Here's why the Audi S6 proves that diesel isn't going anywhere just yet

Diesel is bad, right? Wrong! It's good... however matching it to a performance car shouldn't work nearly as well as it does in the S6!

47w ago

There's nothing more I love than a fast diesel, the feel of torque pinning you back in your seat during acceleration - it's immense. In reality, petrol cars needed to be considerably faster to give me the same thrill. As I result during my driving career I've found myself generally owning diesels (and remapping them for epic results) and lusting for the next mega-fast one. Asides from an SQ7, until now you'd have been hard pressed to find that sort of thrill in their diesel range - but now Audi have added something else to the lineup. Welcome to the party the all-new Audi S6, no longer powered by a V8 petrol but a V6 diesel, a change that some of you aren't all that happy about.

Aesthetics on point!

It wouldn't be an Audi if it didn't look good, however the S6 takes the new design language and makes it so effortlessly luxurious whilst keeping a sporty and almost understated stature. Looking straight on, whilst you notice a larger grille, it isn't out of proportion of previous designs in the Audi history - unlike some other brands they've ensured it's not overly imposing.

The side profile is long and flowing with no bulges, just perfect proportions. Option the 21" alloys and you get a finished design like no other car in the segment offers - whilst an expensive one (£1500), I think it's worth every penny. When you get to the back end you'll find design language which is seen throughout the range, from an A1 to an S8, it's a design you've seen before. This does mean it's rather attractive at the rear, quad tailpipes (which aren't real) are there to let people (who have missed the S6 badge) know this is a serious bit of kit. Really the entire exterior is lovely, sporty yet luxurious, aggressive but smooth.

An industry leading interior...

The race for the best interior is in full swing, manufacturers big and small are flat out ensuring when you step inside the car - you're impressed. Shockingly, no other manufacturer (in this class) comes close to the quality and design of the S6. Opening the door you feel quality, sitting in superbly comfortable 'Super Sport' seats you quickly fall in love. Surrounded by technology and quality materials you fast decide this is a place you want to spend a lot of time.

Visibility is excellent, considering the size of the car you never feel it. Passengers have a smooth and relaxed time - but also get bundles of space. The rear is definitely a place you'd be happy to be, however you'd be even happier with rear seat entertainment optioned. The boot space is ridiculously good, space for 3 sets of golf clubs at the very least. The S6 passed my gig test with flying colours, not only taking everything in the boot with space to spare, but giving a smooth and relaxing / quiet journey - truly an interior you don't want to get out of.

"BuT iT's A dIeSeL!"

Correct, it's a 349PS / 700Nm diesel V6 monster which gets to 62mph in 5.1 seconds and hits an electronically limited 155mph. Basically, it's hyper hatch fast - and it feels just as nimble too. Acceleration will pin you in your seat at times, as the torque is epic. Find yourself in some bends and the car comes alive, hugging into the road like a vehicle half the size. Worried about understeer? It's there but rarely shows its face, to find it you have to be really silly.

Steering feel is balanced and offers decent response to the driver, as do the pedals. In comparison to the previous generation, whilst this is technically slower - you won't feel it. The only place you miss something is the noise, whilst electronically aided with a synthesiser, it's not quite the same as a V8 (or even further back, a V10). The exhausts don't emit bundles of noise themselves, however there's an external sound emitting device which turns the exterior noise from a diesel purr to an implied V8 rumble.

Motorway cruises return 43+mpg with total ease, whilst town driving will give you 32mpg at lowest. Not bad when you consider the previous generations - MPG? Pah! Yes, diesel is controversial and technically manufactures are killing it off, but I like to see this as one of Audi's final goodbyes to performance diesels (remember the V12 diesel Q7? No? Google it!). I remember falling in love with an SQ5 diesel, being totally impressed with an SQ7 diesel... and the SQ8 is just as good. I know performance and diesel don't usually go hand in hand, however in the S6 they do it in such an exceptional way.

Diesel isn't going anywhere yet though!

Regardless of the headlines you read and the social media 'fake news' that comes up, the reality of the matter is that there is still a place for diesel vehicles. Whilst maybe not in city centres, the fact is that petrol cars rarely come close to the motorway economy and smoothness in acceleration as a diesel. In truth, new diesels are generally cleaner than petrols - but that's not what the tabloids want you to think.

Whilst there will be restrictions coming up on older diesels, new ones don't get affected by most of the changes - that is until combustion engines are banned in totality, or they find another way to change things up. I'll be sad when that day comes though, as a diesel car is what I've grown up knowing and loving. The S6 is everything I love about diesel in one guise, mixed with everything I love about petrol cars too. Audi, you've done a superb job.

What do you think? Is the end of diesel a good thing?

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Comments (25)

  • Audi have been making performance diesels for awhile and they are really good at it. Diesels are awesome if you ask me

      10 months ago
  • I have no problem with diesels, which can be great fun... in a mainstream car, torque and pull can make an ordinary car a bit more fun to drive. But on the upper top of automotive joy, it can't beat a proper NA or supercharger petrol in it's character. Maybe it will do some figures better, but fine line between ordinanary and special can't be matched with a diesel. It lacks revving, noise and responsivness. Objectively IMO.

    I had a 105 PS petrol Alfa and 115 JTD at the same time. While JTD was immensely strong and the torque was ridiculous, TS is the one u take for a twisty road uphill. Noise, balancing of power delivery and lighter nose is what u want on a special occasion.

    Considering that u want more than an Autobahn business cruiser in full spec, in the end would u like a V8 petrol or V6 diesel in this car?

    Or just comparing an S6 with regular E350d gives u an answer that this is far less of sports Audi and really only a full spec SLine diesel sedan.

      10 months ago
    • I think it was a business decision to get more of these in to the company car segment, as well as using some engine blocks which were potentially left from Porsche. I loved this car on back roads - the 48v system really made it super responsive....

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        10 months ago
  • Brilliant review and amazing photography as always Tom. The S6 seems great but Mercedes’ E350d seems even nicer in my opinion.

      10 months ago
    • Thanks! :) The E350d is another monster entirely. Without Quattro, the big power it can be boosted to makes it interesting in the wet. 🤣

        10 months ago
  • Diesel? So wrong, yet so right - yeah?

      10 months ago
  • Diesel engines with diesel minded engineers we all know how they did a few years back in Le Mans , i think Audi was one of the first ones powered there cars with Diesel engines .

      10 months ago