Audi_RS6_Avant_frontThoughts of a muscle car conjure up a redhot coupe or sedan – certainly not a station wagon – with power to burn. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Take the Audi RS 6 Avant, for example.

The hot German wagon has performance in the supercar class with acceleration to 100 km/h from rest in just 3.7 seconds. A top speed of 305 km/h is claimed with the Dynamic Package Plus.

The 4.0 V8 TFSI engine’s prodigious power is put to the road via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic transmission and the Audi quattro all-wheel-drive system.

As befitting a pole sitter at the pinnacle of the RS range, the RS 6 Avant comes with a high level of standard equipment, including adaptive air suspension, quattro sports differential and RS sports exhaust, plus driving aids such as head-up display; Audi parking system plus with front, rear and 360 degree view and park assist.

It all adds up to an automotive technological tour de force; alas there’s a price to pay – close to a quarter of a million dollars. That’s without on-road costs.

Does the RS 6 Avant stack up?

A heavily sculpted front with sharp-edged cut-outs characterises the RS 6 Avant, the ‘Avant’ being the Audi tag for its station wagons, while the remaining features fall into line with standard wagon styling.

Setting the Avant apart from its run-of-the-mill siblings is a titanium look finish, with accents on the single-frame grille, front spoiler and air intakes, mirror caps, window surrounds and rear diffuser. New design 21-inch wheels are in keeping with the matt titanium.

Innovative Matrix LED headlights light the way without blinding other road users. The vehicle also points the way with safety because dynamic turning indicators front and back achieve maximum effect in low visibility.

Topping it all off are a panoramic glass sunroof and automatic tailgate with gesture control.

The RS6 wagon’s body has a reasonable drag coefficient of 0.35. Keep in mind that downforce is major part of the equation, taking precedence over slippery economical lines.

Cabin furnishings include an Audi Exclusive combination of Alcantara and Valcona leather upholstery highlighted by marcato blue honeycomb stitching with a unique carbon fibre blue twill inlay.

The luxury feel extends to the RS leather covered multi-function flat-bottom three-spoke sport steering wheel, while additional leather touches and contrasting stitching can further set this model apart.

An exacting standard of presentation is continued with the high-resolution Driver Information System (DIS) between the speedometer and tachometer readouts displaying clear map-based navigation within the driver’s field of vision.

An overboost display is also present in the DIS, and an Audi Drive Select button is situated on the multi-function steering wheel, allowing the driver to dial up the different performance modes on offer.

Driving life’s little luxuries extend to digital TV with DAB plus, Bose surround sound with 14 high performance speakers, 12-channel amplifier, with a total output of 600 Watts.

A $12,000 optional Bang & Olufsen Advance Sound System with 15 speakers (including subwoofer) and 15-channel Digital Signal Processing amplifier putting out more than 1200 watts.


With V8 turbo design convention thrown out of the window, the stonking 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbo V8, stumping up 445 kW and 700 Nm (750 Nm on overboost), has the exhaust and turbochargers positioned inside the ‘V’, and intakes on the outside of the engine.

The greater thermal efficiency of this layout aids better fuel efficiency and lower emissions (Euro 6 compliant). Fuel consumption is outstandingly low for such a concept, at just 9.7 litres per 100 kilometres for the Avant – however, see our notes in the Driving section of this report for some real world numbers.

As well as a full suite of active and passive safety measures, the RS 6 Avant carries Audi active lane assist and side assist, including Audi pre-sense rear parking system plus with park assist and 360 degree camera, adaptive cruise control with stop and go function and Audi pre-sense plus, including autonomous emergency braking.

What a hoot! Stunning engine performance at all times, ultra-hard acceleration with the twin large-diameter tailpipes trumpeting a wonderful exhaust note. Downshift engine blips are always fun so are included for good measure.

With Drive Select in Comfort mode, under normal conditions, the car reacted with quick response to driver pedal input, smoothing out any road surface irregularities.

Auto mode added further sharpness all round, while Dynamic improved handling at the expense of comfort and Individual, not surprisingly, made a strong case for booking some playtime on your favourite racetrack.

Under low-load conditions, cruising the highway with four of the eight cylinders ‘resting’, average fuel consumption fell below eight litres per 100 kilometres, while in city stop-start traffic consumption was nudging 20 litres per 100.

For those who need to weigh up performance against price, the Audi RS 6 Avant is not the answer. As for the others, as Andrew Doyle, managing director of Audi Australia says, there are customers who are always looking for an edge.


RS 6 Avant performance 4.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic: $245,400
Dynamic Package: $4900
Dynamic Package Plus: $25,840
Carbon Styling Package: $8500
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Audi dealer for drive-away prices.

RS adaptive air suspension
Digital TV reception with DAB plus
quattro sports differential
RS sports exhaust
Head-up display
Audi parking system plus with front, rear and 360 degree view, park assist
Panoramic glass sunroof
RS leather-covered multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel in three-spoke design
Electrically opening and closing tailgate with gesture control

SPECIFICATIONS (Audi RS 6 Avant 4.0-litre turbo-petrol, cylinder on demand, indirect intercooled five-door wagon)

Capacity: 3.993 litres
Configuration: Eight cylinders, V formation
Maximum Power: 445 kW @ 6100-6800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 700 Nm @ 1750-6000 rpm / 750 Nm 2500-5500 rpm (overboost)
Fuel Type: Petrol 95 / 98 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 9.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 226 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed tiptronic with DSP and sport program, quattro permanent all-wheel drive with self-locking centre differential

Length: 4979 mm
Wheelbase: 2915 mm
Width: 1936 mm
Height: 1461 mm
Turning Circle: 11.9 metres
Kerb Mass: 1950 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Three years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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