My respect and admiration for Audi has only intensified following this week’s evaluation of the 2016 Audi S6 sedan.

While the pursuit of perfection is a lofty goal that we humans can never truly achieve, the folks at Audi have come very, very close.

The new S6 — part of Audi’s 6 Series lineup — is absolutely outstanding.

The five-passenger, mid-size performance/luxury sedan is without question one of the best handling vehicles on the road today.

While the majority of this review will focus on the S6, I do need to point out the 6 Series is available in four distinct models:

• A6 2.0T (base price starting at $46,200) and powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine delivering 252 horsepower and 273 lbs.-ft. torque. Front-wheel drive models are mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission while the quattro all-wheel drive models are mated to an eight-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.

• The A6 3.0T (base price starting at $57,400) is powered by a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine producing 333 horsepower and 325 lbs.-ft. torque. Featuring Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, it is mated to the eight-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.

• The A6 TDI (base price starting at $59,500) is powered by 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 diesel engine producing 240 horsepower and 428 lbs.-ft. torque. Equipped with quattro all-wheel drive, it is mated to the eight-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.

• The Audi S6 (base price starting at $70,900) is powered by a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine delivering 450 horsepower and 406 lbs.-ft. torque. Equipped with quattro all-wheel drive, it is also mated to the eight-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.

This car is incredibly responsive — I would even go so far as to say intuitive. The S6 is so well designed and engineered, every input made by the driver is almost effortless. There were moments when I thought the car was reading my mind because so little effort was needed to execute a driving maneuver.

And while classified as a luxury sedan, the S6 cannot be defined within the bounds of a single box to pacify our need for labels. It is one of the quickest vehicles on the road, capable of a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds (and yes, I verified that statistic) with an electronic limited top track speed of 155 mph (and no, I didn’t have the opportunity to verify that stat. I’m taking Audi’s word on that one.)

For those in the market for a performance/luxury five-passenger sedan, the 2016 Audi 6 Series is an absolute must for the test drive list.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2016 Audi 6 Series

5-seat performance/luxury sedan  

Front-; all-wheel drive

Trim packages:

A6 2.0T, A6 3.0T, A6 TDI, S6

PRICE RANGE:

$46,000-$85,000

ENGINE:

2.0L turbo I-4 (252 hp/273T)

3.0L supercharged V6 (333 hp/325 T)

3.0L turbo diesel V6 (240 hp/428 T)

4.0L turbo V8 (450 hp/406 T)

TRANSMISSION:

7-speed S tronic

8-speed auto Tiptronic

EPA: 22/20/25/18 mpg city, 32/30/38/27 mpg highway (2.9/3.0/3.0 TDI/4.0)

FUEL: Premium unleaded (diesel for TDI)

LENGTH: 194.2 inches

WHEELBASE: 114.6 in.

WIDTH: 73.8 inches

HEIGHT: 57.8 inches

WEIGHT: 3803-4486 lbs.

TRACK: 64.1/63.7

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 19.8 gallons

TIRES: 18-, 19-, or 20-in.

CARGO: 14.1 cubic feet.