Photo Comparison: 2020 Audi S6 vs BMW M550i xDrive

The all-new 2020 Audi S6 for the North American market was just revealed today. Though, we’ve actually known what it’s looked like for awhile now, as the Euro-spec car was revealed a little while back and both cars essentially look the same. Now that we finally know what the US-spec S6 is going to be, though, we decided to do a bit of a photo comparison between it and its main rival, the BMW M550i xDrive.

Obviously, we can’t compare how they drive because we haven’t yet driven the new Audi S6. What we can compare is the styling of the two cars, though. So that’s what we’re going to do.

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Up front, it’s immediately obvious that the Audi S6 is the sportier looking car. While both cars are sort of the middle-of-the-pack performance cars in their respective lineups, the S6 advertises its performance far more. Its angrier headlights, more sharply creased hood and more pronounced front air intakes all make it seem like the sportier, more exciting car. However, the BMW M550i is a bit more understated, which might appeal to some enthusiasts. Personally, I like the S6 better, so it wins up front.

Out back, the Audi S6 steals the show again. Its more muscular rear wheel arches and quad exhaust scream performance machine, while the M550i’s hips are narrower and its exhaust more boring. Both cars’ taillights are fine but and I wouldn’t say either is better than the other. However, the way the S6’s hips flare out and its quad exhausts make it the sexier car from behind.

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Inside, I don’t think it’s a question, either, unfortunately for the Bimmer. While the inside of the BMW M550i is very nice, it’s just a bit sedate. It’s not helped much by the color scheme in these photos but it just seems a bit behind the Audi S6 in terms of both excitement and modernity. The interior of the entire A6 lineup is fantastic and seems ultra-modern. While the 5er’s interior isn’t bad by any means, and build quality/material quality is every bit as good as Audi’s, its design is just a bit boring.

There seems to be a trend here. Both cars are mild performance sedans, with both having more powerful siblings in their lineups — the upcoming Audi RS6 and BMW M5, respectively — but the Audi S6 is far more eager to show off its power than the Bimmer is.

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What’s interesting is that the BMW M550i is actually the faster, more powerful car. Its recently been updated to make 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, which is a lot more than the S6’s 444 hp and 443 lb-ft. In fact, prior to the M550i’s update, it made 456 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque and could hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. So even the old car was faster than the new S6 and its 4.4 second 60 mph time. So now, with its extra power, the BMW M550i will crush the Audi S6 in a straight line. Which is odd, considering it’s the more sedate, understated looking car.

Again, we can’t comment on which is better to drive, because we haven’t driven either the newly updated M550i or the S6. However, just from looks alone, the Audi S6 is the sharper, more exciting looking car and it wins. But on the road, the results might be flipped.

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CategoriesCompetitors S6
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.