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With outrageous pace paired with shocking comfort and usability, the new Audi RS6 Avant is a do-it-all performance car with nothing to prove.

02 Mar 2021


The Audi RS6 Avant has always stuck to a fairly straightforward formula - take a big, practical family car, and chuck a massive engine in the front.

This means that the car has do a multitude of things - massive acceleration, high speed cruising on the Autobahn, ferry around the family, and occasionally hit up a racetrack if you're feeling particularly naughty. And as a result, the RS6 has grown to be massively appealing to petrolheads who can't afford the compromises of a two-seater sports car.

Now, four generations on, is it still the consummate do-it-all fast Audi?

Rough and tough

Even riding on massive 22-inch wheels and paper thin rubber, the RS6 Avant is shockingly supple
The RS6 is much more aggressively designed than before, with pinched out creases across the bonnet and across the flank of the car. The wide front grille and big triangular air intakes make for a really angry-looking face. This is a car that's sure to catch anyone's attention. The standard HD Matrix LED head lights with Audi laser light also means that people will see you coming from a mile away (plenty of time for them to get out of your way).

The interior is considerably improved from before, with much more technology than before. Big screens dominate the cabin - the centre console features a two-screen setup, while the instrument display is also entirely digital now. And there's also a head-up display. It's pretty much kitted out to the brim. The only thing that we'd add are massage seats. 

The configurable 'hockey stick' RS display harkens back to the original Audi Quattro
Overall, it's extremely premium and comfortable. There's plenty of space too. The rear seats are spacious, and the boot will swallow 565 litres of cargo, expandable to 1,680 with the rear seats folded.

On the steering wheel, there is a new RS Mode button that gives you quick access to two configurable RS Modes, handy for when you want a jolt to your spine and a kick to your behind.

Gruff sense

The turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 produces a stonking 591bhp and 800Nm of torque
Under the bonnet, you'll find a bi-turbo V8 producing an outrageous 591bhp and 800Nm of torque. 0-100km/h takes just 3.6 seconds, and the car will top out at 250km/h, though that can be increased all the way up to 305km/h.

Those numbers may suggest a car that's a rough hooligan on the road (the previous model was), but the RS6 is anything but. This fourth generation model feels remarkably different from before. Where the previous model was ballistic and absolutely rowdy, this new car feels rather tame.

Two configurable RS modes let you turn up the intensity of the driving experience
That's not to say it isn't quick. My god, with your right foot flat to the floor this car still leaps forward like a maniac. You do need to use the paddle shifters and drop a couple of gears to get the engine in its power band (or wait for the car to do it for you), but when you do, the car's point and shoot ability is ludicrous, with all-wheel drive giving you all the traction you need.

But, everything else about the driving experience has been significantly refined. The noise, for one, is a lot more tempered now. Gone are the pops and crackles, and on light load (thanks to cylinder deactivation and the car's ability to cruise with the engine shut off due to mild hybrid technology), the car feels remarkably like a proper luxury limo.

The RS6 is shockingly comfortable and refined on the trot, even at high speeds
With excellent noise insulation, a remarkably comfortable ride courtesy of the air suspension, and effortless acceleration from the big powerplant, the RS6 is delightfully courteous and smooth. You could be cruising along at 120km/h and you wouldn't even know it (it happened to me more than once).

This isn't a car that goads you into driving aggressively or quickly. Rather, it's much more at home when you treat it delicately and respectfully, gliding your way from place to place much more quickly that you probably should be going.

Quiet confidence

Adaptive cruise assist keeps you centred in the lane, as well as a fixed distance from the car in front
This new generation RS6 Avant is a fantastic car that makes a ton of practical sense. In a place like Germany where you can sit at 200km/h on the Autobahn, this is a mile-crunching monster. Hell, set the cruise control and the car will just about do everything for you (including steering through gentle bends). This RS6 will do everything you need a car to do, and it'll get you places extremely quickly and comfortably. It has a quiet confidence that's hard to match.

But, does that capability matter in Singapore? When you're restricted by 90km/h speed limits and eternal traffic, it's a little harder to justify spending half a million bucks on a performance car that doesn't shout at everyone that it goes past.

The RS6 Avant is a highly competent and capable performance car that delights in understatement
My guess is that people here shelling out for a car like this want that sense of drama and occasion. Compared to the equivalent AMG E63 or BMW M5, this RS6 Avant will feel a little too sensible. But, what it lacks in excitement, it makes up for in sheer effortless capability. 

If you want a high-performance V8, and want EVERYONE to know about it, this car isn't for you. But if you have nothing to prove, and just want a high-performance V8 that delivers shocking comfort, practicality and usability, don't buy an SUV, buy this RS6 Avant instead.

Car Information

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Audi RS 6 Avant Mild Hybrid 4.0 TFSI qu Tip (A)
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Price

: $558,365

Engine Type

:

V8 Bi-Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

3996cc

Horsepower

:

441kW (591 bhp) / 6250 rpm

Torque

:

800 Nm / 4500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Tiptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

3.6sec

Top Speed

:

280km/h

Fuel consumption

:

7.6 km/L

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