Ask Jack Epilogue: The Joy of S6

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Three months ago, I introduced you to my friend Edward, who was agonizing over the potential lease of a new BMW M3. Or a 440i. Or a 430i. It was all up for grabs. I suggested an alternative: the iconic pairing of Accord and Corvette, familiar to TTAC readers from my own garage. Horses for courses, I always say. But Edward was of a different mind. He didn’t want to wait until the weekends or the sunset evenings after work to enjoy himself. A few days ago, he brought his new car by to show off — and what a car it is.

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Real buyers don’t respect the imaginary lines of class and category and task that the automotive Aspies of the Internet draw around various groups of cars like Orthodox Jews using a skein of yarn to skirt the Sabbath. The gang at “Oppositelock” would laugh at the idea of somebody cross-shopping a BMW M3 and an Audi S6. After all, one of them is a (optionally) stick-shifted track terror. The other is a big barge with an over-pressurized V8 and delusions of AMG grandeur. Why, you might as well say that you’re interested in buying both a Fiesta ST and a track-prepped Corvette in the same twelve months!

Since Edward inhabits the real world and hasn’t seen his mother’s basement in years, however, he is perfectly free to look at any car that he God-dammed pleases, and he’s free to adjust his budget if he sees something that catches his eye. The truth of the matter is that he’s wanted an S6 for years. Most “car guys” think Edward’s old Audi S4 is too big, too bulky, too elephantine in fast transitions and too confused about its purpose in life. But those are exactly the qualities that Edward liked in the car. He didn’t worry about the Audi’s weight and power deficits to the BMW M3. Instead, he cherished the milled-from-billet way it went down the road and the heavy distance of the primary controls. He didn’t want less of that. He wanted more.

It’s also worth noting that BMW continues in its long-established practice of under-subsidizing the lease programs on M-cars compared to their common-and-garden brethren. The M3 shouldn’t cost twice as much money to lease as a 340i, or three times as much as a 320i. But it does. Which opens the door for Audi, and other manufacturers, to address that deficiency with attractive programs on vehicles with sporting intent.

The situation that confronted Edward was this: for the lease cost of a loaded M3, he could also lease a loaded S6. I think he made the right choice. Hell, it’s probably the choice I would make, given the same options. No, you don’t get a clutch pedal in the big Audi — but you do get hyperspeed thrust from an exotic powertrain, impeccable aesthetics both inside and out, not to mention an extra helping of rear-seat room for Edward’s two children.

I cannot say this was a fiscally responsible decision, but just look at the thing. Wouldn’t you like to drive something like that to work? Wouldn’t you like to be surrounded by the quilted leather and the carbon-fiber trim that nestles into its aluminum housings like a CNC-machined Russian doll? Wouldn’t you like knowing that at any moment you can floor the throttle and immediately dispense with anything short of a Z06 Vette? I’d like to do all of those things.

As fate would have it, this wasn’t the only big black forced-induction sedan to visit my driveway this week. Another friend decided to chop in his Durango R/T for a sedan that … well, let’s just say that certain New-York-based former members of the TTAC community would definitely approve. So watch this space for that story as well. In the meantime, if you see Edward out on the road, don’t hesitate to remind him he’d have been better off with an Accord and a Corvette. And don’t be surprised if his response is an amused laugh and a Ronin-style full-throttle departure.

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • Kosmo Kosmo on Mar 02, 2017

    Jack, Whatever on the S6. Ha! But PLEASE write extensively on the blown Durango, as my wife and I are seriously considering the new SRT version because it looks fun (I'm over 50 and have never owned a V8) and it would pull her small horse trailer. Thanks!

  • Rjg Rjg on May 13, 2017

    I love the s6 is well. Would be my super sedan of choice. Totally agree on the silliness of the internet obsession with "you can't compare x and y because blah, blah, blah". I'm also in the 1 car to do it all camp. I'd rather enjoy something every day than taking out a sports car once a month. Currently thinking of getting some form of v8 Charger to scratch that itch. Rented an RT and had a lot of fun.

  • Redapple2 HK: The Redapple is the TTAC resident HK hater. I have listed the reasons before. But, I am smart enough to keep my eyes open. I will say this. Overall, they have the best styling/design in autodum. I may not like certain models, but overall, they try. They try something new, different, fresh. Some models are great. Some so-so. But they are TRYING- All the time. Year after year. Other brands are locked into a firm theme - across multiple models and brands. Some lasting decades EX. Evil gm vampire Cadillac Arts and Science has been around for 22 years. Flawed fugly from the start. Never got better.
  • SCE to AUX This is the right direction for EVs, but I can't warm up to Kia's latest styling.This is bad news for Rivian, whose similarly-specced R3 isn't due until 2027 or something.Perhaps a low-spec version will start at $30k (maybe), but the 300-mile version with trimmings will certainly run closer to $50k. Then everyone will say Kia lied.
  • Buickman foolishness has no bounds, or borders.
  • JMII Wonder what the Hyundai version will look like because I am NOT a fan of this styling.Also someone needs to explain to H/K/G that you want the dark colored interior parts were you touch/sit and the lighter color parts elsewhere. For example the door panels here are dark with light armrests - this is backwards. Genesis made the same mistake in the GV60's white/ash (grey) interior. While I greatly appreciate something other then the dreaded black cave interior did they not consider how impossible this will be to keep clean in the real world?
  • JMII I see lots of ads for their CUVs but given the competition in this segment why would I buy an Outlander over a similar product from Toyota, Honda or Hyundai? Mitsubishi needs to offer something compelling, some hook or defining difference. I don't think I've encountered a single person who says "wow have you seen the new [blank] from Mitsubishi? I need to get me one of those".I owned a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T back in '96 and it was fun car. Mitsubishi once made interesting choices with a rally heritage - those cars were fast and pretty high tech at the time. Like Nissan they kind of fell into the we will finance anyone pool so other then an Evo as a track toy anyone I knew steered clear of them.