Strewth! Audi’s RS 6 Avant is formidable. In fact, it’s almost too much car — correction,

It’s right up there in terms of the high-performance stuff that we’ve driven over the years
and should not be underestimated.

I remember driving its little brother, the RS 4 Avant, on the track at Sydney’s Eastern
Creek, one hand on the wheel, drifting effortlessly around a left-hander.

It was an amazing experience and I can only imagine RS 6 would be even more rewarding
driven flat out in an environment that can accommodate its performance potential.

Competitors include the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 — but they cost more and don’t
offer the practicality of a wagon. SUVs need not apply.

Sitting low to the ground, with pumped out guards and fat rubber, the look is understated,
but you’d have to be Blind Freddy not to recognise this a vehicle that should be given a
wide berth.

The wider single frame grille combines a black gloss finish with an RS-specific honeycomb
structure, edged by arresting air inlets that sit below the standard HD Matrix headlights
(with front and rear dynamic indicators).

Audi laser lighting technology further enhances the sophisticated lighting system by
doubling the range of vision when travelling at speeds of more than 70km/h.

Distinctive 22-inch Audi Sport alloys are standard, with the striking red brake calipers and
285/30 series Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 3 rubber.

RS 6 Avant sits at the pointy end of the RS performance range, priced from $232,200 plus

Its partner in crime, the RS 7 Sportback, which shares the same twin turbo V8 drivetrain, is
another $8000.

It’s a lot but still considerably less than the S8 that we drove recently (our Lotto car) which
is a nosebleed $273,000 — and not as quick.

Several option packs are also available, including a sensory package, the carbon and
black styling package and the RS Dynamic package plus (with ceramic brakes and raised
305 km/h speed limit).

Our test vehicle was fitted with the $2900 RS Design Package, with $1700 Inlays in carbon
twill and $700 gloss black Audi rings and badges, bringing the total price to $237,500.
Exterior highlights include the black exterior styling package, panoramic glass sunroof and
metallic paint.

Inside, the cabin is upholstered in Nappa leather, while the RS sport front seats are
finished in Valcona leather and feature full electric adjustment, heating and lumbar

Comfort items include convenience key, electric tailgate, electric/heated/folding mirrors,
privacy glass, power-assisted door closure and electric steering column adjustment.

A selection of eight exterior colours are available with the addition of a new crystal effect
paint in Sebring black, as well as a striking matt effect paint finish via Audi exclusive.
RS 6 is covered by a 5-year warranty, 5-year roadside assistance, plus a 12-year
manufacturer warranty against corrosion.

Service intervals are 12 months or 15,000km.

Infotainment and connectivity is a strong point including MMI navigation plus with MMI
touch response (dual touchscreens), Audi connect plus, Audi virtual cockpit, Audi
smartphone interface with wireless Apple CarPlay.

There’s also wireless smartphone charging, 4x USB outlets located in the front and rear,
DAB+ digital radio and a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system with 16 speakers.

Motivation comes from a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 that develops 441kW of power and a
seriously impressive 800Nm of torque, the latter available across a wide band from 2050-
4500 rpm.

Torque is distributed to all four wheels via a fast-shifting eight-speed Tiptronic-style

The V8 is underpinned by a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system that can recover up to
12kW of power while coasting or under light throttle.

The start/stop system also draws on the 48v system and functions at speeds up to 22
km/h, saving up to 0.8 litres of fuel per 100km.

Additionally, cylinder on demand (COD) technology can shut down four cylinders under
light throttle application, resuming within milliseconds when required.

The full suite of available Audi driver assistance systems is fitted as standard including
Adaptive cruise assist with Stop&Go and traffic jam assist, active lane assist and 360-
degree cameras with kerb view.
Additionally, tyre pressure monitoring, an alarm and anti-theft wheel nuts with loose wheel
detection provide peace-of-mind.

Have you seen the new Top Gun movie? Well, think of the RS 6 as top gun of the Audi go-
fast range of vehicles.

The wagon, remember it’s a wagon, can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in a Ferrari-quick 3.6
seconds and on to 200km/h in just 12 seconds, with a top speed limited to 280km/h.

Under normal conditions, torque is distributed in a 40:60 bias to the rear wheels.

Up to 85 percent of torque can be directed to the rear wheels in special circumstances,
when drifting for example.

A Quattro sport differential provides added control, able to direct almost all rear axle torque
to either wheel in particularly dynamic driving.

The standard system comprises steel brakes, with red 10-piston calipers and 420mm front
discs, with 370mm at the rear.

But Aussie delivered cars get the $19,500 RS Dynamic package as standard which
includes larger 440mm ceramic brakes, with a choice of colour for the calipers (grey, red
or blue).

For the first time, RS 6 and RS 7 also benefit from all-wheel steering, enhancing both
agility and stability, depending on the situation.

It sees the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds,
reducing the turning circle by up to a metre.

At higher speeds, they turn in the same direction as the front wheels to provide better
handling and stability.

Adaptive air suspension is also fitted, with a greater range than before.

Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), which diagonally links the suspension hydraulically, is
available as an option.

All of these dynamic systems, the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) and the standard
RS sports exhaust, are integrated through the Audi Drive Select system.

Two new drive modes — RS 1 and RS 2 — can be quickly accessed and configured for
specific high-performance settings.

It all adds up to a car, correction wagon, that is very quick — very quick indeed.
Pull the transmission lever back a second time to engage sport mode, punch the
accelerator and the RS 6 bellows and rockets forward, quickly reaching 160 clicks in the
blink of an eye.

Braking is just as quick to match.
Steering is sharp but could be more communicative while grip and handling are excellent,
but better suited to wider free flowing roads than tight, twisting mountain trysts.

You get all this with a ride that is super smooth, given the liquorice strip tyres, even on our
shocking secondary roads.

While performance is brutal, the emphasis is clearly on refinement.

The sports seats are large and comfy, with generous rear legroom. Although there’s room
for a third passenger in the back, it’s really set up to accommodate two.

Luggage capacity is 565 litres, or 1680 litres with the rear seats folded.

One blot in an otherwise blemish free copybook though. Because of the low ride height
and aerodynamic embellishments, driveways should be approached with extreme caution.
If in doubt, park it on the street.

With a 73-litre tank it drinks the good stuff, 98-strength premium unleaded.
Rated at 11.7L/100km, we were getting 14.1L/100km after close to 400km of driving.

It’s difficult not to remain unimpressed by the RS 6.

It’s an amazing looking thing with gob-smacking levels of performance. Dare I say, it’s
almost too much car.

Thank god for modern day electronics which will stop mug drivers from putting their cars in
a ditch.

Looks: 8
Performance: 8.5
Safety: 8
Thirst: 6
Practicality: 7
Comfort: 7.5
Tech: 8
Value: 8
Overall: 7.6


RS 6 Avant Quattro, $232,200
Note: This price does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS: (Audi RS 6 Avant, 4.0L twin turbo V8 petrol, 48V mild hybrid,
automatic, AWD)

Capacity: 4.0 litres
Configuration: Twin turbo V8, 48V mild hybrid and cylinder on demand
Maximum Power: 441kW at 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 800 Nm at 2050 – 4500 rpm
Fuel Type: 98 Premium Unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 11.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 268 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4995 mm
Wheelbase: 2930 mm
Width: 2110 mm
Height: 1487 mm
Turning Circle: 11.7 metres
Kerb Mass: 2075 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity: 73 litres

Front: Ceramic ventilated disc
Rear: Ceramic ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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