A marathon runner capable of sprinting. The Audi S6 TDI is a long-distance driver with supersport technology

A large station wagon is the best companion for long journeys. It has enough space for the crew and trunks, comfort and stability commensurate with its dimensions, and at higher speeds it does not blow up as much air as a tall SUV. Audi adds a diesel on steroids to this package. It has a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, it accelerates to 100 km/h in five seconds, and a four-wheel drive with smart differentials helps it transfer all the power to the asphalt.

The upper middle class has not yet been affected by such a significant outflow of customers from sedans and station wagons to SUVs. The quartet of European premium brands still keep these classic formats on offer, and the Audi A6 is one of the classics among them.

The aggressive front with a deeply extended mask will certainly not be lost on the street, but at the same time it takes on the touch of a time-tested classic – the same concept is being followed by the third generation. The fast version of the S6 is spiced up with black exterior details, red brake calipers and giant 21-inch wheels.

In the cabin, everything is arranged precisely and simply. Audi solved the contradiction between analog and digital by installing two large touch screens. The lower one is permanently reserved for heating, on the upper one you can scroll through menus of comfort functions. The menu is organized logically and clearly, but the voice navigation control did not always understand Czech names.

Passengers in both rows benefit from a long wheelbase of 2.9 meters. Especially at the front, the position is almost sporty low, and getting in is made difficult by the significantly inclined pillars. Inside, however, everyone has plenty of comfortable space. Quality seats are a guarantee of higher-class cars. The S6 version confirms this at the front with sporty shaped seats with massive hips and wide shoulders.

The ride in the Audi A6 can vary considerably between versions. In addition to the eleven engines, the offer includes two types of automatic transmissions, mechanical suspension with coil springs and an adaptive pneumatic chassis. Furthermore, front and all-wheel drive, the latter of which has three different differential specifications, and finally optional rear axle steering.

The tested version of the S6 TDI has the most of everything. Under the hood growls a three-liter six-cylinder supercharged with an unusual combination of a large turbocharger and a small electric compressor that shortens the delay when adding gas. The result is best described by the torque of 700 Newton meters available between 1750 and 3250 revolutions.

And then acceleration to 100 in five seconds. All the more impressive because the engine takes a deep breath for the first second and only has the next four seconds to pin your spine to the seatback. Devils are no joke, not even on diesel.

The indicated character of “wait and fly away” together with an operating weight of more than two tons, the car fits the role of a partner for the longest journeys. Of course, it’s not about the freeway. It’s more about how quietly and effortlessly the car maintains it and how promptly it picks up again when you’re held up by a truck on a hill. Not to mention overtaking on a normal road.

Winding tracks are not the domain of sprawling high-class limousines. Especially with Audi, whose architecture with the engine mounted longitudinally in front of the axle prefers to drive straight from the physical point of view. That is why there is a rear axle swivel and a sports rear differential, which sends more power to the outer wheel when cornering.

It must be acknowledged that this managed to tame the physical disposition with grace as fluid as if the heavy bow had not been there. It’s still a grand tourer, but it corners obediently and predictably while retaining an inherent advantage of directional stability on the highway.

Worth noting is the work of the adaptive pneumatic chassis, which manages to react in a flash to bumps and tilts of the body and gently adjusts the stiffness of the suspension. The sporty S6 won’t make you nervous even on broken pavement. Given the giant twenty-one-inch rims, we’d rather expect it to never settle down.

The consumption of around 8.5 liters does not seem miraculously low, but who would expect miracles in physics. Against a gasoline car with comparable dynamics and equipment, it is still twenty percent less fuel.

On the other hand, some competitors with three-liter diesels consumed a liter and a half less in our tests. Did Audi make a mistake somewhere? Probably not, because users of the Audi A6 3.0 TDI in weaker specifications up to 210 kilowatts agree on a milder value of 7.4 liters. The efficiency of the S6 was apparently spoiled by the effort to squeeze sixty more horses out of the same base.

Audi S6 TDI Avant

Engine: diesel 6-cylinder, 2967 cm3
Power: 253 kW at 3900 rpm
Torque: 700 Nm at 1750 – 3200 rpm
Top speed: 250 km/h
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 5.1 s
Combined consumption: 6.5 l/100 km
Volume of the luggage compartment: 550 l
Price: from 2,233,900 CZK

Which is perhaps the best news for the pragmatic buyer considering the Audi A6. The refined and flexible six-cylinder engine can drive even more economically than in this wild variant. And if the chassis can handle its performance and temperament, the more insight it will have for the standard versions.

The Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TDI with 210 kilowatts starts at a price of 1.8 million crowns. The sporty S6 is basically 400,000 more expensive, and you have to pay 57,000 crowns for the rear wheel steering and 45,000 for the sports rear differential. With a number of other accessories, the tested car came to 3,088,400 crowns.