In Australia wagons such as Audi’s RS6 Avant are on the endangered species list, such is the popularity of SUV’s.
Fortunately, Europeans still prefer wagons to move their family, friends and luggage about and one of the slickest and quickest and here now, is Audi’s RS6 Avant.
It sits at the sharp end of Audi’s Sport RS range and performance wise, comes within a whisker of Audi R8 Plus driven recently.
The RS6 Avant blasts from zero to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds, while the R8 just eclipses that, doing it in 3.5 seconds. The RS6 Avant’s TFSI 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine belts out stratospheric 445 kilowatts, which is 48 more than the 5-litre V10 in the R8. As for torque, the RS6 Avant has up to a mind-boggling 700 Newton metres, which is a whopping 190 more than the R8. Top speeds: up to 305km/h for the RS6 and 330km/h for the R8. Both have Quattro all-wheel-drive to get all that grunt to the ground and the Avant features a quick-shifting eight-speed Tiptronic auto.
Even standing still the RS6 Avant looks wickedly fast ……and elegant.
It cuts a sharp figure with its muscular lines, wide stance, deep chin spoiler, ground-hugging body, flared wheel arches, roof spoiler, twin drainpipe exhausts, rear diffuser and drilled disc brakes, hidden behind stunning 21-inch alloy rims wrapped in low profile tyres.
Nobody can touch Audi when it comes to interior craftsmanship, design, materials and ambience and the RS6 Avant oozes refinement, sportiness and luxury.
The soft touch surfaces, supple leather and alcantara trim as well as the carbon fibre inlays complement the beefy exterior and shows how skilled Audi is at fusing the two.
The all-enveloping, comfortable sports seats hold you snuggly and make long distance journeys effortless. The adjustability range of the multi-function D-shaped steering wheel lets you quickly find the perfect driving position and the crystal clear analogue gauges keep you informed on the status of the RS6 Avant’s vitals.
Second row passengers get generous levels of head and leg room, even with the full-length panoramic sunroof. Their split fold pew features pronounced bolsters and behind them is a useful 565 litres of luggage space, which when folded, expands to 1680 litres to easily accommodate a road bike, ski gear or when a (really fast) trip to Bunnings is required.
Supporting its phenomenal performance is a suite of infotainment and driver assist systems plus a long list of the latest safety technologies that add to the barnstorming driving experience the Audi RS6 Avant delivers on every level.
There are five drive modes to choose from Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. Around town, Comfort tames the RS6 best, making it surprisingly agreeable to live with on a daily basis as the acceleration, steering and gear shifts are softer and the adaptive air suspended ride more yielding.
But once the confines of the city are behind you, a flick to Dynamic, or Individual modes via a button on the wheel, unleashes the true character of the RS6 Avant.
Plant your foot and its brutal acceleration jams you back in the seat, a booming roar from the twin drainpipe exhausts lets you know the twin turbo V8 is racing to the redline, raising the hairs on the back of your neck.
Throw it at corners and its pin sharp electro-assist power steering lets you place it on the road like a pro.
The combined technologies of Quattro drive, race car handling plus super grippy fat tyres, dishes out body-warping lateral grip, leaving you astonished by its dynamic agility and capability. Stomp on the brake pedal and your body feels suspended by the seat belts.
You really have to pinch yourself and get your head around the fact you are driving a five-door, five-seat family wagon and not a supercar.
At $245,400 (+ORC), the Audi RS6 Avant is a car for all seasons and all reasons. It’s superbly made, spine-tingling to drive, versatile and wonderful to live with every day.