New Audi RS6 Avant revealed

Russell Campbell
August 21, 2019

All-new superfast Audi RS6 Avant estate gets 600hp from twin-turbo V8, and four-wheel drive grip to deliver 190mph performance. Here’s everything you need to know about it

This is the new Audi RS6 Avant. It’s the beefy-looking fourth generation of Audi’s super-fast big estate car, and Audi’s equipped it with a twin-turbo V8 engine with an enormous 600hp and four-wheel drive. That’s enough for supercar-chasing pace. All while – potentially – carrying you, your partner, three children and the family dog along for the ride.

Audi RS6 Avant engines and performance

Power for the new RS6 comes from the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that you’ll find in several other products from the VW Group (Audi’s parent company). But while it shares its heart with Bentleys, Porsches and Lamborghinis, its 600hp is more than you get in any Bentley with the same engine. Porsche, meanwhile, can only beat that with the help of an extra electric motor in the hybrid version of the Panamera. All of which is great ammo for when someone accuses you of driving ‘a boring family estate’.

That 600hp is backed up by 800Nm of torque, which gives the big Audi the pulling power to get from 0-60mph 3.6 seconds, helped by launch control and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Top speed is officially limited to 155mph, but the optional dynamic package raises that to 174mph. For real speed fiends, there’s the dynamic plus pack, which brings with it a top speed of 190mph. For use on runways, racetracks and de-restricted autobahns only. Of course… Buckets of performance don’t come at the expense of fuel economy, either – this is a surprisingly efficient car. It’s got a 48V mild hybrid system that allows it to coast with the engine off for up to 40 seconds at motorway cruising speeds. This also works as a powerful stop-start system that can switch the engine on and off at speed up to 14mph, making the stop-start process both smoother and more efficient. Oh, and the RS6’s cylinder-on-demand system means the big V8 can run on just four cylinders under light loads.


Audi RS6 Avant styling

Although the new RS6 looks more or less like the more ordinary A6 models, it’s actually only the front doors, roof and bootlid that are carried over from the standard car. The big honeycomb-style grille is finished in gloss black, and is flanked by the slimmer headlights found on the Audi A7. The bonnet gets a distinctive ‘powerdome’, while side vents and an aggressive front bumper – that’s mostly air vent – add to the meaty look. But the most obvious visual aggression comes from the extended wheel arches, which make the RS6 40mm wider than a standard A6. They’re stretched over 22-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, a chunky diffuser and enormous exhaust tips complete the visual muscle.

Audi RS6 specs

The headlights can also be offered with the high-tech RS Matrix LED laser lights, which automatically block out the correct area of the lights at night to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. The LED lights front and rear also feature dynamic directional indicators, as well as performing a trick light show sequence when you lock or unlock the car.

And if you want to personalise your RS6, then there are 13 exterior colours to choose from including five matt finishes and two paint jobs that are unique to the RS6 called Nardo Grey and Sebring Black. You can also pick from three styling packs, which finish your car’s exterior in either black plastic, aluminum or carbon fibre trims. The door mirrors come in black, body-coloured or aluminium, too. And you can even swap out the chrome Audi badges for moody black plastic.

Audi RS6 driving

As standard, the RS6 Avant is fitted with adaptive RS air suspension. This is 20mm lower than in the standard A6 Avant and 50% stiffer. Above 75mph, the RS6 will automatically lower its body by 10mm to improve stability. At lower speeds, a lift mode lets you raise the car by 20mm to keep its underside clear of particularly nasty speed humps. If you want a more sporty set-up, you can swap your RS6’s floaty air suspension for tauter steel springs and dampers with the optional R Dynamic Ride Control. It keeps the Audi flat in corners by pumping oil under pressure to whichever shock absorber needs it the most. You won’t have to put up with a bone-jarring ride, though, because the suspension has a comfort setting that should smooth out the bumpiest of roads. The RS6 is available with a choice of two types of steering. As standard, it comes with progressive steering that means you don’t have to turn the wheel so much in tight bends. For hot-hatch-like handling, you’ll want the optional dynamic all-wheel steering. At high speeds it can turn the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels to improve stability, while at lower speeds it does the reverse, turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts. That makes the huge RS6 more manoeuvrable in confined spaces.

If you ever plan to take your Audi RS6 to the track then a visit to the options list will be in order. There you’ll find uprated carbon ceramic brakes with huge 440mm front discs that are 20mm bigger than the standard steel brakes. The four carbon discs reduce unsprung mass by 34kg, improving handling as well as stopping power. Another must-have track accessory is the quattro-sport differential. Theoretically, it’ll allow you to slide the RS6 around corners, although the quattro four-wheel drive makes this notoriously hard to do.

Audi RS6 interior and entertainment

The RS6’s interior is loaded with go-faster bits that mark it out from a normal Audi estate. You get illuminated door sills, winged sports seats and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel complete with metal gearshift paddles and a knob to operate the car’s Drive Select. Even the infotainment screen’s graphics show an RS6 rather than a normal A6. Plus, you get additional readouts for things like oil temperature and boost pressure, as well as a computer that can record acceleration and lap times.