It’s a well-know fact among car enthusiasts that the wagon is the best bodystyle. It combines the practicality of an SUV with the performance and driving dynamics of a sedan. The new RS6 is the exception- it has the performance of an entry-level supercar.
It gets to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds- and that’s just the official number. Audi are notorious for underrating performance- the previous RS6 had an official 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds, yet many independent tests found it reached 60 in around 3.5 seconds. Given that the new car is guaranteed to be faster than the old car, its not unreasonable to estimate an unofficial 0-60 time of round 3.2 seconds. We’ll have to wait and see.
It should sound pretty good too. Unlike the RS5, which uses a slightly uninspiring V6, the new RS6 uses a 4 liter twin-turbo V8. Unfortunately, it uses a 48V mild-hybrid system, which boosts your gas mileage, but also your local Audi dealers profits once it’s out of warrantee.
But nobody buys an Audi for reliability. People buy them for their all-weather performance. And the RS6 delivers. It has the Quattro AWD system with a 40:60 front to rear torque split, but it can send 85% to the rear or send 70% to the front in an attempt to save you if your sad attempt at a Scandinavian flick goes wrong.
To further improve handling, it has Audi’s torque-vectoring limited-slip rear differential as standard, along with brake-induced torque vectoring. Normally, torque vectoring systems that use the brakes aren’t ideal, because they cook the brakes quickly under hard driving. But Audi have compensated for this- standard brakes are 420 mm up front, and 370 mm at the rear. Of course, better brakes are available as an option- you can order 440 mm carbon-ceramics with 10(!) piston calipers.
Of course, being a German performance car, it’ll be perfectly at home on the Autobahn. Its electronically limited to 155 mph, but with the dynamic pack and dynamic plus pack, its top speed is lifted to 174 mph and 190 mph respectively. And the driver will be in complete comfort while doing this, thanks to a new adaptive air suspension system, which can raise or lower the car based on speed. Though if you plan on frequently driving it hard, you may prefer the RS Sport Suspension with Dynamic Ride control, which saves some weight.
Like most performance cars, it has many drive modes. The big new is that there are two individually configurable modes RS1 and RS2, which turns off stability control- not possible in most Audi’s.
The RS6 unfortunately retains the standard A6’s overly techy interior layout, but there are some new performance readouts, for helpful things like oil temperature and tyre pressure, as well as some unhelpful things like a g-force meter, which you can’t look at while cornering.
Unlike previous generations of the RS6, which looked almost identical to the regular A6, the new RS6 has the stance of King Kong on steroids. Each wheelarch is 40 mm wider, and houses wheels no smaller than 21 inches, with 22 inch wheels available as an option. Some people may not like the new ultra-aggressive styling, but there’s a silver lining. Those giant vents? They’re functional. Better yet, there are no fake exhausts.
Its not very often these days that a car manufacturer announces that they’re bringing a wagon to the US. Don’t make Audi regret it. Pricing has yet to be announced, but if you are wealthy and in need of a family wagon, you should seriously consider one. With a luggage compartment length of 6.5 feet with the rear seats down, you have no excuse for buying an SUV.