The new Audi RS6 Avant has been spotted lapping the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, and it appears to be just as potent as the super estate it replaces.
We’ve spotted the RS6 Avant before
, and this car’s 20-inch alloy wheels are a giveaway that this is the performance flagship.
The cargo-carrying supercar also wears a new front bumper, with gaping air intakes and LED daytime running lights, plus xenon headlamps. There’s LEDs at the rear as well, where you’ll also find a rooftop spoiler and more muscular bumper with a pair of massive oval exhausts.
Under the bonnet is a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that is also used in the Bentley Continental GT and Audi S7 and S8 models. In the RS6, it will have 550bhp, and while this is less than the older model’s 572bhp V10, the new RS6 will be much lighter.
That’s because it’s based on the new A6, which uses more aluminium body panels and is up to 70kg lighter than the previous generation A6. The new V8 is lighter than the V10, too, so expect the RS6 Avant to take full advantage of this and storm from 0-62mph in around 4.4 seconds. Adaptive suspension, a lowered ride height and quattro four-wheel drive mean it should be just as capable in the corners, too.
On top of its performance credentials, the engine will also offer cylinder deactivation, start-stop technology and active engine mounts to isolate vibration from the cabin. This means improved efficiency as well as more performance, but let’s hope it has more character than other recent RS models, which have been a little too clinical in their approach.
As with the standard A6 Avant, there’s 565 litres of boot space, which rises to 1,680 litres with the rear seats folded.
The RS6 Avant goes on sale in 2013, with prices starting from £80,000.