Caught in the classifieds: 2007 Audi S6 V10
In this weekís ďCaught in the ClassifiedsĒ section, Iím helping you make one of the coolest yet possibly poorest purchase choices youíll ever make. In early 2006 Audi decided to take their C6-generation A6 and stuff it with a massive 5.2-litre Lamborghini-derived V10, giving birth to one of the coolest performance saloons/estates ever built. Although it wasnít as dynamically capable as some of its contemporary rivals at the time, it was intangibly more characterful and charming.
Iím highlighting it today because I think itís one of the best performance bargains of 2020. Take this £11,000 example I found on our site for instance. A similarly specced Audi S6 would have cost you upwards of £80k back in 2007, yet you can now have one for an eight of that price. The question is, just because you can, should you? Running and maintaining an old V10 Audi will definitely be more expensive than running an equivalent diesel, but I reckon the positives outweigh the negatives if you can afford the fuel bills.
The C6-generation A6 is probably my least favourite A6 of the bunch. Its predecessor, the C5, was a lot more muscular and aggressive. The S6 does little to rectify these issues with the Audi A6 since it doesnít introduce a large body kit or massive diffusers and wings. Surprisingly, Audi wasnít as keen on using flared arches and fake exhaust tips on its cars back in the mid-to-late 2000s. On the flip side, because itís so understated, the C6 S6 is a little bit of a wolf in sheepís clothing.
Iím highlighting an estate variant here because I think it looks better proportioned than the saloon, and because thereís just something slightly naughty about a quick estate car. No one expects a large, 2-tonne estate car to move quickly, so when you find one that does, itís positively shocking. As much as I despise its looks, I realize itís not the worst car ever built. Itís just slightly dull and boring, especially compared to both its predecessor and its successor.
There are several aftermarket companies producing things like bumpers and side skirts for it, but I wouldnít bother with any of them. Part of the appeal of an S6 is to keep it stock and unassuming. If you can live with its looks, I assure you itís all uphill from here.
Inside, I really have very few complaints with Audis of this era. Theyíre built impeccably with wonderful build quality, and the C6 S6 is no different. From the moment you step inside, itís immediately apparent that this is a quality item through and through. Everything you touch and see feels expensive and premium. Ignore the outdated infotainment screen and this genuinely feels like a £60k car even by todayís standards.
The only thing Iím not particularly fond of is the steering wheel. It feels slightly too clunky and big, but once you get used to it, itís actually quite pleasant. I donít think itís a nice object to look at, but itís functional once you settle in the car. The infotainment system feels dated as well, but thatís to be expected with any car thatís over a decade old.
As far as interior space goes, the C6-gen A6 kind of reigns supreme, doesnít it? Itís got class-leading boot space, class-leading second-row space, and seats that feel like they belong in a £100k car. If you need a ton of room to carry people and items, get an A6 and youíll never run out of space again.
Engine and Performance
I donít know who at Audi had the brilliant idea of slamming a massive V10 engine in an executive car, but Iím really glad they did. As much as I love the 4.2-litre V8 used in the C5 S6, thereís nothing that trumps a big V10, is there? Using the same 5.2-litre V10 block from the Lamborghini Gallardo but with longer stroke and wider bore, the S6 makes a healthy 435 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Itís got twin chain-driven overhead camshafts with variable valve timing, and the entire thing is managed by a Bosch ECU.
Power is sent to all four wheels through a ZF 6HP26 six-speed Tiptronic auto, one of the strongest gearboxes ZF have built to date. The best thing is that the all-wheel-drive system is a pure Torsen-based quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system with a 40:60 front-to-rear split. You wonít find any FWD malarkey here.
The end result is a sprint to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph. I know those figures donít sound impressive compared to most modern super saloons, but you have to remember this is a 13-year old car that you can buy right now for just £11k. What else can you get for that amount of money that will annihilate most cars on the road and still be more practical than a minivan? Not a whole lot.
As I mentioned, the only downside to owning a V10-engined S6 are the associated running costs. It likes to eat fuel at an ungodly rate. Figure roughly 25-30 mpg on the highway and mid-to-high teens if youíre using it around town or like to give it the berries often. As far as maintenance goes, if you keep up with it and do a carbon buildup when your mechanic recommends it, you shouldnít expect too many issues. The V10 is a pretty bulletproof engine, hence why a lot of people decide to slap on a big turbo or a supercharger on it.
Model: Audi S6
Trim: C6 5.2 V10 Estate
If you donít mind spending unruly amounts of money on fuel, then, by all means, get an Audi S6. Ideally, Iíd run an S6 with a second, smaller car as my daily, using the S6 for longer trips or the occasional commute duty. If you have a budget of £15k-£20k and want to spend it all on an executive saloon, hereís my tip: buy an S6 and use the remainder on a smaller car to act as a daily driver. Get your hand on one by heading to DesperateSeller.co.uk where we have a wide selection of used Audi S6 cars for sale
DeperateSeller.co.uk rating: 8 out of 10
View the car here: 2007 Audi S6 - £11,000