Audi RS6 revealed

This is the all-new 552bhp Audi RS6 super-estate, and it's the first of four RS models due in 2013

Audi has unveiled its new V8-powered 552bhp RS6 Avant – the first of four new RS models due on sale this year. The others are the RS5 Cabriolet (which effectively replaces the RS6 saloon), the RS7 and the first ‘Q’ model to wear the RS badge – the Q3 RS.

The RS6 ditches the old Lamborghini-derived V10 for a version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 from the S6, which is capable of shutting down four of its eight cylinders on light throttle loads. And while outright power can’t match its predecessor’s 572bhp output, the RS6’s performance has taken a significant step up.

The new car weighs 100kg less than the previous RS6, plus with a new eight-speed auto and 700Nm of torque, 0-62mph takes 3.9 seconds – a full seven-tenths faster than the old car. There’s now also the option of raising the speed limiter from 155mph to 189mph if you spec the Dynamic Plus package. Stop-start is now standard and helps fuel economy and CO2 emissions improve by 40 per cent, to 28.8mpg and 229g/km respectively.

The styling is typically restrained – even the blistered wheel arches from the previous model have been swapped for smooth, gently enhanced bulges - while the track width has grown by 42mm either side at the rear. A unique front-end treatment splits the single-frame grille into an upper and lower part – as an option, the lower part is emblazoned with 3D ‘quattro’ lettering.

Large wings in the lower air intakes, a frame for the lower grille and a lower splitter are all new additions and part of a careful calculation by Audi. “The idea is to give customers the option of changing lots of parts to carbon fibre if they want,” exterior designer Stefan Fahr-Becker told us.

The gloss-black rear diffuser can also be ordered in Carbon, while the massive twin-oval tailpipes come in chrome as standard or a moodier black finish if you opt for the switchable sports exhaust. According to Fahr-Becker, the 21-inch wheels inspired by the design from the 2010 quattro concept, are a “designer’s dream.”

Specifically tuned RS air suspension, which lowers the car by 20mm, is fitted as standard, although a firmer sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control is also available. This uses steel springs and three-way adjustable shock absorbers for tighter body control. New wave design brake discs – which combine an aluminium hub with steel discs – are standard and save around 4kg in total, while huge 420mm carbon-ceramic stoppers are also available.

As per the RS4, a centre crown differential shuffles power between the front and rear, while a sports differential shares it out between the two rear tyres. There’s also a retuned ESP, optional dynamic ride control with a firmer baseline setting and active electromechanical steering – although select Dynamic mode in the Audi drive select system and it locks the ratio for a more direct feel at high speed.

You’ll be able to buy the RS6 from July and, while there’s no confirmation on UK pricing, it’s expected to start from just under £77,000.

Recommended

Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022
Geneva Motor Show
News

Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022

Geneva Motor Show heads to the middle east with a spin-off event planned in Doha every two years from 2022 or 2023
25 Aug 2021
New Koenigsegg Gemera is a four-seat, 1,700bhp, £1.4m hypercar
Koenigsegg Gemera
Koenigsegg Gemera

New Koenigsegg Gemera is a four-seat, 1,700bhp, £1.4m hypercar

The limited-edition Koenigsegg Gemera is a rival for the McLaren GT, but with almost three times as much power
17 Aug 2021
Geneva Motor Show rescheduled for 2022
Geneva
Geneva Motor Show

Geneva Motor Show rescheduled for 2022

The GIMS organisers have announced the event will return next year, after this year’s show was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic
28 May 2021
Audi RS6 GTO Concept unveiled as new student project
News

Audi RS6 GTO Concept unveiled as new student project

The apprentice-built Audi RS6 Concept marks 40 years of Quattro and pays homage to the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA-GTO racer
11 Nov 2020

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range
Skoda

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES

The Genesis G80 looks to make an impact in the executive saloon class as we pitch it against the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus ES
18 Sep 2021