Some months ahead of its sedan brother, Audi Australia has unveiled the fir-breathing twin-turbo V10-powered RS 6 Avant.
One of the world’s true supercars, the stunning new Audi carries a pricetag of $270,946…enthusiasts say it is worth every cent! While the pricetag may be breathtaking, so are the figures for the 5.0-litre twin turbocharged engine – 426kW of power and 650Nm of torque.
Audi says it is a vehicle without peer – absolute performance but everyday practicality. In fact, Audi has a history for creating ‘super-wagons’ with the first RS 2 model launched in 1993 only being produced as an Avant (wagon). Back home, it is common to see these high performance wagons storming down the autobahns at phenomenal speeds, keeping pace with true sports cars from Porsche and Ferrari while carrying a load of groceries.
In fact this V10 supercar actually manages 1,660 litres of luggage space - high speed practicality, elegance and functionality as only the German car manufacturers can do it. And while there is no arguing the performance of the latest RS 6 Avant, equally there is no doubt the exterior design is a work of art. This Audi looks magnificent just parked and gives new meaning to that old saying ‘car park credibility’.
Under the bonnet, the V10 presents a feast for ‘technoheads’ with abundant race car engineering including magnificent plumbing for the twin turbochargers, FSI direct fuel injection and dry-sump lubrication.
Despite all that, Audi has delivered a power band that is broad and friendly, even in day-to-day commutes. The turbos can thump up to 1.6 bar of boost but peak torque is delivered across 1,500rpm to 6,250rpm. Maximum power of 426kW is between 6,250rpm and the redline of 6,700rpm.
Assisted immeasurably by all-wheel-drive traction, the RS 6 Avant hurtles from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds and the engine management system limits the top speed to 250 km/h.
It’s neck-straining stuff, accompanied by the beautiful sound of one of the world’s best engines at work – Audi should ditch the audio system as the engine sounds better than any CD or radio station!
Drive is through the latest version of Audi’s six-speed tiptronic transmission (gear changes in one tenth of a second – half that of other Audi models). You can choose to change gears manually using either the F1 style paddles on the steering wheel or the conventional shift lever.
Audi has engineered the quattro drive system to bias the rear wheels – as preferred by all high speed sports all-wheel-drives. Underneath, Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) reduces pitch and roll using purely mechanical means. Hydraulic lines and valves connect diagonally to opposing pairs of shock absorbers. When cornering, the flow of fluid to the damper of the compressing outside front wheel increases, providing firmer support and reducing roll.
DRC offers a choice of three selectable shock absorber settings – sport, dynamic and comfort. Electronic stabilisation system ESP is standard and Audi says it is programmed with a high activation threshold – so the RS 6 Avant can be driven appropriately. It offers a Sport mode and can also be deactivated entirely.
Wheels are huge 20-inch alloys with 275/35 tyres. Up front, six-piston fixed aluminum calipers – painted black and decorated with RS badges – clamp down on 390 mm brake discs. The rear brake discs measure 356 mm in diameter.
The rear axle features single-piston floating brake callipers - the floating steel discs feature large cooling ducts and axial perforations for enhanced performance and less weight. As you would expect, the styling inside and out is cutting edge - a single-frame front grille, large air intakes, headlights featuring xenon plus, adaptive light and RS 6-specific LED daytime running lights, flared guards, deep side skirts, a rear diffuser, a spoiler integrated into the trunk lid and the two large oval exhaust pipes.
Standard equipment for Australian-specification cars includes MMI with a colour monitor and TV reception (analog and digital), advanced key entry, electric glass sunroof, satellite navigation, dual-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning plus, an acoustic parking assistant at front and rear, a 3-spoke, multifunction leather sports steering wheel with flat-bottomed rim and a Bose surround sound system.
When the RS6 sedan arrives early next year, Audi will have a formidable lineup.