Pep Guardiola's side were utterly dominant from the off, taking the lead in the 16th minute after hitting the Potters with a devastating counter, the move ending when Kevin De Bruyne picked out Gabriel Jesus in front of goal for a tap-in.
De Bruyne was involved again when City doubled their lead three minutes later, picking out Leroy Sane with a reverse pass so the German could in turn line up Raheem Sterling for a shot inside the box, the England international making no mistake at close range.
Good link-up play between Sane and Sterling carved out the Sky Blues' third just before the half-hour mark as the former Liverpool star picked out David Silva in front of goal, and the Spaniard beat Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland from close quarters.
Stoke's first consolation came right on the stroke of half time as Mame Biram Diouf exchanged passes with Jese before letting fly, beating Ederson between the City sticks with the help of a huge deflection.
Despite being under the cosh for all of the first half, Mark Hughes's side threatened to make a game of it early in the second when Kyle Walker headed beyond his own keeper under pressure from Diouf to make it 3-2.
Their resistance, however, was short-lived as City restored their two-goal advantage in the 56th minute through Jesus's second of the afternoon, the Brazilian rifling De Bruyne's through-ball beyond Butland to put the hosts well on the way to three points.
The goal of the afternoon came on the hour mark when Fernandinho latched on to a simple pass from Fabian Delph and unleashed a screamer from the edge of the area, the Brazilian's shot curling beyond Butland and going in off the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Sane smashed home another De Bruyne cross to make it 6-2 before substitute Bernardo Silva turned in a Sterling pass to round off the scoring in the 79th minute.
The emphatic win fired City to the top of the Premier League, leaving them two points clear of local rivals Manchester United, who could only draw 0-0 at Liverpool in the afternoon's earlier kickoff.