Audi RS 6 Avant review


Car reviewed: Audi RS 6 Avant Quattro Tiptronic

Max speed: 155 mph

0-62mph: 3.6 secs

Engine layout: 39996cc eight-cylinder turbo petrol

Max. power (PS): 600

CO2: 283 g/km

Price as tested: £100,035

Words by:
Tim Barnes-Clay Follow on Instagram @tbarnesclay and Twitter @carwriteups
Featured in:
July 2021

It’s mad, it’s bad, and it’s freakin’ terrifying. But terrifying in a good way – know what I mean? Actually, no, maybe you don’t. You see, you need to have bottomless pockets to afford this Audi. Buying a car this expensive and this close to all-electric vehicles taking over the world would be madness. Or would it? I mean, maybe the latest RS 6 will become a collector’s item – a rare V8 gem left in the cold, clinical world of automotive electrification.

Okay, so I’m being a tad dramatic, but you do need to view big performance lumps like this as the last of a dying breed. I didn’t want to let my press demo go. It’s an addictive estate car that just works. You get all your family in – and you can still burn all the pimply boy-racers off at the lights without trying. Yes, you can drive this Audi Sport infused motor like a complete nutter, but the truth is, you won’t. Why? Well, why would you need to? What have you got to prove? Absolutely nothing. Because anyone with ears that work will fathom that the growling sound emanating from this estate car means something special lurks under the bonnet.

I never got more than early 20s mpg out of the RS 6 during the week I drove it. I even stuck some of my own money into the tank. I don’t do that often with press cars – but the RS 6 is worth it. It’s not a car you want to leave outside your house unused – it’s a proper, spacious family motor with all the practicality of the regular Audi A6 – so it begs to be driven. Okay, it’s not that practical fuel-wise, but I’ve touched on that, and I’m not going to bang on about it. If you buy a V8, you know you’re not going down the bean-soup sipping “green” road. Perhaps half the fun of running a gas-guzzling V8 these days is the fact you’re going against the grain. You’re a rebel – or something like that.

So, the RS 6 is a five-seater, five-door estate – or “Avant”, as the Germans call it – and this fourth version is perhaps the best yet. Prickling with the technological achievements already supplied by the A6 Avant, the hottest addition to the Audi Sport stable combines daunting twin-turbo TFSI clout with features that make running this car slightly less painful. These include cylinder-on-demand technology and a mild hybrid drive, which help to deliver blockbusting performance as “responsibly” as possible. Sorry, I said I wouldn’t bang on about the efficiency side of things. My bad!

The 4.0 TFSI engine delivers 600PS and will do 0-62mph quicker than you can say “self-isolate”. Well, it’s 3.6 seconds, but you get my point. Better still, and where conditions allow (which is nowhere on a public road in the UK), you can see 124mph by the time 12 seconds have ticked by. The Audi’s top speed has had its “wings” electronically clipped to 155mph. But, come on, do you need it to go any faster? Actually, if you need to, then the Vorsprung variant will carry you to 174mph.

The RS 6 sticks to the bends like no estate car has the right to. The car’s body is 20 millimetres lower than in the standard A6 Avant – and at speeds of 74mph and beyond, it’s lowered by a further 10 millimetres. At the other end of the spectrum, a lift mode is on hand to raise the Audi by 20 millimetres for low-speed motoring. The broad spread of the RS sport air suspension offers you a free choice between long-distance contentment and all-out performance.

Throughout the 25-year RS history, Audi’s RS 6 Avant is one of the German firm’s unadulterated icons and boasts a massive global fan base. You won’t go far wrong if you buy one – and, let’s face it if this pandemic has shown us anything, shouldn’t we realise our dreams when we have the opportunity? After all, none of us knows what’s around the corner.

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