AHIGH-SPEED German autobahn is the perfect place to stretch the legs of Audi’s latest and greatest.
The two letters R and S have always made Audi’s performance models special and it’s easy to forget the brutal RS6 is indeed a wagon.
What instantly grabs your attention driving the RS6, apart from the body hugging seats with their high side bolsters, is just how much torque is instantly available.
Maximum torque is on tap from just 1500 right up to 6250 revs, so it’s available right across the normal driving range.
Squirt the accelerator and the rush is there almost instantaneously.
Combine that with peak power of 426kW and the RS6 is really spirited.
Manual shifting is done using stubby paddles behind the flatbottomed steering wheel, but it’s just as easy to leave the RS6 in full automatic mode.
Power is normally split 40 per cent to the front wheels, 60 per cent to the rear via a self-locking centre differential.
So there’s much to admire, but it is not perfect.
You would expect it to behave very much like a high-powered sports saloon thanks to its mammoth power, quick steering and all-wheel drive.
Yes it has plenty of grip, but plenty of understeer in the corners as well. And there’s no hiding that this is a two-tonne car with an engine slung between, and in front of, the front wheels.
No question the V10 is a gem of an engine, but perhaps it sounds just a little too tame and needs a more sonorous exhaust note. Oh it has a decent bark, but it could be so much better.
The wagon has reassuring high levels of grip. It has excellent wheel control thanks to the clever suspension system that diagonally links the shock absorbers by pipes filled with oil.
The driver can select the degree of stiffness from the cockpit control panel, from a somewhat overly soft (comfort) to overly hard (sport) with a dynamic setting taking the middle ground.
For a wagon almost as long as a Q7, the actual load area is above average, even more with the rear seats folded, but limited by the sloping roofline.
Great grip: the Audi RS6 Avant has excellent wheel control thanks to the clever suspension system that diagonally links the shock absorbers by pipes filled with oil.