- Phenomenal levels of power
- Motorway muncher
- Eye-watering costly options
- Not a chuckable car
When you think of supercar statistics and the Audi range naturally their R8 coupe comes to mind, but what if you’re looking for something a bit more practical?
Enter stage left the RS 6 Avant, now with added performance, so what’s it like to spend a week with the powerhouse? Read on to find out.
On The Road
So what can you expect from the RS 6 performance? Power and lots of it, this is not a car for the fainthearted. The 4.0 V8 produces figures to rival the R8 supercar with a whopping 605PS (597bhp) and 700Nm of torque to bluntly shove it to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds. Remember; this is an estate car.
It’s got an eight-speed transmission, an electronically limited top speed of 155mph and not surprisingly comes with a high performance braking system as standard. Our test car came with optional ceramic brakes which if you have the money you have to go for as it isn't just about the power but stopping a big car.
Coming with their quattro four-wheel drive system it naturally offers enormous levels of grip, but does this come at the expensive of having some real fun with it? There’s no doubting it’s a quick car but it’s also very heavy which puts you off really pushing it on B roads and twisty A roads but it is safe and will not do anything silly to put you in the hedge. If it’s wet and you floor it, the traction control light may well flicker momentarily which makes you realise it really does have that amount of power…!
One thing I found was that you can’t stop looking at the 21” wheels. The are so big but give stance to the car and don't get that dirty with so much brake dust with ceramic discs.
Within the set up of the car there are three different suspension settings (dynamic ride control) with literally a soft, medium and hard but on B roads it really was too hard for everyday running. In soft gentle puddy-tatt mode you can barely hear the engine running at all. Magic.
It can’t be denied that the RS 6 avant has beastly looks to match its performance, the gloss black grille, the flared sills, the chrome roof rails, rear tinted windows and the two enormous exhausts really setting it apart. You can see why people have them de-badged but it’s still a bit of a giveaway as to what it is!
What wasn’t to be expected is how quiet the engine can be at times, obviously when you press the start button you get the instant growl but in a comfort mode setting it is then hardly audible, expect the full V8 throng when you put it into dynamic mode.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
The Audi RS 6 does really make you want to jump behind the wheel, it’s driver focussed cabin enticing you in.
It’s disappointing to not see Audi’s virtual cockpit as standard on this model considering the cost but the analogue dials display those all important rev and speed figures so we can’t complain.
With quite a high centre column between driver and passenger it makes you feel quite cocooned but with their MMI Touch it lets you control media, connectivity, navigation, car and phone settings through the scrolling dial or by drawing on it, or even by voice. This is all displayed on a large, eight-inch, retractable centre screen and while Bluetooth and USB ports are so de-riguer nowadays, it still has a CD player.
Rear passengers have their own climate control and there are also vents on the B pillar.
Space & Practicality
One thing the RS 6 avant has is a lot of space, there is adequate leg and headroom for four passengers, the middle seat in the rear has quite a hard back so would be very uncomfortable for a fifth person but how far will you be going five-up? St Moritz maybe?
On opening the electronic tailgate the boot space is large at 565 litres so it will eat up luggage and with the fold flat rear seats it will increase to 1,680 litres, but it’s no match for the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG which holds 695 and 1,950 litres.
Extras like the secure elastic netting are great in holding items in position and stopping them from rolling around the boot, great when you’ve got a big shop and don’t want bottles all over the place. We found if it wasn't tied down it rolled around without being a hooligan...
The Audi RS 6 performance costs from £86,010, over £7,000 more than the standard RS 6 avant. What will increase the cost is options; ceramic brakes will add on nearly £10,000, a panoramic sunroof £1,300 and a hands-free boot opening system £750. Our test car was just into six figures but is it worth it?
It is if you’re looking for supercar power and a car to put the kids in, or anything else you know won’t fit in a two-seater, so just beware of the options mounting up but…who cares? It’s a car you want because it’s a Le Mans car as an estate. Le Mans heritage just there at your finger tips.
CO2 emissions are 223g/km so fall into tax band K costing £650 for the first year and then £295 annually thereafter, Audi reckon it’ll achieve just under 30mpg in combined fuel economy, keep your foot off being flat out and it can be near enough doable - we got 27mpg on a 210 mile run in real world conditions.
Quality & Reliability
Quality is always high on the manufacturer’s list, the RS 6 sees a plethora of premium materials including gorgeous carbon fibre inlays, leather and alcantara on the seats and a vivid blue stitching give it that extra bit of attention to detail.
Audi struggle in customer satisfaction surveys as parts and general maintenance can be costly, the RS 6 won’t be cheap to run either so that needs to be kept in mind, but if you can afford one...
Safety & Security
The Audi A6 scored the full five stars in the 2011 Euro NCAP tests with 91% for adult occupant protection and 83% for a child.
The RS6 performance comes with airbags, ISOFIX points for child seats, a first-aid kit and seat belt monitoring, while driver assistance comes in the form of electronic stability control, hill-hold assist, an anti-lock braking system, cruise control and Audi’s Parking System Plus.
To keep it secure the model has a tracking system and an anti-theft alarm and for ease it has keyless go.