Avant guardian

Need a su­per wagon? Us nei­ther, but we’d have this

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­guide.com.au

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?

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