Auto Review: Audi RS6 Avant, station wagon of the gods
The Audi RS6 Avant 2021 is not this wagon.
On Hankerd Road south of Hell, Michigan, I started launch control. Then I launched the twin-turbo Kraken V8 Kraken with 591 horsepower and 590 torque. With its 8-speed transmission that triggers quick gear changes and the all-wheel drive system electronically managing torque to all four corners, the wagon swallowed asphalt at astonishing speed. The speedo blew (censored to preserve my license) mph, but the car felt stable as a rock – its 4.0-liter mill begging for more throttle.
The dead ends were the natural habitat of my mother’s Buick. My scarlet RS6 tester was at home on the winding roads of hell. Devil in a red suit. Fenders puffed up like a muscular shirt on huge 22 inch wheels. Sullen lighthouse signature. Press the Avant’s start button and he wakes up like a tiger that hasn’t eaten in a week. RRRROWR.
Before must eat, and the rural roads of Hell are the state’s best feeding ground.
RS is German for Rennsport – which translates to English as Racing Sport. I think Rocket Ship is more suitable. With sweeping suspension and drivetrain modifications, the RS is Audi’s supreme badge – turning luxury vehicles like the Allroad into snarling performance deviants that itch to get on the right track (not just for drive the family there).
For example, my Avant (more in German: Avant means “wagon”) is based on the $ 66,895 A6 Allroad wagon that I tested last summer. On my I-96 trip west to hell, the RS6 showcased all the civilized qualities of this broken tourer: a roomy interior, a panoramic roof, two console screens for infotainment / air conditioning, the driver assistance and navigation enhanced by Google Earth.
A word about these last two features.
Audi has made great strides since the first A8L I drove in 2015 with erratic drive assist that would have slammed into the concrete walls of the M-10 Lodge without the driver’s intervention. The RS6, on the other hand, sailed magnificently 96 westbound. I took the turns with my hands free, with the car staying centered in the track rather than flipping side to side.
Google smartphone-based apps are the best navigation systems on the planet, but I’m a fan of Audi’s beautiful Google Earth displays – although it often takes several tries for the speech recognition system to understand me.
Me: Sail to hell, Mich.
Me: No, damn it.
Audi: Hell Ranch?
Me: Pretty close.
Breathtaking, richly colored views of the countryside then splash onto instruments and infotainment screens with detailed overlays. It’s worth the hassle of voice recognition. I sailed comfortably to the US 23 South / Brighton exit, U2 X-Radio filling the cabin.
My luxurious run was interrupted by a cloverleaf which the RS6 attacked as Lewis Hamilton entering the Parabolica sweeper at the Monza Grand Prix. That is to say very quickly.
With its V-8 boat anchor up front, the RS6 should push like a wagon around a 360-degree turn – but it’s no ordinary car. Audi has blessed the RS6 not only with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but with Porsche Turbo type all-wheel steering. The 5,000-pound beast turned into the cloverleaf in no time, then begged for more right footing.
Sticky like hot wax on a 32 degree day, the Avant hugged tenaciously along the long top of the clover leaf – loads of g straining my neck. On the way out, I finally got a grit from the huge 11-inch wide tires, and even a tiny, controlled oversteer when the rear wheel steering did its job.
I exploded on route 23, the V-8 drowning U2.
This experience is so exhilarating that I instantly searched for the opposite clover leaf heading north on 23. Let’s do this again! I was alone that day, but I can understand how the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Avant could drive a family crazy. Do not forget to warn the passengers in the back seat: clover leaf in front.
Arriving in hell, I stopped for a few photos and noted how much I prefer the design of the RS6 to its sister Allroad. Part of this is attributed to the jaw-dropping wheels, motorized dome hood, red brake calipers, bazooka-sized rear tailpipes and the widened stance (2.5 inches wider than the A6 standard).
But the fascia is the charm. The Allroad grille is overkill, a conceited actor who has spent too much time in the makeup chair. The Black Foremost mug, on the other hand, is not only tidier, but also provides the right amount of threat when you loom in someone’s rear mirrors. You won’t be in their mirrors for long.
In this Age of Ute, the RS badge was added to Audi SUVs just as the BMW M badge and AMG badged Mercs have proliferated in their sport utility vehicle lines. But with inherently flawed high-center bodies, SUVs struggle to be pure performance machines.
With their more intuitive physique – but similar hatchback cargo utility – European wagons are the king of family performance. A few months ago, I took a 350 horsepower Audi SQ5 SUV to hell. It cannot contain a candle for the Avant.
Alas, the insane capabilities of the RS6 remind me of what could have been for the Detroit brands. In particular the Cadillac CT5 Wagon, one of the nastiest wagons ever made. If Caddy hadn’t ditched it seven years ago, CT5 Wagon (with the CT5-V Blackwing’s current 650-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood) might have been a match for the RS6. I could have earned it.
Only a few will be able to afford the prodigious talent of the RS6 Avant. The Beast starts at $ 110,045, and my tester rang the cash register over $ 119,000.
For all that batter, Audi could make a better console. The shifter is too close to the driver, which means that the right leg of my 6’5 frame “constantly flipped it into the” Manual “position. Both displays rob the console of needed storage space.
More pleasing is the head-up display – a must-have on the Avant. Similar to Caddy’s V-mode, the Avant locates an “RS” button on the steering wheel so that – with just one push – the driver can instantly turn Jekyll into Hyde with preconfigured performance modes when twisty roads loom.
Matching the RS button, the heads-up display transforms into a digital RPM and mph indicator so you never have to take your eyes off the road when you’re devouring traffic.
Everyone salutes the performance wagon. You’ve come a long way, baby.
Audi RS6 Avant 2021
- Vehicle type: Five-seat, four-wheel-drive, front-engine station wagon
- Price: $ 110,045 including $ 995 destination fee ($ 119,840 as tested)
- Powertrain: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
- Horsepower: 591 horsepower, 590 lb-ft of torque
- Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
- Performance: 0 to 100 km / h, 3.6 seconds (manufacturer); top speed, 156 mph
- Weight: 4960 pounds
- Fuel Consumption: EPA, 15 mpg city / 22 hwy / 17 combined
Tops: fierce acceleration; full handling
Bottom: poorly organized console; six digit price tag
Overall: 4 stars
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