Bags of space
Steering is slow to respond
All wheel drive provides excellent grip
The Audi RS6 is basically a supercar version of Audi’s eminently practical family car, the A6. But how could Audi turn one of the best estate cars into a supercar, you might ask? Simple. Strip away that affable Audi grille and replace it with an aggressive stance, angular exterior and muscular physique. Throw in a 4.0 litre bi-turbo V8 and you’ve gone from a well meaning station wagon to a real playground bully.
That’s right, in a world of performance SUVs like the Volvo XC60 Polestar and the Lamborghini Urus, the Audi RS6 Avant proves that you don’t have to be an SUV to be badass. The new Audi RS6 may not be quite as fun as the Porsche Panamera Turismo Sport or the BMW M5, but it definitely sits amongst them as one of the best family cars on the market.
The ‘entry level’ RS6 Avant - if you can really call it that - packs plenty of premium features. These include 10.5J x 21 alloy wheels in ‘Glavano Silver’, HD matrix LED headlamps with dynamic light design and dynamic turning signal, as well as MMI Navigation plus (Audi’s premium infotainment offering which includes twin touch screens), RS-sport seats in the front in leather Valcona, and Audi’s quattro 4WD system with sports differential and dynamic all-wheel steering.
RS6 Avant Carbon Black
The mid range RS6 Avant packs 10.5J x 22 black gloss alloy wheels, the Carbon Black styling package, gloss black Audi rings and a grey RS interior design package.
RS6 Avant Vorsprung
The range-topping RS6 Avant Vorsprung has 10.5J x22 titanium matte gloss alloy wheels, the RS-sports suspension Plus with Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), a gloss black styling package, panoramic glass sunroof and an improved top speed of 174mph.
At the end of the day, the RS6 and the A6 are both estate cars. The roof, tailgate and front doors have even been carried over to the RS6. But with the RS6 there is absolutely no doubt as to what kind of person sits behind the wheel. Sure, the A6 is technically an executive estate, with a plush interior and plenty of gadgets, but that’s not to say it would look out of place at a car boot sale.
The RS6 makes the A6 look positively benign. It does away with the standard Audi affair for a more angular front grille and spoilers, aggressive headlights and a wider, lower stance. You almost want to ask it what it’s problem is, before you remember it’s just a car…
The Estate car may have traditionally been the preserve of old men and antique’s dealers, but the Audi RS6’s eight-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox which drives the new TFSI quattro 4.0-litre V8 engine (a mild-hybrid setup) will see you rocket from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds. Not bad.
Engine and Performance
The Audi RS6’s twin-turbo V8 engine is a thing of beauty, and while it may not be best on tight corners, you can’t have everything a car that doesn’t know whether it should be at an antique fair or on the race track. Still, straight line performance is truly exhilarating and you’ll enjoy watching the panicked look on people’s faces as your right foot invokes the thunderous rage of the V8 engine.
The RS6’s V8 engine churns out 552bhp on the standard model, and 592bhp and 590lb ft of torque on the RS6 performance which, let’s be honest, is more than enough for an estate car. It’ll also manage 0-62 in a mere 3.6 seconds, leaving boy racers in the dust. The standard model is limited to 155mph, but you can upgrade that to 174mph, or 190mph if you opt for the ceramic brakes. So much for an ‘old man’s car’...
Active four wheel drive means the RS6 sticks to the road like glue, with rear-wheel steering helping to stabilise the car on tight corners. While steering can feel a little heavy and slow to respond, even in the lightest of the three steering modes, there’s next to no body roll thanks and you’ll find yourself grinning with sheer delight on long, sweeping bends.
Audi’s ‘Dynamic Steering’ is an option, which uses a variable rack to turn quicker the further you move the wheel. However, this is probably better suited to more practical, inner city driving, so we’d recommend you stick with the standard set up.
Unfortunately, things can get a little bumpy with this car. Not only is the optional sports suspension expensive, but it makes things worse. We’d suggest you stick to the standard adaptive air suspension and adaptive dampers, which will soften up the scruffier roads without sacrificing too much when it comes to handling.