Need a super wagon? Us neither, but we’d have this
THIS is the shopper’s supercar, one that lunches on Lambos, dines on 911s and has Ferrari FFs for breakfast.
Little prepares you for the voracious appetite and manners of Audi’s RS6 Avant.
But with a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, the Avant— the only RS6 shape— is blisteringly fast and sprints to 100km/h in only 3.9 seconds (the Ferrari FF takes 3.7).
Here in November, it costs about $230,000.
It will come highly specified, with dynamic ride control, 21-inch alloys, $11,500 ceramic brakes and the ability to ramp top speed from 250km/h to 305.
The Audi stands out from those at this price in its comfort and features, brilliant build and docile street manners. Standards include Bose audio with satnav and digital TV, 360-degree camera, 20-inch alloys and adaptive air suspension.
The cabin has intricately veneered timber and aluminium inserts, an all-black ambience dominated by wideeyed gauges and a plethora of switches. The sports seats are deeply bolstered. The electric tailgate opens to a wide, deep but shallow boot. The wheels give the game away— even parked, the RS6 looks mean.
Its engine is the same as in the S6, S7, S8 and A8 but only the RS6 whacks out 412kW/ 700Nm. Cylinder deactivation and stop-start bring fuel use to a claimed 9.8L/100km.
The deep thrum of the V8 is pure music. The wagon starts with a roar, settles to an angry hum and sounds multiple notes on its way up and down the automatic’s eight ratios. The drive select is angrier in the dynamic mode, though the steering is a bit firm and it exposes some of the artificial feel of electric assistance.
But the steering feel steps once the big wagon is pointed into a corner. The auto mode, where the steering ratio changes slightly with the result of a lighter feel, is the best overall. The ESC can be switched off and even without that safety net the wagon has tremendous grip thanks to its AWD.
This car’s theme is its engine. Rather than linear fluidity – like the naturally aspirated RS4 – the RS6’s turbos dominate power delivery with less of a kick immediately off the mark but then a rush as the boost starts.
The engine will run, with all the noises of an orchestra, to 6600rpm before up-changing. And though the drive-train dominates, the car is comfortable and when cruising, the engine settles into a muted burble.
Performance with sensibility. A wagon for all (men, women, children and dogs).
And quick. But is the R8 (from $271,000), for example, a better buy when it comes to oneupmanship?