Audi RS6 Avant first drive review (2013 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

20 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi RS6 Avant first drive review (2013 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
Audi RS6

Audi RS6

Avant first drive review (2013 onwards)

2013 Audi RS6 Avant: summary

Immensely rapid but immensely likable, could this be the best Audi RS6 Avant ever?

What: 2013 Audi RS6 Avant

Audi

2013 Audi RS6 Avant: first impressions

Meet the third generation Audi RS6 Avant, the pinnacle of Audi’s current RS programme. Compared to the previous car it’s minus two cylinders and 20hp, but up about 15lb ft, down about 90kg and faster in a sprint.

It also looks like a Rottweiler on a steroid binge – the noise it makes at full chat is like primal fear encapsulated.

And yet, the new RS6 Avant isn’t the total bruiser it might appear. Standard kit includes the first RS air suspension system, special valving in the exhaust means low speed refinement is superb, and the 560hp twin-turbo V8 can run on half its full complement of cylinders to save fuel.

It combines the ability to dispatch 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds – not to mention the 189mph speed limiter on the options list – with between 565 and 1,680 litres of boot space. You’ll definitely be getting the kids to school on time.

It’s also amongst the most dual personality destroyers of distance we have ever driven. But then, it is an Audi, and the German firm’s Quattro division is the master of making supercars in disguise.

Audi

2013 Audi RS6 Avant: performance

Take the previous Audi RS6, an estate – and later a saloon – powered by a twin-turbo version of a Lamborghini V10. While the new twin-turbo V8 in this 2013 car can’t (yet…) claim such exalted distinction, it is a mighty, mighty demonstration of the continuing potency of internal combustion.

We’ve flown into Munich for the launch, and just outside Munich Airport is a stretch of de-restricted autobahn. As a result it takes us no time at all to discover that the RS6 is every bit as quick as the performance figures suggest.

If the E63 AMG 4Matic presented a challenge, it seems the Quattro division has stepped up

This car is a proper German autobahn stormer. That massive grille and the bulging wheel arches make a serious impression on any rear view mirror, and though the motor may be 20hp down on the 580hp max of its predecessor, the extra-fat 516lb ft torque figure is available all the way from 1,750 to 5,500rpm.

Flatten your right foot and, if you’re in an automatic mode, the eight-speed gearbox will take care of the rest; with the lever slapped sideways into manual you might want to grab the downshift paddle a time or two, since the ’box cedes total control – or you could just enjoy the tidal wave of torque.

Either way, the resulting forward thrust is immense – your passengers will be wanting a decent set of neck muscles to avoid the risk of whiplash, and the car behind that thought it was keeping up with you? A vanishing speck. In our ‘Dynamic plus package’ equipped test car we saw 270km/h.

Repeatedly.

The Dpp gives you that – still limited – 189mph top speed capability, and while 270km/h is only 167mph, we don’t doubt the RS6 would top 190 given the opportunity. Even at these mega velocities it remains stable and assured. Exactly as you’d want, and expect.

Audi RS6

But nothing will prepare you for the noise it makes. If the E63 AMG edges it for melodic thunder, the Audi majors on drama – with a frantic V8 snarl overlaid by a rasping intake rush that’s like a million telephone directories being ripped in half, it sounds like no other estate car on earth.

Audi

2013 Audi RS6 Avant: ride and handling

At this point we’d love to be able to tell you more about RS air suspension, but our car was fitted with the optional upgrade to Dynamic Ride Control. This uses conventional steel springs with diagonally linked hydraulic dampers to control body roll through the turns without completely ruining the ride quality.

DRC is the more traditional RS system, and an innovation that first debuted on the original RS6 back in 2002. For the most part it works very well – but you might want to avoid the Dynamic setting, since it turns even marble smooth German road surfaces into an oscillating pogo fest. Try Auto instead.

If the chassis was too alive, the RS6 wouldn’t be quite so comfortable monstering motorways

Other tricks up the big Audi’s sleeve include a sport rear differential and Dynamic Steering, which significantly modifies the car’s responses depending on how you’re driving it. We seriously disliked this on the RS4. but it seems to behave much more instinctively here.

And while the feel through the helm remains a little odd, it’s still far less aloof than fast Audis of old, and the initial understeer moment that used to occasionally plague these cars appears to have been eradicated. If the E63 AMG 4Matic presented a challenge, it seems the Quattro division has stepped up.

It doubtless helps that the new RS6 is so much lighter than the one it replaces, with plenty of aluminium and ultra-high-strength steel used in its construction. With the quattro four-wheel drive delivering enormous traction, it is a searingly rapid all-weather point-to-point machine, if not overburdened with involvement.

Audi

2013 Audi RS6 Avant: interior

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