Audi RS6 Avant Performance Review
Car Tested: Audi RS6 Avant Performance; Road Test No. 1030; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,87,83,710/-
The RS6 Avant is a super practical sleeper car, performance is mind-blowing!
Too much is never enough, that saying can't be truer because when Audi made the RS6 Avant, it was already a very fast car and then the Germans decided that we need to add even more power, yes, that's right, even more power in a car which goes from 0 to gale force 100 in a mere 3.9 seconds, while taking 4 people in comfort, along with all their luggage. The result is the Audi RS6 Avant Performance, the last version of the fourth generation RS6 as the fifth generation of the A6 has already been unveiled.
Exteriors – Station wagons are known to be ungainly, they aren't pleasing to the eyes and won't attract a second glance but if anyone needs to learn anything from Audi, it's how to make a station wagon more attractive than any other body style. The RS6 Avant looks gorgeous, it has many go-fast bits like massive air vents in the front bumper to cool the brakes as well as to draw air to the twin turbos. Loads of piano black touches all around, including a rear diffuser which has twin oval exhausts and the blue shade which looks absolutely scintillating in sun light.
The RS6 is a perfect combination of sportiness and minimalism
Then there are those massive 21-inch wheels on low 30 profile rubber, with the Y spokes, they are simply gorgeous. Audi's dynamic swipe indicators both at the front and the rear give it a lot of attitude while the matte finish on the rearview mirrors break the monotony of the body colour. That's not all, the tail-lights look sleek and there is a rear spoiler as well along with a small antenna on the roof which is just the right size. This car does attract a lot of attention, even the brake callipers have RS6 badging on them and the wave discs look beautiful.
Interiors – Step inside and you might be a bit disappointed, I say you, because I am not. It might use the old Audi design with no virtual cockpit or the continuous AC vents on the dashboard but the carbon fibre inlays give it a very sporty appeal. The dashboard is all-black, the seats are beige and that coupled with the big panoramic roof gives this sporty cabin a rather airy feel, me likes! Quality levels are superb, fit-finish is great, there are plenty of features too like Matrix LED headlights, head-up display, tyre pressure monitoring system and a fantastic sounding Bose sound system. The centre console is loaded with a ton of buttons but everything is easy to use, the multi-information display menu is comprehensive.
This is one of the few practical performance cars available in the market
The steering gets the RS6 badging, just in case you forget which Audi you are driving, and thus there is the quattro badge on the left side of the dashboard just in case the co-passenger gets scared if the power is being put down safely, there is just too much of it (more on that later). The Valcona leather RS front seats get integrated headrests and motivates me to put on some weight because the seat is just too generous with support and the side bolstering is just in excess. The rear seat has decent space, headroom isn't an issue and this car gets a 4-zone climate control system too. The boot is massive but our test car had a full-size spare wheel on the boot floor which meant, the boot could only accommodate a few 1-litre bottles.
Performance – The Audi RS6 Avant draws power from a 4.0-litre, bi-turbo V8 that outputs 560 HP and 700 Nm of torque. With the Performance variant, power output has been increased by 45 HP to 605 HP while there is an overboost function for the torque by 50 Nm. Torque spread is massive, right from a low 1750 RPM to 6000 RPM. The result is, 0-100 km/hr comes up in just 3.7 seconds (0.2 seconds faster) and this car feels alive throughout the rev band, it just doesn't have any lag whatsoever. That said, the mid-range is really strong and it screams to the redline.
The exhaust on the RS6 Avant Performance sounds sweet, produces eargasmic pops & crackles
In fact, this engine is such a gem that even at start up, it comes to life with quite a roar. The Audi Drive Select has 4 options - Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual which tweaks the engine, gearbox, suspension, sports differential and even exhaust note. In Dynamic mode, it is very eager, sounds brilliant, does an overrun on upshifts and cracks and pops on downshifts. The 8-speed torque converter gearbox had to be sourced from ZF because Audi's own 7-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic unit isn't up to the task of handling all that output, this one offers slick shifts, there is a Sports mode and a manual mode on the lever too, you can also shift using the steering mounted paddles and it holds onto a gear in manual mode and doesn't upshift!
Refinement levels are brilliant, it's so calm lower down but when you give it the beans, it just wakes up and rockets ahead. In fact, the claimed 0-200 km/hr time is just 12.1 seconds and it will go onto a top speed of 250 km/hr. Want more thrust, Audi will happily pocket some of your monies and sell you the Dynamic package which ups the limiter to 280 km/hr, want even more, pay more and get the Dynamic Plus package that ups the limit to 305 km/hr. That said, this car will actually hit its top speed on the meter, that's 320 km/hr, that's the thrust from this motor.
Being a big fat V8 with a lot of grunt, you might think the Audi RS6 Avant Performance will be a thirsty horse and it is. However, this car gets cylinder-on-demand technology which cuts out 4-cylinders when you drive it sanely, there is a stop-start system too, so you can stretch the kms but honestly, if you want 4-cylinders, just get a hatchback! So the range is just shy of 300 kms because the tank is 75-litres.
Driving Dynamics – Audi says the RS6 Avant Performance uses their lightweight design with a hybrid aluminium body, it still weighs a lot at 2000 kgs. But that weight can't be felt, acceleration is brisk, this go-fast Audi is eager around corners, maintains its line well and also has good body control but it does twitch a lot and scares you silly on bad roads. The steering doesn't offer much feel although it weighs up better in dynamic mode but just isn't very rich with feedback.
The ride is stiff and while the handling is good, steering feel could've been better
The ride quality though, was a surprise. It's stiff, there is no denying that fact but it's still quite compliant for a car running on such low profile rubber. There is no nose lift function in spite of the air suspension (this one gets RS Adaptive and Dynamic Ride Control is an option) but it doesn't need it because even on the worst of speed-breakers, it just glides through, no need to angle the car. quattro channels power and torque in 40:60 split to the front and rear wheels, that coupled with the centre differential, sports differential and torque vectoring ensures there is a ton of grip on offer, all the time. The optional ceramic wave discs ensure great stopping power but on hard braking, tend to smoke.
Verdict - The Audi RS6 Avant Performance is a last call to enthusiasts, take me home before I drop another 2-cylinders like I did previously (the third gen RS6 used the Lamborghini Gallardo's V10 engine). Rarely do you get the best of both worlds, supercar performance and SUV like practicality, the RS6 Avant blends both in a beautiful and engaging package. It might cost a lot but you will never be late in reaching your destination when heading out for a vacation with your family.
* Clean design with simple lines and a dash of sportiness
* Quality inside-out is top notch
* Mental engine offering lusty performance
* Exhaust note is incredible
* Stability with quattro
What's Not So Cool
* Feels a bit outdated, especially on the inside
* Steering doesn't offer good feel
Alternatives: BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG E63s
Audi RS6 Avant Performance
Audi RS6 Avant Performance Review
The RS6 Avant Performance is an enhanced version of the RS6 Avant and it offers more power and torque. Performance is brilliant and this car never runs out of steam. It also offers good space and practicality and is one of those few performance cars that can be used as a daily runner.