And then some... new mega-estate wallops 572bhp from twin-turbo V10

Audi is sticking two exhaust pipes up to the environmental brigade with this, the ridiculously powerful new RS6, revealed here for the first time.

The new RS6 packs a faintly ridiculous 572bhp from the twin-turbo 5.2-litre V10 that's been squeezed beneath its lightweight aluminium bonnet - 145bhp more than its twin-turbocharged 4.2-litre V8 predecessor.

That surfeit of power instantly makes the RS6 to the leader of the muscle-saloon pack; the Mercedes E63 AMG has a mere 503bhp and the BMW M5 a trifling 500bhp. Then again, Audi already produces a 429bhp 5.2-litre V10 S6, so it really needed to ramp up the power for the RS6.

Providing the shove is a tweaked version of Audi’s 90-degree 40-valve 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine with twin turbochargers, air-to-air intercooler and the latest direct injection system.

Max power is developed at 6250pm, with peak torque of 480lb ft (96lb ft up on the M5; 15lb ft up on the E63) arriving at just 1500rpm.

Audi says that the RS6 will leap from 0-62mph in 4.6sec – faster than the M5, and as quick as the E63. The difference, however, is that the Audi is likely to be able to manage that performance whatever the weather, thanks to standard quattro four-wheel drive.

As in the first-generation RS6, drive is fed through a six-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel mounted shift paddles. This time, however, the beefed-up Torsen differential based arrangement doles out 60 per cent of the power to the rear and 40 to the front, to provide what Audi describes as improved levels of traction and more rear biased handling.

There's also a reworked suspension, with the same four-link arrangement up front and multi-links at the rear as the S6, but with radically altered elasto-kinematic properties to take advantage of the increased power being put through the rear wheels. Also standard is Dynamic Ride Control, a mechanical system that alters damping during cornering to counteract roll and pitch.

The looks aren't quite as pumped up as the performance: for a car that packs over a hundred horsepower more than a Porsche 911 Turbo, we think it's rather subtle.

Up front there's a more heavily profiled front bumper with larger cooling ducts, a revised grille with brushed aluminium frame, and the now-obligatory-for-Audi LED daytime running lights.

Along the flanks, the RS6 flexes its biceps, with massively bulging blistered wheelarches that recall the original Quattro. Wheels are 19-inchers as standard, shod with 255/40 tyres, but 20-inchers with 275/35 rubber are optional.

At the rear is a pair of chromed oval tailpipes, set within a rear bumper that has a full-width diffuser for high-speed stability. There's also a subtle spoiler.

We've only got photos of the estate so far, but Audi will be building a saloon as well, giving the RS6 the potential to squash not just its German rivals, but also the forthcoming new Jaguar XF-R.

The RS6 arrives in the UK in April 2008, when it's expected to cost around £70k. Just don’t ask about the CO2 emissions.

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Comments
7

7 February 2008

I was with Mr Harris' editorial about the RS6 being uncomfortably over the top. But strangely, the RS6 has both lower emissions and better economy than an M5. Not sure why, but I can live with the M5 so why not the RS6. Now I've seen some more photos, I'm already starting to make the business case (2nd child on the way, we're going to need more space to transport stuff)... Audi really do seem to get high performance estates in a way that BMW really don't.

7 February 2008

As astounding as it is, there appears to be some reserved concerns about the RS6's power and performance and whether the Audi is the first sign of a performance version of a conventional saloon (well, estate in this case) gone too far? Or is the fact that there is difficulty in accepting a car like this that is approaching supercar levels of performance?

Perfomance execs, namely the the M5 and AMG E-Class, have traditonally had power outputs similar to junior supercars like 911 Turbos, F430s and their predecessors but Audi seems to have raised the bar to the next level by a huge margin. Perhaps this hand grenade of an engine (boosted to 600Bhp maybe!) should have appeared in a RS8 instead as we may be able to accept supercar rivalling performance in a luxury car.

God knows what a new RS4/RS5 would produce and i wouldn't bet against anything less than 500Bhp.

11 February 2008

Pointless is what I think. It may be an astounding piece of kit but if I wanted an A6 Avant I could get quite a good 'fully loaded' (and more than I'd need for an Estate) one near on half the price. I do think Audi (and I'm a fan) has gone a bit far with this one...

11 February 2008

Like it. The power struggle goes on! However it is nice to see (eventually) an Autocar comparison where the road tester in question has to defer to liking the lazier style of the Audi's power delivery and huge torque, to the more interactive style of the BMW.

Well done to Chris Harris for recognising that not everyone is hell bent on trying to extract every little handling nuance out of a car, in order to enjoy the drive!

20 May 2010

i am also quite a fan for the audi but still believe this increased power might not really help that much. the audi s4 performance also did not increase substantially after their initial power increase in it.

20 May 2010

High powered estates are just stupid!, where in Britain are you going to exploit all this phalic one upmanship?, probably standing at the bar!, estates are for transporting large amounts of stuff, taking the family on holiday and other estate type things,if you can afford this type of car then you can afford the saloon versions of these cars, even if money isn't the problem, sense would say buy the saloon or get a sportscar like a Caymen for instance.

Peter Cavellini.

20 May 2010

[quote Peter Cavellini]estates are for transporting large amounts of stuff, taking the family on holiday and other estate type things,if you can afford this type of car then you can afford the saloon versions of these cars, even if money isn't the problem, sense would say buy the saloon [/quote]

Why? That makes no sense to me at all. I can't imagine buying any saloon because i have a family, dog etc so they're no good to me. Tried getting a new telly or a dog in the back of a saloon Peter? The reason Audi are so successful in this sector is because they offer an estate.

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