Design

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.

Performance

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.

Technology

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…

Safety

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.