This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Audi A6 S6 (12-18) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

There are few surprises that this is where all the headlines are written. With a 5.2-litre V10 borrowed from Lamborghini the S6 has immense power and pace. The engine has actually been detuned to 428bhp but that's still enough to give the Audi a 0-60mph time of 5.0 seconds (the Avant version takes 5.1 seconds) and a limited top speed of 155mph. All this power is channelled through a six-speed Tiptronic gearbox which can be used either as a conventional automatic, or as a sequential manual via the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifts

As you'd expect in a high performance saloon the S6 provides secure handling while the quattro four wheel drive system ensures superb traction at all times. Body roll is minimal thanks to the stiff suspension (although this does make for a firm ride) and for a large car the Audi feels surprisingly agile. Exit a corner a little to quickly though and it struggles to hide its weight.

It's also a shame that the steering lacks weight and feel, as a consequence it's not as involving as its main rival the BMW M5.