Super Sedan: Audi S6
It’s not often that we at FHM admit abject failure at something. But when we do, we usually come out clean and accept it (well, not really… we make excuses, blame the weather and the guys in the other pack driving the R8 V10s or the rascals who were driving so slow you constantly had to slow down to not ride their tails). Of course, there are other times, when car manufacturers slyly post a video of a lap you took at the Buddh International Circuit for the world (if they aren’t your FB friends, they don’t matter right?) to see. A lap so slow you could press play, go and make a cup of tea and we would still be going. And mind you, not black tea, but the proper one with milk and everything.
To put this in context, our lap in the Audi S6 was 1 min 53 seconds slower than the record set by Vettel in 2011 driving the Red Bull F1 car (1.27 mins), 1 min 19 seconds slower than Karun Chandhok who set the track record in a production car (2.12 mins) Audi R8 V10, and 1 min 16 seconds slower than Simon Norman in the SLS AMG (2.14 mins). We did one lap in 3.20 mins. The average speed of Formula 1 cars on the track is 210 kmph with a top speed is 318 kmph. Our top speed was a grand 160 kmph.
All in all, your grandmother in her VW Polo could have overtaken us on the lap (fine maybe not your grandmother but we are pretty sure that Mahindra when they were showcasing their XUV 500s on the track, managed to register a faster lap time). Aka shit day, so bad car, right? Is this what you get when you drive a 5-metre car that weighs 1.8 tonnes? On the contrary, the Audi S6 is a fabulous car, it is phenomenally fun to drive, its 4 litres twin-turbo V8 puts out 414 bhp power, and Audi claims that a 100 km can come up in 4.6 seconds.
But first things first – what exactly is the S6? Why does it share its numerical moniker with the A6 and why does it cost 40 lakhs more than the A? What do you pay for exactly? That’s the thing about the S6. If you are being a baniya about it, then you’re never going to get it. It seats as many people as the A6 would, would do service on the highways with equal ease and make an equally impressive statement on passerby’s – but that isn’t what you buy the S6 for. To drag the already clichéd cliché even further – the S6 is for your driving pleasure.
So what do you get for the price of almost an extra A6? The chrome looks good, so does the S6 badge on the grill, the rear spoiler and the quad poop shoots. But a chunk of your money goes to the Government of India (the S6 is imported as a completely built unit, so it attracts a higher duty) and towards that fabulous engine. The S6 boasts of a cylinder-on-demand technology, which shuts off four cylinders out of eight when you are driving it in the city saving you fuel and keeping those green activists happy.
It’s clearly not the car whose keys you toss to the driver. It’s a car for umm, let's just say, the middle-rung rich. People who love the performance, but won’t buy a sports car because it won’t accommodate the undivided Hindu family. It’s for the guy who has 85 lakhs to spend on a car, not 2 crores and wants one car that will go to the wife’s cousin’s wedding as well as the racetrack. The S6 ticks all those boxes, both of them anyway.
Should you get it? If you can afford it, hell yes. But when you take it out on the track, just make sure no one’s making a video.