Uncompromising luxury versus uncompromising performance: Which is the perfect Audi for you? Let’s have a deeper look and weigh the options!
The Audi S and RS models, regardless of which you choose, command a certain respect. Unquestionably, both versions are fast and luxurious. And their prestige is likely to hold water for decades, certainly as EVs are right around the corner for Audi. While common knowledge states that obviously the higher-rated package is the most desirable, we thought we’d take a closer look at a proper comparison. So let’s take one single model and weigh the pros and cons between the S and RS versions and see which may best be suited for you.
Now, before we begin, we must first establish a common baseline. In this case, we’ll be having a look at the main overall differences between the 2022 Audi A6, S6, and RS 6. So without further delay, let’s get started!
The Audi S6: The final say in luxury
First up is the “mid-range” model, if we can even call it that, the Audi S6. Both the S6 and RS 6, are, of course, packages based on the A6. The A6 itself debuted for the 2019 model year and is itself no slouch in terms of luxury. Although that fact normally needs no further elaboration for the car serving as Audi’s premiere executive car. So then, what does an S6 do better than the A6?
Well, the “S” badge does stand for “Sport,” after all. And in this respect, the S6 handily wins us over with a 444-horsepower twin-turbo mated to the 8-speed Tiptronic. This performance increase carries over to the running gear, boasting adaptive air suspension and an optional sport rear diff, among other features. Interior-wise, the S6 handily beats both the A6 and RS 6 as well, a common trend across all model ranges. Basically, if you spring for an S-badged Audi, expect most interior options to appear as standard equipment. This includes MFD’s, premium-quality sound, leather everything, and top-tier finishing.
In a sentence: If you’re looking for just enough performance to outpace every base-model Audi without sacrificing premium luxury, the S-model’s the one for you. This type of Audi fits well in daily commutes through large towns and metropolitan areas, where stretching the engine’s legs is less of a concern versus a quiet, relaxing ride. And while both S and RS models are very expensive (as most quality luxury cars are), the S-model is still significantly cheaper. At a cool $82,595 MSRP, it’s certainly no bargain-bin car, but you get what you pay for. Which in this case is certainly more than adequate.
The RS 6: Brute-Force Application
However, let’s say you live in an area with a lot of wide-open roads. And you got that itch that only a howling V8 can scratch. Well, then the RS 6 is the one for you, provided you have the cash.
Traditionally, the RS line’s been regarded as being more performance-oriented to the detriment of luxury. Certainly some previous RS models featured less than stellar luxury offerings (by Audi standards, anyway). But that simply doesn’t apply with the 2022 RS 6. In fact, just about the only item that’s optional on the RS 6 versus standard on the S6 is adaptive cruise control. The RS 6 also houses a monster of a V8: a 592-horsepower twin-turbo enabling the super saloon to hit 60 in an eye-watering 3.6 seconds.
So why choose the S6 when the RS 6 does almost everything better? There’s a couple reasons for that. Firstly and most prominently, the absolute bare-minimum you’ll be paying is $117,595. That price can shoot upwards real quick, as well. Also, the aggressive styling may not be to everyone’s taste, especially for those looking for quiet, dignified performance. And while the car’s undoubtedly comfortable in or out of the city, it’s certainly not built for short trips. City fuel economy is, frankly, as one would expect on a thirsty twin-turbo V8 in a full-size luxury car. And a roaring engine like that really deserves some frequent exercise, at least in our opinion.
In short, if you jump the gun and go for the top-shelf item, it only truly serves its purpose on long-distance, wide-open roads. As opposed to a more practical and understated luxury package that’s still plenty capable of overtaking, namely the S6.
Weighing the Options
All in all, both vehicles remain excellent choices in terms of mid-high level luxury offerings. The RS 6 is, naturally, unquestionably the faster and more exciting of the two. But that doesn’t imply that the S6, by contrast, is a poor vehicle, either. Certainly, both have their intended uses and individual comfort zones. The S6 performs flawlessly where the RS 6’s more aggressive nature undercuts it, such as within tight city streets. Conversely, the RS 6’s party piece – namely, that glorious engine – sings a wonderful melody as you fly down a country road. But is all that power and performance at your fingertips worth the heavy burden at the gas station, much less the dealership? Ultimately, it’s up to you. But in our opinion, if it wasn’t for the allure of the V8, we’d be in S6’s neck of the woods.