What is it?
Only the most powerful mass-produced estate car there has ever been, the new 572bhp Audi RS6 Avant.
It goes on sale in the UK on May 24. Audi UK expects to sell 600 a year, and the first 700 are already spoken for, so if you sign up for one today, it’ll be next May before Audi can deliver you one. Is it worth waiting for?
What’s it like?
Superlatives fall spectacularly short in describing the ‘rather surprising’ bald speed of this car.
Thankfully, having driven one in more familiar UK surroundings for the first time last week, we’re now in a position to give you a more real-world account of its point-to-point performance. So here goes.
On the rolling A- and B-roads of rural Northamptonshire it felt very, very rapid indeed, as well as agile and well-damped, and had great dynamic balance through corners. The last RS6 certainly wasn’t any of the above.
This one must also go from 0-30mph faster than almost any other two-tonner on the road. From a twin-turbo V10 and Quattro four-wheel drive, you expect a bit of transmission slip, if only in the spirit of mechanical preservation.
But after you select ‘S’ on the auto box’s lever and bury the throttle, you get almost no delay, full transmission lock-up in first gear, the merest scrabble from the rear tyres, and then a savage, driveshaft-worrying rush.
That big V10 revs all the way out to 6800rpm before the ‘box snatches another gear. Audi quotes 4.6 seconds to 62mph, but that could actually be a wet-weather benchmark; the RS6 feels every bit as fast as an R8 to 62mph, and much quicker beyond there. You’ll need nothing short of a Porsche 911 Turbo to beat it over a standing quarter-mile drag race.
As is becoming a recurring theme with RS Audis, bald speed isn’t all that this car is about. For starters, it steers accurately, fluently, and with well-judged control weight; the wheel’s nicely light at town and manoeuvring speeds, but quickly loads up on the open road. Its precision is what gives you the confidence to explore the far reaches of this car’s performance on an empty road.