There’s nothing quite like the Audi RS6 Avant and the new one is here to resurrect our love for fast estates. Or to strike fear in those who do not share that feeling.
The latest version of the Audi RS6 looks meaner than ever. Its large front vents, wide wheel arches and butch curves lend it incredible road presence. The internet is already awash with the Star Wars puns for the new RS6 – Darth Vader, Storm Trooper, etc. It’s easy to see why and hard not to love. I suppose in this avatar, it really isn’t a sleeper car anymore. On its surface, little remains of the A6 Avant that it is based on – just the roof, tailgate and front doors. The RS6 is a whole 80mm wider and both ends have been extensively restyled.
The new bonnet features aggressive creases, the front bumper design taking cues from the latest R8 with massive vents and a gloss black finish for the grille. Around the back, the RS rear bumper is sportier, chunkier, featuring a rear diffuser and two very large tailpipes for the RS exhaust system. The Matrix LED laser headlights with darkened trims are the same design as seen on the A7. It gets 21-inch wheels as standard but the RS-spec wheels are 22-inches and cover the biggest brakes ever fitted to an Audi production model. There is the option for carbon ceramics too. Big brakes would be needed to slow down something this big that can go really fast.
That brings us to the heart of the matter, or the heart of the new RS6 Avant to be precise: a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that delivers 592bhp and 800Nm. All of it goes to all four wheels, of course, using an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic with a 40:60 front-rear distribution via an all-mechanical centre differential. The top speed is electronically limited at 250kmph of course but it can accelerate from 0-100kmph in just 3.6 seconds before hitting 200kmph in 12 seconds. That’s plenty quick for a station wagon.
It also has a 48-volt electrical system making the new Audi RS6 Avant a mild hybrid system that makes it relatively efficient as well thanks to a belt alternator starter. This system recovers upto 12kW of power during deceleration or while coasting. The Audi engine is also equipped with a cylinder-on-demand system that switches off half the cylinders(2, 3, 5 and 8) when at low to intermediate loads and speeds. It makes the RS6 unexpectedly efficient when being used sensibly.
The cabin of the RS6 Avant features a lot more bits from the regular A6 and the dashboard features three screens – the Audi virtual cockpit, touchscreen infotainment system and climate controls. Audi has equipped the RS sports flat-bottomed steering wheel with RS1 and RS2 buttons that act as shortcuts for your saved presets for the engine, exhaust and suspension settings. The ventilated RS sport seats come in perforated Valcona leather and the console gets carbon trim too. In the rear, it gets its own climate controls and charging ports and while the rear bench can accommodate three, it’s better suited for two for even more comfort. It can also be split folded 40:20:40. The rear seats get the honeycomb pattern and RS embossing as well.
For the first time, Audi will be offering this evil-looking RS6 Avant in the American market. This new model will be hitting the showroom floors in early 2020 with a starting price tag north of USD 100,000. So, are you tempted to join the dark side of the new Avant? I know I am.
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