Exceptional power delivery, but it's weighty and thirsty

What is it?

This is the Audi RS6 saloon, the four-door version of Audi’s most powerful production car. Until now, the Audi RS6 has been available in Avant form only, but with the A6’s recent facelift comes a saloon version of the twin-turbo V10.

Losing a little glass and metalwork saves 50kg over the Avant, enough to nudge the RS6 below the two-tonne mark. While an improvement, this is still mighty heavy for a car with sporting pretensions.

What’s it like?

Like the Avant, the Audi RS6 saloon’s engine and transmission is nothing short of a sensation. Despite producing 572bhp, you couldn’t ask for a smoother delivery; with 480lb ft of torque available anywhere between 1500rpm and 6250rpm.

So the RS6 does mind-bendingly rapid very well indeed and, thanks to that hugely broad torque spread, it will do so with the merest twitch of your right foot. But the RS6 saloon is equally happy mooching around on part throttle, unlike the overly frenetic BMW M5.

However, if you arrive at a corner too fast there’s no hiding from that mass; the RS6 is occasionally hesitant to change direction. And yet its blend of epic performance and a decent smooth-shifting automatic gearbox is wonderful.

Should I buy one?

The Audi RS6’s towering power and performance is hugely alluring, but there is always the sense that the RS6 is a bit of a sledgehammer – a blunt performance instrument rather than an involving super-saloon.

The trouble for Audi is that the Jaguar XFR goes on sale soon – the smart money says that it will be the more compelling car.

Jamie Corstorphine

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jazzsalt 31 March 2010

Re: Audi RS6 saloon

Low mileage, 1 yr old RS6 saloons are looking a very tempting proposition ...

Could very well be my next car purchase :)

REALZEUS 31 January 2009

Re: Audi RS6 saloon

Audi claims that the RS6 is that fastest estate on sale though... their blunder, not ours...

Overdrive 31 January 2009

Re: Audi RS6 saloon

To be fair though the C63 is from the class below, so it's smaller and weighs considerably less. The Merc E class is A6's direct competitor.