The hot estate is one of six new Audi Sport models due this year, including the RSQ3 and RSQ8 SUVs, which have been spied testing recently. But the flurry of launches kicks off with the latest high-performance Audi estate, extending a lineage dating back to the first RS model, the 80-based RS2 Avant, which was introduced 25 years ago.
Project manager Michael Binder said the RS6 Avant represented “the DNA of Audi Sport”. The fourth-generation model has been extensively reworked from the A6 Avant to showcase the latest design language of Audi’s performance car division.
The only body panels carried over from the standard A6 are the front doors, roof and bootlid. Everything else is an RS-specific design. The new panels make the performance estate’s body 80mm wider than a standard A6’s, which measures 1886mm, although the track width is unchanged.
The revamped front end includes a new bonnet with a ‘powerdome’ and thinner headlights taken from the A7. The gloss black front grille is an RS-only design and the air intakes built into the front bumper are styled after those on the R8 supercar. For the first time, the Audi logo is available in black as part of black and carbon styling packs.
There are RS-specific side sills and roof spoiler and a bespoke rear end incorporates a bold diffuser and twin oval-shaped exhausts. Inside, a leather sports steering wheel features RS aluminium paddle shifters and there are leather- and Alcantara-covered sport seats and a revamped instrument panel.
Binder said the brief was to “give maximum performance without compromise” and that is reflected in the 565-litre luggage compartment, unchanged from the standard A6’s, which expands to 1680 litres with the 40/20/40 rear seats folded.