The S6 of the second A6 generation (C5) was offered only with a 4.2-liter V8 engine. The revised eight-cylinder with variable intake manifold and five valves per cylinder now developed 250 kW (340 hp).

Compared to the standard A6 (with four- or six-cylinder engines), the model had a 37 mm longer front end and additionally heavily flared fenders (also used in the A6 4.2 with 220 kW and the Audi RS6 of this generation) and like all A6 C5, it was equipped with a fully galvanized body. In order to reduce weight, the bonnet and fenders of all V8 models are made of aluminum. There was already an Audi double-frame radiator grille from April 1999, the preliminary stage of the new single-frame grille. This appearance was carried over to all A6 models during the facelift of the A6 C5 in May 2001.

Between September 1999 and May 2001 the S6 was available with a six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmission (Tiptronic); after the facelift in 2001, the manual transmission was withdrawn from the range. Although only one engine was available, there were two engine codes (AQJ until 08/2000 and the ANK after that date). The engines differed in the intake tract and various control electronics; in contrast to the AQJ, the ANK engine had four heated lambda sensors instead of two, although from model year 2000 the AQJ engine also met the EU3 standard instead of the D3 standard. The sedan accelerated from 0 to 100 km / h with manual transmission in 5.7 seconds (automatic: 6.7 s); the Avant is 0.1 s slower in both cases. The S6 was electronically limited at a speed of 250 km / h. Like every Audi with these performance data, this model also had quattro all-wheel drive as standard, as well as other standard features in contrast to the A6.


  • Xenon headlights (only for low beam), from Facelift model year 2001, bi-xenon headlights
  • Fog lights
  • 17-inch cast aluminum wheels in special Avus design 8×17 with tires in size 255/40 ZR17
  • Front and rear colour coded bumpers
  • S6-specific, dark gray painted radiator grille with S6 embossing and accentuated grille, with the S and 6 forming two elements of the Audi Sport flag that was used until then
  • Exterior mirror housing made of highly polished aluminum
  • Bumper strips on the doors in dark gray to indicate a wider sill (as it was later used in the RS6)
  • Double-pipe exhaust system with a visible, round tailpipe made of stainless steel on each side
  • Modified engine cover with red decorative frame around the designation “V8 – 4.2”
  • Aluminum door sills with the S6 lettering


  • Fully electric Recaro sports seats (Alcantara / pearl nappa leather or, for as an extra option, in silk nappa leather) including lumbar support, adjustable thigh support and embossed “RECARO” lettering in the backrests of the two front seats and the two outer rear seats (optional)
  • Decorative strips made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in doors, dashboard and center console (optional)
  • Alcantara headliner (beige, gray or black)
  • 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with S6 emblem in the lower spoke (with automatic transmission including a steering wheel switch on the left and right on the steering wheel, which was marked with a + and a – on each side)
  • Combination of dashboard instruments in combination with round instruments with a light gray background, speedometer up to 300 km / h, S6 emblem and, in contrast to the series, indicator illuminated in white
  • Anti-theft alarm system with ultrasonic interior monitoring
  • Seat heating at the front as standard and also at the rear for an extra charge


As an ex-works option for the S6, there were exclusive 16-inch light-alloy wheels with tires in 215/55 R16 for the winter with which snow chains were possible. Various special wheels (for example 18-inch S-line wheels with 9 spokes) and other customization options were available from quattro GmbH. The accessories of the A6 could also be used for the S6.


As with the A6 C5, the S6 received a facelift in May 2001. Some external and technical features were changed.

Among other things, a bi-xenon headlight was standard from this point on. The radio antenna and the receiver of the navigation system, which were previously housed separately from each other in the rear left fender and on the trunk lid, were combined to form a unit and designed as a short, sporty roof antenna.

In the interior, the vehicle received the new generation of the 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with a chrome ring around the central Audi logo, which was previously made as a plastic ring. The manual transmission was withdrawn from the range and the previous Audi Sport flag was replaced by the new and up to now current Audi S emblem. The new emblems were located in the speedometer, on the lower spoke of the steering wheel, on the door sills and on the front and rear. The sedan had a base price in Germany of € 65,450, while the Avant was € 67,550.

Shortly before the end of production of the S6 C5 in 2005, the first generation of the Audi navigation system Plus with Audi MMI control logic (also called RNS-E) was available, which was used in models such as the Audi TT (type 8J) until 2013.

The most powerful top model in this series was the Audi RS6, which was produced between mid-2002 and the end of 2004.



Technical Data Limousine Avant
Engine type V8 with 40-Valves (DOHC)
Displacement 4172 cm³
Bore × stroke 84,5 × 93,0 mm
Max. Power at min−1 250 kW (340 PS) at 7000
Max. Torque at min−1 420 Nm at 3400
Top speed 250 km/h (limited)
Acceleration, 0–100 km/h 5,7 s (6,7 s) 5,8 s (6,8 s)
Weight 1735 kg (1760 kg) 1790 kg (1815 kg)
Fuel consumption l/100 km 14,1 l/100km (14,3 l/100km) 14,2 l/100km (14,5 l/100km)