2 April 2004

Audi is preparing one final flourish for its rabid RS6 before the new A6 arrives later this year.

The final-edition model will add to what was already the world’s fastest estate car with a series of engine, interior and styling tweaks.

Although no formal name exists for the car, Ingolstadt insiders refer to it as an ‘RS6+’. Its twin-turbo 4.2-litre V8 has been massaged to raise power from 450 to 480bhp, pushing the top speed up to an electronically limited 175mph.

The V8’s torque output remains at 413lb ft, so only a tenth of a second is shaved from the 0-62mph time, down to just 4.6sec – surely the quickest way yet devised to transport up to 1590 litres of furniture.

Marking out the new RS6+ is a ‘titan’ satin finish for the alloys and dechromed exterior trim.

But the changes are more than just visual. A sports exhaust is fitted and the chassis is lowered by 10mm. Combined with firmer damper settings, the chassis mods are designed to sharpen the RS6’s handling, which has always been the car’s weakest point.

Helping to rein in all the extra power is an uprated braking system with new cross-drilled discs.

The all-new A6 range goes on sale on 12 June and the RS6+ will be built before then. However, there will only be a 15-week production window, meaning that this will be a true limited-edition special.

No prices have been fixed yet, but sources suggest a modest rise over the current car, which sells for £57,775 (saloon) and £58,875 (Avant estate).

The UK has been the world’s biggest market for the existing RS6 with 830 sold here since its launch in 2002.

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