In-depth reviews

Audi RS 6 Avant review - Engines, performance and drive

Despite the RS 6’s mild hybrid-tech, there’s nothing mild about the performance

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.5 out of 5

  • Awesome performance
  • Estate practicality
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Thirsty
  • Interior not special enough
  • Lifeless steering

Engage launch control in the RS 6 and you’ll experience instant power delivery as 592bhp is sent to the tarmac via Audi’s quattro four-wheel drive system. The engine and transmission is so incredibly proficient that there’s an effortlessness to the way the car moves down the road, even when you’re accessing the extreme performance that’s on offer.

Traction is superb, while thehuge torque gives plenty of flexibility. However, those that like to seek out the occasional fast, twisty road may find the big estate lacking a little in feel. The steering adds to the issue as it feels artificially weighty if you select dynamic mode.

There is a choice in suspension set-up in the RS 6, with either standard air suspension or the Vorsprung model’s steel springs with adaptive dampers. The latter offers a more settled ride at all speeds and body control is noticeably improved. Any car weighing 2,100kg is going to experience some roll, but the Dynamic Ride Control system helps keep it more in check.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The RS 6 has a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, to help improve response and efficiency. The hybrid function enables gliding with the engine switched off, fast restart and an intelligent drive management system that uses the navigation map to decide whether coasting is more fuel-efficient.

Although placing a certain focus on efficiency savings, Audi has not lost clarity in what the RS 6 represents. With 592bhp and 800Nm of torque, this remarkable estate will crack 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds and go on to a maximum of 174mph.

The RS 6 Avant features all-wheel steering for the first time, making the car more manoeuvrable. At low speed, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts, helping to reduce the car’s turning circle and make parking manoeuvres just that little bit easier. In contrast, at higher speeds, the rear wheels follow the movement of the front wheels, improving steering response so that the car feels more planted and precise.

Also new to the RS 6, are the ‘RS1’ and ‘RS2’ modes, which are offered in addition to the standard driving profiles and allow the driver to customise the car’s set-up to suit their individual preferences. Once this is stored, the profile can then be engaged at any time by pressing the RS Mode button on the steering wheel.

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