We’d love to be in a position to be writing about newfound ride comfort and greater breadth of dynamic ability for the Audi RS6 here. The standard air-sprung car may very well have both, if our experience of air-sprung A6s in general is anything to go by.
Buy an RS6 on steel and you’ll find it behaves very much akin to its direct forebears. Even on 21in rims, the car’s motorway ride is quite good, just as it is on smoother surfaced A-roads that seldom disturb its two-tonne kerbweight. On those roads, you’d say that Quattro had made a worthwhile improvement to rolling refinement, giving the car more of the balanced control and compliance we approve of in its rivals.
But pretty much everywhere else, the sport suspension confounds that impression. Try to take a sunken cross-country road apart as you might in a Jaguar XFR and you’ll be dealing with some fairly aggressive high-frequency vertical body movement, as the uncompromising extremes of the RS6’s body control attempt to steamroller the bumps out of the road like ripples out of a fireside rug.
The car hardly pitches or rolls, but it is inclined to heave at high speeds. And, regrettably, that heave isn’t checked with much finesse.
To steer, the car’s direct and precise enough to suggest that, bit by bit, Quattro’s beginning to put that optional ‘active’ rack to good use. But it’s still a resolutely detached relationship you have with the front wheels.
While there’s weight in the rim, there’s precious little feedback, making it hard to judge the precise point at which this big estate begins to understeer. And, under power, whatever the conditions, it progressively but inevitably will.