Audi RS6 Avant Test Drive Review
Audi RS6 Avant – Click above for high resolution image gallery

Audi RS6 Avant Review

Car Tested: Audi RS6 Avant; Road Test No. 710

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.75 crores

The Audi RS6 Avant just flies and it is an enthralling car to drive with its agile behaviour

Station wagons are very rare in India and the last time I sat in one was a decade back when someone I knew had bought an Opel Corsa Sail. Before that, I once travelled in a Tata Estate too. I’m one of those few guys who actually likes the shape of a station wagon and mind you, the Skoda Octavia vRS Combi was a personal favourite. However, estates have been getting almost nil demand in India and thus manufacturers have been hesitant in launching them here. However, Audi has taken a bold step and launched the RS6 Avant which is a hot performing station wagon which also boasts of a lot of practicality. We took the Avant for a long run and here’s how it fared.

Motor Quest: Audi has been making available their RS line of vehicles in India since a while now but the RS6 Avant is a first of its kind! It may not have the oomph of a proper sports car but its performance is just mind-blowing.

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The RS6 Avant may be a station wagon but it has clear sporty indications

Exteriors – The Audi RS6 is based on the A6 and hence a lot of styling elements on the front fascia are shared with the premium luxury sedan. The headlights have a similar shape but the RS6 Avant gets smoked lights which add a sportier feel to the car unlike the Matrix LED lights on the A6 which have a classy look. The grille is finished in black and the word quattro is written on the lower part of the grille. The bumper gets sporty bits too. The side profile is distinctly clean and reveals the long length of the Avant.

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Styling is typical German – neat and clean with a touch of premiumness!

The Audi RS6 Avant is long and the styling is a mix of sporty and premium

The alloys again have a very sporty design and indicate that you’re driving something hardcore. The RS6 Avant gets 35 profile tyres. The rear again has a very minimalist design with simple styling for the tail gate while the bumper with its diffuser has the tell-tale signs of a performance-oriented car. The tail lights carry a striking look. Overall, the RS6 Avant looks like a very unique sight on our roads and I may even call it a sleeper car since most people who gawk at the vehicle on the road have no clue what sort of power it beholds.

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Layout similar to A6, lots of changes to materials

Interiors – The interiors of the RS6 Avant are typical Audi. The dashboard has a very similar layout as the A6 sedan. However, the beige colour theme on the A6 has given way for a pure black tone on the RS6 and the wooden trims on the sedan have made way for carbon fibre trims on the RS6. You get a flat-bottomed steering wheel which looks and feels awesome. It has just the perfect proportions you would expect in a car like this. There are also a lot of Alcantara bits on the inside which remind you of the sporty intentions of the estate.

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The insides are immensely practical with a lot of storage spaces and bins

The black insides look killer and there are tons of storage bins and cubby-holes

The rear seats are again pretty generous on space while the boot is also very large. The RS6 Avant takes practicality on a completely different level and this is one car which you can enjoy on a drag strip as well as a road trip with your family with their complete luggage. The number of cubby holes and storage spaces in the Avant is really good and you can stash a lot of your stuff in the cabin. The seats offer immense comfort and while frontal and sidewards visibility is good, rearward visibility is just about average. Parking such a long car can be a pain for some and the rear parking camera really helps matters.

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Powering this station wagon is a stonker of a V8 petrol engine

Performance – Powering the Audi RS6 Avant is a ballistic 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 petrol engine. This powerplant unleashes 560 HP of power and 700 Nm of twisting force. The engine comes matched to an 8-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox and power is sent to all four wheels thanks to the quattro system. The station wagon can put a lot of performance cars to shame with its 0-100 km/hr timing coming out to 4.13 seconds according to our VBOX tests (3.9 seconds claimed). The way this car accelerates can put your body in some self-inducing pain.

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Exhaust note is good but we really wished to hear more of it in the cabin

The RS6 can scare the living daylights out of some with its acceleration

The RS6 Avant does 60 km/hr in 1st gear, 90 km/hr in 2nd, 140 km/hr in 3rd and 174 km/hr in 4th. It crosses 200 km/hr in 5th gear. The engine is a good cruiser and it does 100 km/hr in 8th gear at 1600 RPM. The powerplant is very smooth and low-end punch is good while the mid-range is where the actual fun lies. It redlines all the way to 6600 RPM and while the exhaust note sounds sweet, we would have loved it if it was more audible inside the cabin.

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The engine is a blast to drive, amazing mid-range

The engine is very refined too and at standstill you just can’t hear it running. There is a cylinder-on-demand system too which helps reduce fuel consumption. It shuts down 4 cylinders in traffic conditions thus improving fuel efficiency by a small amount. There are 3 driving modes – D, S and M. You also get paddle shifters which increases the fun quotient of driving this station wagon. Expecting low running costs from a car like this would just make you look stupid but just FYI, the RS6 won’t return more than 4-5 km/l under spirited driving.

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Very good ride and handling characteristics on the RS6 Avant

Driving Dynamics – The Audi RS6 Avant comes with 35-profile 20-inch wheels but despite this, the ride quality is surprisingly good. The estate can soak up most undulations without losing its composure. At high speeds, again the ride is very good and the car remains stable and maintains its line. The steering is really nice and it weighs up brilliantly. Handling is also fun but you can most certainly feel the length of the car while cornering. The Avant gets awesome brakes which are very sharp but due to the high speeds that the car does, the brake pads wear out really quickly.

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Finding a service station shouldn’t be an issue with Audi

Safety and After Sales Service – Talking about after-sales service, Audi has a decently wide spread network across the country and the automaker has been fetching good sales across various cities. The RS6 Avant is also loaded with a lot of safety tech including six airbags, stability control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-sense Plus with Brake Assist and Active Lane Assist, etc.

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A station wagon that is stupendous to drive and equally practical

Verdict – There are hardly any regular station wagons available in India let alone performance-oriented. The Audi RS6 Avant has no true competitor in the Indian market and hence it’ll be competing with other German sports sedans or coupes at the most. The RS6 packs in quite a lot of performance, has a lot of kit on offer, looks really exclusive and the added practicality over any other sports car is a real nice boon. Overall, the Audi RS6 Avant is a splendid package and makes for a really good option for someone who wants an everyday sportscar and something that will stand out amongst the sea of other performance cars.

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Although the RS6 Avant is so powerful, it has no real competition

What’s Cool

* Lovely design and sleeper car looks
* Great interiors which are very practical
* The V8 engine is an absolute blast
* Ride is surprisingly good with low profile tyres

What’s Not So Cool

* No immediate rivals to compete with!

Alternatives: None

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The perfect vehicle for someone who wants an everyday sports car

Audi RS6 Avant Specifications

* Engine: 3993cc, V8, DOHC
* Power: 560 HP @ 5700 RPM
* Torque: 700 Nm @ 1750 RPM
* Transmission: 8-speed automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 4.13 seconds (VBOX)
* Fuel Consumption: 10.42 km/l (ARAI-claimed), 4-5 km/l (actual driving conditions)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: Adaptive air suspension
* Tyres: 275/35/20
* Brakes: Discs (front and rear), ABS
* Safety: 6 airbags, stability control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-sense Plus with Brake Assist

Audi RS6 Avant Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4979 mm X 2086 mm X 1461 mm
* Wheelbase: 2915 mm
* Ground clearance: 114 mm
* Turning radius: 5.7-metres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 75-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1950 kgs

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Bringing the head to stop thinking about this car was a daunting task

Testers’ Note:

“The Audi RS6 Avant is proof that station wagons don’t have to look boring. The vehicle is striking in appearance and is a blast to drive with all those 560 horses keeping you grinning at all times. This car sure is unique and with that huge boot, it’s also very practical. Kudos to Audi for trying out something different and even though it has the estate looks, the RS6 Avant still has a lot of character.” – Faisal Khan, Editor, MotorBeam.
“Performance and station wagon are things which usually don’t go together. Station wagon is an alien concept in India and full marks to Audi for trying something different. This is one car which can put some established sedans to shame and really shines with some smoking hot performance. On the other hand it offers oodles of practicality with good space in the cabin. The RS6 Avant is the perfect car if you want practicality, performance and some exclusivity on the same table.” – Javeid Khan, Deputy Editor, MotorBeam.
“I was expecting this car to be fun to drive but hey the RS6 Avant still took me by surprise. It is not only fun to drive, but also badly addictive and you just don’t feel like taking your hands off the wheel in this one! It is extremely thirsty but then its a large V8 so that’s kind of expected. Overall, it’s a car in which faults are hard to find!” – Parth Gohil, Senior Road Tester, MotorBeam.

Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta