Here is what can only be described as the warm version of Audi's A6, which is strange to say when it comes with a 4.0-litre V8 and churns out 444bhp.
Costing over £59,265, a premium of more than £1255 over the outgoing model. Customers will find there are no significant changes to the engine or gearbox; Audi clearly believes its twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol unit and standard seven-speed dual clutch S-tronic automatic don’t require any major fettling to keep the luxury estate in the hunt.
Nor has there been any alteration to the mechanically operated Torsen torque sensing four-wheel-drive system.
With a stout 444bhp and 405lb ft developed across of range of revs between 1400 and 5700rpm, the S6 blasts up to the sort of speed limits in place in the UK with great bravado.
On a heavily pegged throttle, the in-gear acceleration is relentless – perhaps not quite as extreme as that offered by the more powerful RS7 but sufficient enough for fast lane superiority over all but the most exotic machinery.
Despite tipping the scales at a rather hefty 1960kg, the S6 Avant is claimed to hit 62mph in just 4.6sec, and it accelerates hard up to the limiter at 155mph. Running down a wide autobahn near Dresden, the plush load hauler felt right in its element.
Audi’s traditional quattro four-wheel-drive system nominally sends the majority of drive to the rear wheels, but is quick to react when the front wheels have more purchase and the rears are slipping. It also includes a so-called Sport differential that juggles power between each individual rear wheel for added purchase.
The benefits are most obvious during hard acceleration in lower gears and at the exit of a corner, where the S6 Avant provides exceptional drive no matter what the weather conditions.
Thanks to a long overdriven 0.519:1 seventh gear ratio that operates in combination with a 4.09:1 final drive, it possesses effortless high speed cruising capabilities. An active noise cancellation device, which dampens mechanical sounds by broadcasting antiphase resonance over the speakers, also provides the S6 Avant with pleasingly hushed qualities when rushed along.