The Audi RS6 is a family work horse bred for speed.
By Ghaith Madadha
The go-to brand for high performance premium station wagons—or Avant in Audi-speak— Audi was an early proponent and trendsetter with the 1983-91 200 Quattro Avant and 1994-95 RS2. The RS6 is a case of Audi at its best, and is two, or more, cars rolled into one. It also doubles as a luxury executive car; blindingly swift yet cavernously spacious for a family of five, plus luggage.
The RS6 is refined, unruffled, and reassuring at speed and unyieldingly grippy and committed through corners. Belting out a brutal 552 BHP, the twin-turbocharged RS6 is, however, relatively economical with 9.6l/100 km economy, courtesy of direct fuel injection, a traffic stop-and-go functionality, and seamless automatic cylinder de-activation when cruising. It rockets from standstill to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, yet is one of the safest cars around, with its all-weather Quattro road-holding complemented by a raft of passive safety features and extensive sophisticated semi-automated driver-assistance systems.
Moody and menacingly assertive, the RS6’s design elements converge on its charismatic trapezoidal grille. The RS6’s grille, which is tall and shield-like, is the focal point for its sharp low air splitter, chiseled flank character line, squinting browed headlights, and bonnet ridges. The RS6 is classy but muscular, with flourishes of brushed metal details, and it features vast tarmac gripping 285/30R21 footwear, huge flared lower intakes, gill-like vents, large rear air diffuse, and big bore dual exhaust tips. Meanwhile, its level waistline allow for good visibility, and its long arcing roofline, estate body style, and subtly bulging wheel-arches lend a sense of sculpted and well-integrated solidity.
The RS6’s 4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine develops 552 BHP at 5700-6600 rpm, and a 516 lb/ft torque throughout 1750-5500 rpm tidal wave. With short gas flow paths, the RS6’s twin-turbos spool swiftly with imperceptible turbo lag from tick-over. Abundantly generous through its broad mid-range, the RS6 overtakes with effortless ease and charges through wind resistance with indefatigable intensity through to Autobahn speeds. Its urgent build-up is underwritten by its muscular mid-range and accompanied by throaty growls and bellows in ‘Dynamic’ mode.
With Quattro four-wheel-drive sending 60 percent power rearwards for tidier, more agile handling, the RS6, however, reallocates power distribution front, rear, and along the rear axle for unimpeachable traction and grip. It takes winding switchbacks like a rollercoaster on rails. The RS6 attacks corners with relentless commitment, while adaptive air suspension tightly controls body roll in ‘Dynamic’ mode. Smooth riding in ‘Comfort’ mode, air suspension takes the edge off firm low profile tires. Buttoned down at speed, through corners and on rebound, the RS6 also benefits from quick, meaty, and direct steering tireless brakes.
The RS6, a luxurious high tech hauler, features suede roof-lining, quilted leather seats, carbon-fiber and metal accents, luxurious textures aplenty, and sophisticated sound cancellation. It is equipped with extensive entertainment and convenience options, including optional Bang and Olufsen sound system. The spacious RS6 even accommodates a generous 1,680 liters of cargo with rear seats folded. It provides superb seating support, position, and versatility, while adjustable driving mode infotainment screen menus are user-friendly. Revised for 2015, the RS6 receives mildly redesigned LED headlights, acoustic window lamination, and an upgraded infotainment system with faster processing and 4G mobile Wifi connectivity.
Engine: 4-liter, twin-turbo, direct injection, in-line V8-cylinders
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive, limited-slip rear-differential
Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 552 (560)  @5700-6600 rpm
Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 516 (700) @1750-5500 rpm
0-100 km/h: 3.9 seconds
Top speed: 305 km/h
Fuel consumption, combined: 9.6-liters/100 km
CO2 emissions, combined: 223 g/km
Length: 4979 mm
Width: 1936 mm
Height: 1461 mm
Luggage volume, min-max: 565-1680 liters
Suspension: Multi-link, adaptive air dampers
Brakes: Ventilated, perforated discs