The fourth-generation Audi RS6 Avant is something else. Just look at it. Never has a simple estate car presented itself more boldly as intimidating but simultaneously graceful and measured in its aesthetic. It’s not just skin deep either, as the Ingolstadt automaker promises this as being just the start of a renewed high performance product offensive. Even by the standards set by BMW M and Mercedes-AMG, this Audi Sport product is a beast.
Should this truly be the template from which a new breed of high performance cars will spawn, there is indeed plenty of reason to be excited for the arrival of the RSQ3 and RSQ8 - you know, despite those being based off of SUVs. The company seems to have spared no expense with the all-new RS6.
Nearly everything on the car is bespoke to it, with merely the front doors, boot lid, and roof being shared with the standard A6 Avant, alluding to the amount of investment Audi placed on making this RS a car that truly stood out even against its own siblings. As a result, the hot 6 wagon is 80mm wider which lends it a stance that’s almost supercar-like - and that’s before we get into the subject of performance.
As with all Audis, we can expect the engine here to be mated to the quattro all-wheel drive system - indeed it is. However, this is the first RS model to be paired with a mild-hybrid system, boosted by a 48-volt belt alternator/starter that derives charge from kinetic energy recovery during braking, resulting in about 12kW of instant power to be used in variety of ways.
For the purposes of going fast, it can be used to selective spool up the turbochargers or be used for more fuel-saving purposes in tandem with the 4.0-litre bi-turbo petrol V8 motor’s cylinder deactivation system. When not in ‘eco’ mode, though, the powertrain is capable of producing 441kW and 800Nm, with the latter figure available from as low as 2,100rpm.
This endows the C8-generation RS6 a 0-100km/h sprint time of a supercar-splitting 3.6 seconds. Keep the accelerator pinned, and 200km/h is dealt with in 12 seconds. Like many German cars, an electronic limiter is put in place that caps top speed to 250km/h. De-limited, however, and Audi claims its real maximum is 305km/h.
The power and torque is funnelled through an 8-speed Tiptronic torque converter automatic transmission for smoother operation throughout before reaching the four driven wheels (up to 22-inch alloys available). Indeed, Audi and Porsche have been using the same engine and gearbox combination in multiple vehicles such as the Cayenne and Panamera to great effect.
In terms of practicality, the RS6 delivers about as much uncompromised versatility as any SUV, with up to 1,680 litres of cargo room with the second row seats folded; 565 litres with all seats upright. There’s even a powered tailgate. Basically, it’s all the car you’ll ever need.