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Audi RS6 Avant Plus

To most people, 444bhp is more than enough power. But Audi is building a new A6, so it's decided to send the old car out on a high note - 473bhp to be precise. That's more muscle than an Aston Martin Vanquish, in an estate car!

The normal RS6 Avant didn't need any more power, but it's still a lot of fun with an extra 29bhp on tap. With the auto gearbox, it remains an effortless car to cruise the motorways with, but you'll need to keep an eye on the speedo! This Audi is a memorable, if costly, swansong.

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To most people, 444bhp is more than enough power. But Audi is building a new A6, so it's decided to send the old car out on a high note - 473bhp to be precise. That's more muscle than an Aston Martin Vanquish, in an estate car!

The RS6 Avant Plus gains the extra horses courtesy of a mild tweaking of the standard RS6's twin-turbo V8 and the addition of a sports exhaust. Plant your foot at any speed on the test track or an unrestricted German autobahn and the sensation is amazing - it's a good job the head restraints are sturdy as they get regular use when you accelerate hard. The V8 sounds magnificent at full cry, but at 70mph there's only a hint of that power from under the bonnet.

Apart from the engine work, Audi has also lowered the ride height by 10mm and fitted firmer dampers. Given that the standard RS6 had stiff suspension, it's no surprise that the Plus is uncomfortable over bumps, and on twisty roads it squirms underneath you. The steering doesn't help either - it's direct, but lacks feel. The car is happiest on motorways, where the effortless power and comfortable seats make it a relaxed cruiser.

Cosmetic changes are restricted to dechroming the exterior, while a colour co-ordinated strip of aluminium is added to the dash. For the extra pace, you'll have to find an additional £6,500 over the standard RS6 Avant - the Plus starts at £66,675. But if you need the ultimate Audi, this is the car to have.

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