap should be about the same power.

  • Midgster 13 Aug 2019

    13 years ago, £56k bought you a S6 V10 monster
    Today £56k buys you the A6 S Line 50 TDi with Leather Seats, Metallic Paint, Comfort and Sound Packs.

    I know inflation blah blah blah, but crikey!

  • Leins 13 Aug 2019

    Do really like that. De-badge and some colour-coded mirrors to make it perfect

  • Chestrockwell 13 Aug 2019

    Midgster said:
    13 years ago, £56k bought you a S6 V10 monster
    Today £56k buys you the A6 S Line 50 TDi with Leather Seats, Metallic Paint, Comfort and Sound Packs.

    I know inflation blah blah blah, but crikey!
    My brother has a 40 TDI S Line A6 and I think it’s a brilliant car, to drive and cruise around in, power is more than sufficient. A 50 TDI must be the ultimate executive saloon car and I’d much rather have that than a big thirsty V10 that needs to be revved out to get anywhere.

    If Audi made the same V10 now and put it in the A6, I’d still pick the 50 TDI. Save high revving NA engines for sports cars/super cars. The fact that Audi sold hardly any of these proves my point!

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