To describe the RS6 Avant as a fast estate car is like saying
Ali was quite handy in the boxing ring; it’s accurate, but it doesn’t tell the
full story. Hugely powerful, amply spacious and with quattro all-wheel drive to
deliver limpet-like grip, the latest RS6 Avant now gains 48-volt mild hybrid
technology to boost efficiency.
Though it shares the fundamentals of platform, wheelbase and shape with the A6 Avant, only the front doors, roof and tailgate are carried over. The sharply defined lines of the unique ‘powerdome’ bonnet lead down to the RS honeycomb grille, which is flanked by sharply angled air intakes and aero blades. The headlight design is derived from the A7, the wheel arches are flared by 40mm and encase 21-inch alloys. Inside, all is space and luxury with sport seats in black pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara that feature RS embossing and rhombus pattern contrast stitching. Yet the RS6 Avant is practical too – the tailgate opens to reveal 565 litres of space that expands to 1,680 litres with the rear seats down.
Audi’s engineers have improved both acceleration and fuel efficiency with the latest RS6 Avant. Its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is harnessed to a mild-hybrid 48V system with a generator/starter that recovers energy during light deceleration and stores it in a lithium-ion battery. Thanks to this system, the RS6 Avant’s start-top system can work at up to 13.7mph, seamlessly switching the engine back in when required. With 600hp and 800Nm of torque on tap, performance is breathtaking; 0-62mph takes just 3.6 seconds. All that horsepower is harnessed by an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive, with torque split 40/60 front to rear in normal conditions. Adaptive air suspension comes as standard and RS Sport Suspension Plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) is available as an option.
As a performance flagship, the technology of the RS6 Avant puts the driver firmly in control. The Audi Drive Select dynamic handling system offers a choice of six driving modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, and the individually configurable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes, which are activated using the “RS MODE” button on the steering wheel. An RS-specific version of the Audi Virtual Cockpit provides readouts on tyre pressure, torque, power output, engine oil temperature, boost pressure, acceleration and g force. You can even time your lap of the Nürburgring with it…
Increasingly, manufacturers and lawmakers alike are focused on accident avoidance to improve car safety, and the RS6 Avant, like much of Audi’s range, features over 30 interrelated driver assistance programmes. These include adaptive cruise assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360-degree cameras.
Verdict: you could use the RS6 Avant for the daily commute, such is its refinement and ease of use. But if you’re the kind of owner that the RS6 Avant was designed for, you’ll discover its true worth on longer journeys. Quattro all-wheel drive delivers grip in all conditions and the power of the 600hp V8 makes transcontinental journeys feel like a short hop. There are few more rewarding ways of travelling far and fast in luxury.
The RS6 Avant is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.
RS 6 Avant highlights include:
RS 6 Avant Carbon Black highlights include:
RS 6 Avant Vorsprung highlights include: