New Audi RS6 Avant: prices, specs and release date
Next-gen Audi RS6 estate gets a near-600bhp engine, priced from £92,700
Audi RS6 Avant estate costs from £92,700592bhp, 0-62mph in 3.6 secondsRS6, Carbon Black, Vorsprung and Launch Edition trims available
Orders are now being taken for the Audi RS6 Avant estate. It's available in standard RS6 Avant guise from £92,700, but two trim levels called Carbon Black and Vorsprug and a limited run Launch Edition are also offered with extra kit.
Audi’s new Audi RS6 Avant was first shown at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s a rival to the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo S E-Hybrid and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S estate.
This new car is the first Audi RS6 Avant to use a different engine to the Audi S6, as both have shared engines in previous generations, albeit in a different state of tune. While the S6 comes with a new 342bhp 3.0-litre mild-hybrid diesel engine, the RS6 sticks with a powerful petrol engine, namely a 592bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8. Coupled with a standard-fit eight-speed automatic gearbox and quattro all-wheel-drive, the engine gets the car from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds. The V8 engine is also used in the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus.
The top speed is limited to 155mph unless you pick one of two performance packs, called Dynamic Package and Dynamic Package Plus. Opt for one of these, and the top speed is increased to 174mph or 190mph respectively, and four-wheel steering is included to make the car more agile at low speeds and more stable at higher speeds.
A 48V mild-hybrid system is included to help the RS6 with economy. The engine switches off when you coast between 34-99mph, and there’s cylinder deactivation technology that means the RS6 can run on four of its eight cylinders when cruising or applying light throttle. Still, the RS6 isn't a frugal car returning 22.6mpg with CO2 emissions of 263g/km.
There are a number of driving modes, plus two RS-specific ones. ‘RS1’ determines many different aspects of the driving experience and adds new graphics to the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster, while ‘RS2’ turns off the traction control. Air suspension is fitted as standard, allowing you to choose the ride height of the car. Above 74mph, it automatically drops by 10mm. RS Sport Suspension with conventional springs and adaptive dampers is available as an option and standard with the top Vorsprung trim.
Matrix LED headlights with laser light and animation technology are standard, along with privacy glass, aluminium mirror housings and 21-inch alloy wheels. Upgrading to Carbon Black spec upgrades these to 22-inch wheels in a black finish, while swapping silver brightwork for gloss black trim. The top Vorsprung trim features titanium matt gloss alloy wheels and black oval tailpipes.
All versions get heated and ventilated RS sports seats with honeycomb stitchwork and Valcona leather upholstery, along with an RS flat-bottomed steering wheel and new aluminium shift paddles. Digital screens with an RS mode and shift light are also standard, as well as MMI Navigation Plus and wireless smartphone charging.
Carbon Black brings carbon inlays and Nappa leather or Alcantara interior trim. With more emphasis on luxury, Vorsprung sees a panoramic sunroof, power closing doors, a Bang & Olufsen stereo and heated rear seats join the roster. Buyers also get a head-up display and Tour and City Assist packs with features like adaptive cruise control to make driving more relaxing.
For a limited period, an exclusive Launch Edition trim will also be available. Audi RS aficionados will be able to spot it by its red brake callipers and hear it thanks to a sports exhaust upgrade. Its electronically limited top speed is derestricted to 174mph.
2020 Audi RS6 Avant design
The last Audi RS6 Avant looked aggressive but Audi is making its fast estate look even racier than before. It’s 40mm wider on each side than the standard Audi A6 thanks to flared wheel arches, which house its huge alloy wheels. The bonnet has a bulge, hinting at the engine beneath, and the headlights are shared with the Audi A7 instead of the A6. The transformation is so thorough that only the tailgate, roof and front doors are shared with the regular A6 models. The exterior trim is painted black and there are Audi Sport-branded puddle lights.
The RS6 offers the same amount of boot space as the standard Audi A6 Avant but this is still a bit less than the Mercedes-AMG E 63 estate.
It’s 25 years since the launch of the first Audi performance estate car, the Audi RS2, which also had much more power than a standard estate, four-wheel-drive and more aggressive looks.