Audi S6 vs S7: Sleeper vs Showboat

When the Audi A7 debuted, it stunned people with its looks. The sleek hatchback body style looks like nothing else on the road and actually offers up some added practicality. It immediately became one of Audi’s most popular models. This was followed by the much more powerful S7, which added more ponies as well as bigger wheels and flashier body work. No one walks passed an S7 without noticing it. Its sibling on the other hand, the Audi S6, is quite the opposite. Using the same powertrain and drivetrain, the S6 is equally as dynamic but far less flashy, with its sedate yet luxurious sedan body style. So which is the better car?

Both cars are incredibly powerful and dynamic. With a 450 hp 4.0 TFSI twin-turbocharged engine and a seven-speed dual clutch S-Tronic gearbox, both cars can get from 0-60 mph in around 4.5 seconds. That’s fast enough to shame many sports cars, yet these two big bruisers pack sumptuous leather seats, wood and aluminum trim and can seat five comfortably. Both cars handle extraordinarily well for big luxury sedans, with precise steering and little body roll. Both the S6 and S7 come with a Quattro Sport differential which helps split the power between the rear axle to give the big bruisers the handling of a smaller sports car. So despite there differences, these are two fantastic sporty luxury cars.

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The significant differences come in the body style, weight and price. Despite the lower rear headroom in the S7, the hatchback body style actually gives it the practicality advantage, being able to swallow up quite a bit more gear (24 cubic ft compared to the S6’s 16 cubic ft.) Though the S7 also suffers an 80 lb weight penalty, which isn’t that insignificant and helps the Audi S6 get to 60 mph two tenths of a second faster. The S7 also carries a $12,000 price increase over the S6. Though, the S7 does handle  touch better and has less body roll. It also looks better. So is the $12,000 extra worth the extra looks, trunk space and handling prowess?

While the Audi S6 lacks some handling skills in comparison to its big brother, as well as some trunk space, it is the lighter car of the two and comes in as a bit of a sleeper. While the S7 is all flash and sizzle with its exotic looks and massive wheels, the S6 is all sophistication and class. So, being no less ostentatious than a standard A6, it belies its massive power and dynamic ability. So is the sleeper quality of the S6, along with considerable savings, worth losing some practicality and the striking looks of the S7?

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Audi S6

Both cars are absolutely excellent, which is obvious considering they’re virtually the same car, but each has its own reasons to buy it. In the future, Audi will make the decision for you, as the upcoming A7 replacement is said to move more upscale, out of the A6’s price territory, so the S6 would likely be the only choice. But as it stands now, you basically just have to decide if you want other sports cars on the road to see you coming before you burn them at a set of lights.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.