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      12-24-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
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M3 vs. S6

So last week I replaced my daily driver Cayenne GTS with an Audi S6. While comparing the S6 to the M3 is clearly an apples to oranges comparison, they are both, nevertheless, cars that have an enthusiast appeal.

So let me begin with my conclusion. And that is:

The S6 does what it was designed to do just as well as the M3 does what it was designed to do.

Now....on to the details

Engine....no comparison subjectively. The S65 is a masterpiece, sounds incredible, revs incredibly and just has such a linear input/output relationship with your right foot. The S6 on the other hand, is just as it says in my signature. It is a sledgehammer. While subjectively less intoxicating, it packs a serious punch. Put your foot down and you are catapulted forward. The car gains velocity frighteningly fast, and it is effortless. While the specs have it at 420hp/406lb-ft, a number of independent tests have pegged it at more like 460-480hp/450-460lb-ft. The S8 was also similarly shown to be underrated in its independent test against an Alpina B7, where it dyno'd to have 580hp, not the rated 520. I know I will truly have a large number of "holy shit" moments with regards to speed (hopefully none involving flashing lights)

Exhaust.....The S6 sounds better, but there just isn't enough of it. This is in comparison to my MPE. The S6 exhaust has a very low, powerful, sinister growl to it. From a tonality standpoint, it sounds like a very serious machine. However, it just needs more volume. It is simply too quiet.

Suspension.....as you might expect, the S6 with its air suspension is very comfortable and composed. It does a great job of keeping this big beast planted. However, it is not even close to the M3 in terms of that feeling of precision and dynamics.

Steering.....similar to what I said about the suspension. While not bad in dynamic mode, the feel and precision of the M3 is substantially better. The steering wheel is nicely sized but not quite as thick as the M3.

Grip.....can't make a fair comparison at this point. The S6's all wheel drive allows you to simply hammer the beast and you will stay planted, however I am running winter tires at the moment, and when I pushed it in the corners, I could hear it. My M3 with Michelin PSS will certainly break loose, but constant velocity cornering grip was better. I will have to see what happens when I get some PSS on the Audi in the spring.

Transmission......well, my M3 is a manual and the S6 is a dual clutch. While the S6 has a perfectly fine transmission, it makes me glad that my M3 is a proper manual. It is just so much more fun to use a clutch and shifter than to just blip paddles. So....take it now from someone who owns both....dual clutch is faster, but will get boring. In the end, it is just an automatic, but is obviously suited to a big luxury car. Manual is way more fun.

Seats.....No comparison......S6 seats are not only gorgeous with their contrast diamond quilt pattern, but they are much more supportive in just all the right places too, at least for my body. The M3 seats are good, but not this good.

Interior design....No comparison.....the S6 is clearly in a league above the M3 in terms of interior design, fit and finish. And I have the extended leather in my M3. Again, it is certainly nice, but the S6 interior is a step or two above. I have never seen CF trim with so much depth as there is in my S6.

Brakes......complete toss up. Both cars are capable of stopping adequately. There is obviously much more dive with the S6, but what do you expect from such a massive beast.

Electronics/Audio......S6 is better by a good amount, although it really is in a different league in terms of luxury. I would imagine the 550 or M5 may offer more than the M3 in this regard. The B&O sound system in the S6 is simply the finest factory audio system I have ever heard in a car. Significantly better than the enhanced premium sound in the M3, which again is decent, but not like the S6. Then again, it is a $5600 (!) option.

In the end, you have two very different cars. The M3 is clearly sharper, and more of a focused play thing with a good degree of refinement thrown in. The S6 is a very sporty ultra luxury powerhouse cruiser. It is feast for the senses also, but in different ways. They complement each other nicely. After driving the M3, I will appreciate what the S6 has to offer and after driving the S6, I will appreciate what the M3 has to offer. A winning combination for sure.

[IMG][/IMG]
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      12-24-2013, 05:20 PM   #2
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Beautiful combination and excellent writeup. It seems that for me, the logical one-car solution remains the E90 M3 or the new F80 M3.

enjoy in good health Vijay!
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      12-24-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the write up. I am actually trying to decide on my next car and the S6 is on the list.
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      12-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarThaL View Post
In the end, you have two very different cars. The M3 is clearly sharper and more of the focused performance play thing with a good degree of refinement thrown in. The S6 is a very sporty ultra luxury powerhouse cruiser, that is feast for the senses also, but in different ways. They complement each other nicely. After driving the M3, I will appreciate what the S6 has to offer and after driving the S6, I will appreciate what the M3 has to offer. A winning combination for sure.
^ ^ ^ very well said...congrats on the S6
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      12-24-2013, 05:53 PM   #5
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Congrats on the S6! Car looks really good!
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      12-24-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurricane View Post
Thanks for the write up. I am actually trying to decide on my next car and the S6 is on the list.
You won't go wrong with the S6 if it fills your transportation needs. My Cayenne was 5 years old, and was at a good price point to unload in its life cycle. I didn't need an SUV anymore, and I had never owned a premium powerhouse luxo-cruiser type of vehicle. Definitely not as sharp feeling as the M3, but still hugely capable. Remember also, that when you compare cars of this overall caliber, you really start to split hairs. They are all good. It's just that we need to get really picky in the comparisons. The S6, like the M3, is a lot of car for the money. It looks, feels, and acts like a car that should be priced north of $100k, but it is substantially less.
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      12-24-2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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Great wright up. I drive my wifes audi A6 sometimes, such a nice daily driver, if i push it hard, it handles suprisingly well. I would imagine S6 is that much better.
Lucky to have m3 and s6. I am jealous
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      12-24-2013, 09:53 PM   #8
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Congratz!
Audi really stepped up their game
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      12-24-2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmehta211 View Post
Beautiful combination and excellent writeup. It seems that for me, the logical one-car solution remains the E90 M3 or the new F80 M3.

enjoy in good health Vijay!
Thanks Neel !! I would agree. Given your overall situation, your next car should probably be the F80 M3.
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      12-24-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
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Awesome write up! You can't tease us with ONE pic....we want MOARRRR! IN AND OUT!
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      12-24-2013, 11:12 PM   #11
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Sounds like a perfect combination! Congrats and enjoy it in good health.
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      12-24-2013, 11:56 PM   #12
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nice.
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      12-25-2013, 03:38 AM   #13
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Congrats. Looks awesome. PICS of the interior or those beautiful seats never happened..
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      12-25-2013, 04:01 AM   #14
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Sweet garage! Thanks for the write-up.
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      12-25-2013, 04:40 AM   #15
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Nice car combo!

I am very pleased with my first Audi as well!
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      12-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #16
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congrats, your s6 looks incredible..what a combo!! more audi pics!
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      12-25-2013, 08:37 AM   #17
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congrats, your s6 looks incredible..what a combo!! more audi pics!
Here you go!!.....

FYI...options: Black Optic package/Cold weather package/CF trim/Bang & Olufsen sound/rear & side sunshades/Media package/ Alcantara Headliner package/Full LED headlights


So sinister looking !!!

[IMG][/IMG]

Ass shot....

[IMG][/IMG]

Full LED headlights:

[IMG][/IMG]

20" with 255/35:

[IMG][/IMG]

Freakin' beautiful !!!

[IMG][/IMG]

More freakin' beautiful !!!

[IMG][/IMG]


Last one....

[IMG][/IMG]
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      12-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #18
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Super Cleannnnnnnn!!
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      12-25-2013, 01:01 PM   #19
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Nice review OP. I was in the market late summer for a new daily as I was currently driving a TTRS and my E90 M3 is my fun car and I intend to keep for as long as I can.

I have been an Audi owner for years with various S and RS models. I spent a lot of time in S6 as it was very appealing with the new V8 and its tuning potential.

Although its a nice car and if you get the diamond quilted seats it definitely helps the interior. However, these are the same seats found in almost every Audi model. The seats in my TTRS were the same that are in the R8.

I found the transmission good and the s tronic is a nice piece. However, the paddles drove me crazy and the steering wheel should of come as a flat bottom.

I drove the RS7 and the S tronic is definitely a better unit. The RS uses the 8spd auto I believe. Very laggy when up shifting. You have to plan ahead as the revs will run out even if you have engaged the next gear.

There is no doubt this car is fast. A lot faster than the v10 S6 which could of been an incredible car.

In driving the S6 and seeing it I know Audi tries to make the car understated from the exterior, but minus the dual exhaust (which are the same tips as set up that was on B6 S4 and they are still using today) and the aluminum mirror covers. There is just nothing makes it look different from the tens of thousand A6s on the road.

Sound system as the OP stated is amazing. I thought the steering was numb. The car definitely has a ton of grip. I feel that the M3 for its price does a lot more in terms of feeling special and that every time I get in it just feels special and more expensive than it is. Yes the interior may be outdated in comparison newer cars. For the price of the S models I really don't think it feels as special and expensive as the price suggests. Even the RS models. Take the 120k+ RS7. Blistering speed. However the interior and again the seats are the same that are in every Audi model (almost). Yes they made add more electronic components to the seats. The bolsters are not even close to as supportive as the M3. I'm not a big guy at 5'9 and 160. So at times bigger bodies have a better advantage and can maximize the use of the bolstering mechanism.

The dash is rubber and if you look at the m5/M6/M6 GC the interior is far more special and BMW has made great strides to make that interior special and feel like a car more expensive than it is with excellent build quality. Personally and with owning a DB9 volante, the stitching and leather is every bit as nice as the Aston Martin. In fact, I think even a little nicer.

Again I have loved Audis. Have owned B5 S4, B6 S4/RS4, B7 RS4/S4, S6 V10 and now a belated TTRS.

The current S6 with a tune is going to be an absolute monster I keep up with. And with QUATTRO going to be incredibly capable. My point is that I just wasn't wowed by the car. It did not feel special enough. So yes I stayed in the BMW family and got an X5M. It's a 2011 and the interior, the seats, M mode, handling and performance all feel just as capable as the S6 and I personally love the interior even if it is 3-4 years behind. Simple, clean, easy and functional, leather everywhere (even the dash) and well stitched. The seats are different than one would find in any of X5/X6/X3 or any other model that isn't an M car. Where Audi uses products that should be different from the higher priced vehicles.

YES I KNOW THIS IS AN SUV. Not a sedan. The S6 LCD screen is amazing. Navigation is incredible. But their are too many options to select in the dynamic mode for performance and can be a bit confusing. the MMI interface is great. but this iall comes down to preference and the iDrive is much simpler to use even when driving. The B and O sound is amazing. Love the valcona stitching in the S6. The carbon trim is amazing and they have this new wood trim that is very nice and im not muh of a wood trim guy.

Even the HUD in the S6 and RS models show no RPM or gear indicator. Just speed. Silly and odd to me. And the exhaust tone I was not impressed with and was very muted in comparison to the M models.

S6 is a capable car and in that sepang blue metallic is beautiful. Had BMW M made the M5 or M6 GC in AWD, which is what I need for where I live (north east) as a DD
I personally would have gone that route without thinking twice. I just feel like you are getting alot more for the money. The S6 is cheaper than an M5 by a good chunk of $$.

I am glad you are happy OP. again I am an Audi lover by how many I have owned. The TTRS was the first one that I had no engine issues with!!! This engine in the new models for the S/RS are incredible engines.

Perhaps in a few years Audi will makes some changes to make it more special and at least for me justify the price tag.

For now, I truly think BMW is getting the upper hand with the performance models in terms of interior and exterior design in comparison to Audi and AMG.

Enjoy it OP. it is a great car and I'm glad you are happy. I was close to getting I and really wanted to. Just didn't give me the feeling the M3 and X5M did. I still love the cars Audi is making. Just didn't get the feeling like I have from the other Audis I've owned.

However, if they brought any of the wagons stateside I would give up any car I'm driving for one of those!!!

Happy holidays all and merry Xmas for those that celebrate.
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      12-25-2013, 03:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthShoreM3 View Post
Nice review OP. I was in the market late summer for a new daily as I was currently driving a TTRS and my E90 M3 is my fun car and I intend to keep for as long as I can.

I have been an Audi owner for years with various S and RS models. I spent a lot of time in S6 as it was very appealing with the new V8 and its tuning potential.

Although its a nice car and if you get the diamond quilted seats it definitely helps the interior. However, these are the same seats found in almost every Audi model. The seats in my TTRS were the same that are in the R8.

I found the transmission good and the s tronic is a nice piece. However, the paddles drove me crazy and the steering wheel should of come as a flat bottom.

I drove the RS7 and the S tronic is definitely a better unit. The RS uses the 8spd auto I believe. Very laggy when up shifting. You have to plan ahead as the revs will run out even if you have engaged the next gear.

There is no doubt this car is fast. A lot faster than the v10 S6 which could of been an incredible car.

In driving the S6 and seeing it I know Audi tries to make the car understated from the exterior, but minus the dual exhaust (which are the same tips as set up that was on B6 S4 and they are still using today) and the aluminum mirror covers. There is just nothing makes it look different from the tens of thousand A6s on the road.

Sound system as the OP stated is amazing. I thought the steering was numb. The car definitely has a ton of grip. I feel that the M3 for its price does a lot more in terms of feeling special and that every time I get in it just feels special and more expensive than it is. Yes the interior may be outdated in comparison newer cars. For the price of the S models I really don't think it feels as special and expensive as the price suggests. Even the RS models. Take the 120k+ RS7. Blistering speed. However the interior and again the seats are the same that are in every Audi model (almost). Yes they made add more electronic components to the seats. The bolsters are not even close to as supportive as the M3. I'm not a big guy at 5'9 and 160. So at times bigger bodies have a better advantage and can maximize the use of the bolstering mechanism.

The dash is rubber and if you look at the m5/M6/M6 GC the interior is far more special and BMW has made great strides to make that interior special and feel like a car more expensive than it is with excellent build quality. Personally and with owning a DB9 volante, the stitching and leather is every bit as nice as the Aston Martin. In fact, I think even a little nicer.

Again I have loved Audis. Have owned B5 S4, B6 S4/RS4, B7 RS4/S4, S6 V10 and now a belated TTRS.

The current S6 with a tune is going to be an absolute monster I keep up with. And with QUATTRO going to be incredibly capable. My point is that I just wasn't wowed by the car. It did not feel special enough. So yes I stayed in the BMW family and got an X5M. It's a 2011 and the interior, the seats, M mode, handling and performance all feel just as capable as the S6 and I personally love the interior even if it is 3-4 years behind. Simple, clean, easy and functional, leather everywhere (even the dash) and well stitched. The seats are different than one would find in any of X5/X6/X3 or any other model that isn't an M car. Where Audi uses products that should be different from the higher priced vehicles.

YES I KNOW THIS IS AN SUV. Not a sedan. The S6 LCD screen is amazing. Navigation is incredible. But their are too many options to select in the dynamic mode for performance and can be a bit confusing. the MMI interface is great. but this iall comes down to preference and the iDrive is much simpler to use even when driving. The B and O sound is amazing. Love the valcona stitching in the S6. The carbon trim is amazing and they have this new wood trim that is very nice and im not muh of a wood trim guy.

Even the HUD in the S6 and RS models show no RPM or gear indicator. Just speed. Silly and odd to me. And the exhaust tone I was not impressed with and was very muted in comparison to the M models.

S6 is a capable car and in that sepang blue metallic is beautiful. Had BMW M made the M5 or M6 GC in AWD, which is what I need for where I live (north east) as a DD
I personally would have gone that route without thinking twice. I just feel like you are getting alot more for the money. The S6 is cheaper than an M5 by a good chunk of $$.

I am glad you are happy OP. again I am an Audi lover by how many I have owned. The TTRS was the first one that I had no engine issues with!!! This engine in the new models for the S/RS are incredible engines.

Perhaps in a few years Audi will makes some changes to make it more special and at least for me justify the price tag.

For now, I truly think BMW is getting the upper hand with the performance models in terms of interior and exterior design in comparison to Audi and AMG.

Enjoy it OP. it is a great car and I'm glad you are happy. I was close to getting I and really wanted to. Just didn't give me the feeling the M3 and X5M did. I still love the cars Audi is making. Just didn't get the feeling like I have from the other Audis I've owned.

However, if they brought any of the wagons stateside I would give up any car I'm driving for one of those!!!

Happy holidays all and merry Xmas for those that celebrate.
The BMW counterpart to the S6 is the 550xi M-sport. These were the only two vehicles I cross shopped. I liked the Audi more overall. I would say that the S6 is to the A6 what a loaded up 550xi M-sport is to a 535. The S6 is not a competitor to the M5/M6GC, although it will match 0-60 due to AWD.
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      12-25-2013, 10:29 PM   #21
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Congrats!

Car looks great! Those are the same wheels on my RS5 and I agree with your sentiments on the car.

Its a phenomenal sedan....especially, for the price.

I love it!
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      12-25-2013, 10:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthShoreM3 View Post
Nice review OP. I was in the market late summer for a new daily as I was currently driving a TTRS and my E90 M3 is my fun car and I intend to keep for as long as I can.

I have been an Audi owner for years with various S and RS models. I spent a lot of time in S6 as it was very appealing with the new V8 and its tuning potential.

Although its a nice car and if you get the diamond quilted seats it definitely helps the interior. However, these are the same seats found in almost every Audi model. The seats in my TTRS were the same that are in the R8.

I found the transmission good and the s tronic is a nice piece. However, the paddles drove me crazy and the steering wheel should of come as a flat bottom.

I drove the RS7 and the S tronic is definitely a better unit. The RS uses the 8spd auto I believe. Very laggy when up shifting. You have to plan ahead as the revs will run out even if you have engaged the next gear.

There is no doubt this car is fast. A lot faster than the v10 S6 which could of been an incredible car.

In driving the S6 and seeing it I know Audi tries to make the car understated from the exterior, but minus the dual exhaust (which are the same tips as set up that was on B6 S4 and they are still using today) and the aluminum mirror covers. There is just nothing makes it look different from the tens of thousand A6s on the road.

Sound system as the OP stated is amazing. I thought the steering was numb. The car definitely has a ton of grip. I feel that the M3 for its price does a lot more in terms of feeling special and that every time I get in it just feels special and more expensive than it is. Yes the interior may be outdated in comparison newer cars. For the price of the S models I really don't think it feels as special and expensive as the price suggests. Even the RS models. Take the 120k+ RS7. Blistering speed. However the interior and again the seats are the same that are in every Audi model (almost). Yes they made add more electronic components to the seats. The bolsters are not even close to as supportive as the M3. I'm not a big guy at 5'9 and 160. So at times bigger bodies have a better advantage and can maximize the use of the bolstering mechanism.

The dash is rubber and if you look at the m5/M6/M6 GC the interior is far more special and BMW has made great strides to make that interior special and feel like a car more expensive than it is with excellent build quality. Personally and with owning a DB9 volante, the stitching and leather is every bit as nice as the Aston Martin. In fact, I think even a little nicer.

Again I have loved Audis. Have owned B5 S4, B6 S4/RS4, B7 RS4/S4, S6 V10 and now a belated TTRS.

The current S6 with a tune is going to be an absolute monster I keep up with. And with QUATTRO going to be incredibly capable. My point is that I just wasn't wowed by the car. It did not feel special enough. So yes I stayed in the BMW family and got an X5M. It's a 2011 and the interior, the seats, M mode, handling and performance all feel just as capable as the S6 and I personally love the interior even if it is 3-4 years behind. Simple, clean, easy and functional, leather everywhere (even the dash) and well stitched. The seats are different than one would find in any of X5/X6/X3 or any other model that isn't an M car. Where Audi uses products that should be different from the higher priced vehicles.

YES I KNOW THIS IS AN SUV. Not a sedan. The S6 LCD screen is amazing. Navigation is incredible. But their are too many options to select in the dynamic mode for performance and can be a bit confusing. the MMI interface is great. but this iall comes down to preference and the iDrive is much simpler to use even when driving. The B and O sound is amazing. Love the valcona stitching in the S6. The carbon trim is amazing and they have this new wood trim that is very nice and im not muh of a wood trim guy.

Even the HUD in the S6 and RS models show no RPM or gear indicator. Just speed. Silly and odd to me. And the exhaust tone I was not impressed with and was very muted in comparison to the M models.

S6 is a capable car and in that sepang blue metallic is beautiful. Had BMW M made the M5 or M6 GC in AWD, which is what I need for where I live (north east) as a DD
I personally would have gone that route without thinking twice. I just feel like you are getting alot more for the money. The S6 is cheaper than an M5 by a good chunk of $$.

I am glad you are happy OP. again I am an Audi lover by how many I have owned. The TTRS was the first one that I had no engine issues with!!! This engine in the new models for the S/RS are incredible engines.

Perhaps in a few years Audi will makes some changes to make it more special and at least for me justify the price tag.

For now, I truly think BMW is getting the upper hand with the performance models in terms of interior and exterior design in comparison to Audi and AMG.

Enjoy it OP. it is a great car and I'm glad you are happy. I was close to getting I and really wanted to. Just didn't give me the feeling the M3 and X5M did. I still love the cars Audi is making. Just didn't get the feeling like I have from the other Audis I've owned.

However, if they brought any of the wagons stateside I would give up any car I'm driving for one of those!!!

Happy holidays all and merry Xmas for those that celebrate.
Funny....we traded our 2011 X5M for the S6 and I much prefer the Audi. Although, the X5M does have the extended leather on the dash, I like all other aspects of the S6 interior better. The fit, finish, and refinement all go to the S6. I immediately felt like it was a more solidly built car. Certain aspects of the X5M just didn't 'feel' like a $100k vehicle.

Nevertheless, I loved the X5M and definitely understand your choice. The truck is a flat out BEAST! But, the S6 has been a fine replacement!
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