The Audi RS 6 Avant, an addictive estate car

In Audi, Car Reviews, Performance by Tim Barnes-Clay

But terrifying in a good way – know what I mean? Actually, no, maybe you don’t. You see, you need to have bottomless pockets to afford this Audi, and that’s just leasing it.

Buying a car this expensive and this close to all-electric vehicles taking over the world would be madness. Or would it? I mean, maybe the latest RS 6 will become a collector’s item – a rare V8 gem left in the cold, clinical world of automotive electrification.

Ok, so I’m being a tad dramatic, but you really do need to view big performance lumps like this as the last of a dying breed. So, you’ll either make a return on the newest RS 6 when it becomes a sought after “classic”, or you’ll lose a wad of your money. Yep, I like to point out the obvious. Seriously, though – will you care either way? I’m not sure I would because I wouldn’t want to let my RS 6 go – ever.

Hell, I didn’t even want to let my press demo go. It’s an addictive estate car that just works. You get all your family in – and you can still burn all the little pimply boy-racers off at the lights without trying. Yes, you can drive this Audi Sport infused motor like a complete nutter, but the truth is, you won’t. Why? Well, why would you need to? What have you got to prove? Absolutely nothing. Because anyone with ears that work will understand that the grumbling, growling sounds emanating from this estate car means something special lurks under the bonnet.

I never got more than early 20s mpg out of the RS 6 during the week I drove it. I even stuck some of my own money into the tank. I don’t do that often with press cars – but the RS 6 is worth it. It’s not a car you want to leave outside your house unused – it’s a proper, spacious family motor with all the practicality of the regular A6 – so it begs to be driven. Ok, it’s not that practical, fuel-wise, but I’ve touched on that, and I’m not going to bang on about it. If you buy a V8, you know you’re not going down the bean-soup sipping “green” road. Perhaps half the fun of running a gas-guzzling V8 these days is the fact you’re going against the grain. You’re a rebel – or something like that.

So, the RS 6 is a five-seater, five-door estate – or “Avant” as the Germans call it – and this fourth version is perhaps the best yet. Prickling with the technological achievements already supplied by the A6 Avant, the hottest addition to the Audi Sport stable combines daunting twin-turbo TFSI clout with efficiency features that make running this car slightly less painful. These include cylinder-on-demand technology and a mild hybrid drive, which help to deliver blockbusting performance as “responsibly” as possible. Sorry, I said I wouldn’t bang on about the efficiency side of things. My bad.

The 4.0 TFSI engine delivers 600PS and will do 0-62mph quicker than you can say “self-isolate”. Well, it’s 3.6 seconds, but you get my point. Better still, and where conditions allow (which is nowhere on a public road in the UK), you can see 124mph by the time 12 seconds have ticked by.

The Audi’s top speed has had its “wings” electronically clipped to 155mph. But, come on, do you need it to go any faster? Actually, if you need to, then the Vorsprung variant will carry you to 174mph!

The RS 6 sticks to the bends like no estate car has the right to. The car’s body is 20 millimetres lower than in the standard A6 Avant – and at speeds of 74mph and beyond, it’s lowered by a further 10 millimetres. At the other end of the spectrum, a lift mode is on hand to raise the Audi by 20 millimetres for low-speed motoring. The broad spread of the RS sport air suspension offers you a free choice between long-distance contentment and all-out performance.

If you’re feeling extravagant, then I heartily recommend you go for the £92,550.00 RS 6 in Tango Red, metallic. And if you’re in the mood for ticking any options boxes, then don’t leave the RS sport exhaust system out – it’s a snip at just £1,450.00.

Seriously, throughout the 25-year RS history, Audi’s RS 6 Avant is one of the German firm’s unadulterated icons and boasts a massive global fan base. You won’t go far wrong if you buy one – and, let’s face it, if this pandemic’s shown us anything, shouldn’t we realise our dreams when we have the opportunity? After all, none of us knows what’s around the corner.

Car reviewed: Audi RS 6 Avant TFSI quattro 600PS tiptronic

on the road price £92,550 with options as tested £100,035

  • 0-62mph 3.6secs
  • Top speed 155mph limited
  • Engine 3996cc 8-cylinder turbo unleaded
  • Fuel Economy WLTP Combined 22.6mpg
  • Max Power Engine 600PS@6000rpm
  • Torque 850Nm@2000rpm
  • CO2 emissions 283g/km
  • Transmission 8-speed tiptronic automatic quattro
  • Bootspace 565 / 1680 1itres (seats folded)
  • Dimensions MM 4495 L/ 1951 W / 1460 H

Tim Barnes-Clay

Motoring Journalist

Tim Barnes-Clay qualified as a journalist in 1994 and is a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. He initially trained in broadcast journalism and has worked as a reporter and news reader at various radio stations in East Anglia and the Midlands. He has also been a motoring journalist for the Mirror Group’s L!ve TV cable network and a presenter, reporter and producer at ITV Central in Birmingham. Tim is now an automotive writer, focusing on car reviews. He has media accreditation with all motor manufacturers’ press offices, and this enables him to test drive the latest cars. He also attends new vehicle press launches at home and abroad.