1995 Audi S6

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1995 Audi S6
Available in 2 styles:  S6 4dr Sedan shown
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18 city / 23 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 1 of 2
1995 Audi S6 4.5 2
$ -
April 30, 1995
In some quarters the station wagon may be headed for the history books -- but not at Audi of America, Inc.

Audi unveiled its guided-missile S6 wagon at the New York Auto Show earlier this month, and devotees of high-performance station-wagon motoring will find this dragon wagon is alive and breathing fire.

Turbocharging, Quattro four-wheel-drive and a top speed of 145 mph -- which for some reason has been detuned to 130 mph for the United States -- put Audi into a unique market segment.

Not everybody wants a van, yet needs to haul seven people. And if you want to do that in a hurry and in any kind of weather, the S6 has something to offer.

The company says the S6 will be the highest-performance station wagon sold in the United States when it reaches Audi dealers' showrooms this summer.

"We can take orders for it now," said Chad Spidle, new-car sales manager for Audi dealer Tom Wood, Inc. "I'd say you're looking at 60 to 90 days before it would be delivered."

In introducing the wagon in New York, the German automaker emphasized the S6's role as a personalized specialty wagon. Audi of America Vice President Gerd Klauss said, "The S6 will appeal to those who are looking for a unique combination of performance, high style, luxury and utility."

{That sort of covers all the bases, and represents a type of vehicle not commonly represented in station-wagon mode. The four-door vehicle has sports-car performance characteristics and utility features not available in two-seaters.

Generally in exterior styling, a wagon is a wagon. But the S6 has a sleekness that transcends the mundane. With a low nose, steeply raked windshield and even a fairly well raked rear window, the aerodynamics- friendly wagon qualifies as more than just another pretty face in a country-club parking lot.

The styling borrows from Audi's AVUS concept car and includes new AVUS-type 16-inch light alloy six-spoke wheels. A little bit of personal styling is available through optional 215/60 VR-rated 15-inch all-weather tires and 15-inch wheels at no extra cost. Standard for the S6 are 225/50 ZR 16-inch tires.

The rubber and the four-wheel drive are designed to get hold of the pavement at speed. I'm going to speculate that it will be an easy vehicle to drive with the hammer down.

With power to all four wheels, linear and cornering stability are tremendously enhanced. And the wagon's ZR- and VR-rated tires are designed for maximum traction.

Under the hood, Audi has gone the exotic route with five cylinders, turbocharging, double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. It's hard to get any more racy than that.

Five-cylinder engines have tended to be the province of import manufacturers.

Audi's 2.2-liter (136-cubic-inch) in-line would fit a four-cylinder 16-valve configuration, but adding another cylinder provides a smoother-running motor and creates a base for more power.

Through turbocharging, Audi's 2.2 develops a muscular 227 horsepower. That's almost 1.7 ho rse per cubic inch, a figure that gets you into muscle-car territory in the truest sense of the word.

There's a tendency for smaller, high-performance engines to produce lots of horsepower, but be weak on torque. Not this one.

Torque is rated at 258 foot-pounds, the equivalent of some much-larger nonturbocharged V6s. And that accounts for the acceleration characteristics of the S6.

The wagon is a driver's vehicle, as the transmission is a five-speed manual hooked to a permanently engaged all-wheel drive. Coming off the line with all four wheels driving, 0- 60 mph comes in at 6.6 seconds, equivalent to some pretty big performance cars.

The Quattro system automatically splits the power between the front and rear driving wheels, dependent on driving conditions. It makes the wagon a very tractable vehicle whether the road is dry or slippery.

The performance factor is only part of the S6 story. It's an expensive wagon and therefore offers a full line of comfort ameni ties and util ity conveniences.

Available is 65.5 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear bench seat is folded down, and 33.9 cubic feet when up. For young passengers, the wagon has a unique rear-facing seat for two children that can be folded and concealed.

Also included among the S6's myriad of features is an item that ought to be standard whenever cellular car phones are used. This system doesn't require taking a hand off the steering wheel to hold it.

The Audi system is a hands-free cellular phone with voice recognition. Just talk and steer without letting go of the wheel.

Interior styling takes cues from expensive automobiles: burled walnut wood throughout and Seiden Nappa leather upholstery. With the five-speed, there's full instrumentation that includes an oil-pressure gauge. And standard is a complete range of power accessories and convenience items, all designed to make driving the wagon a memorable affair.

Obviously, this doesn't come cheap. The S6 is a $47,000 item meant to function in a highly personalized manner.

"It's a real alternative to better-class sport/utility vehicles," Spidle said. "And once our customers acquire knowledge of it, I'm expecting some real interest."

1995 Audi S6 Base price: $47,200.Type: Front engine, four-wheel drive, seven-passenger, station wagon.Engine: 2.2-liters, DOHC five-cylinders, 20 valves, fuel injected, turbocharged, 227- horsepower, 258 foot-pounds of torque.Transmission: Five-speed manual.Mileage: 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway.Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds.Top speed: 145 miles per hour (electronically controlled 130 mph in United States).Wheelbase: 106.0 inches.Length: 192.6 inches.Width: 71.0 inches.Height: 59.0 inches.Options: Compact disc changer, instrument panel/door panels carbon fiber inlays, all-weather VR rated 15-inch tires/w 15- inch alloywheels, pearl effect white paint.

    Expert Reviews 1 of 2

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