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Ready to put a smile on the faces of performance enthusiasts the world over – the new Audi RS 6 Avant.

The fourth generation Audi RS 6 Avant brings all-new styling, technology and even more power to the performance legend.

21 August, 2019

To performance enthusiasts, the Audi RS 6 Avant needs no introduction. It occupies a special place even in the ranks of the famed Audi Sport RS cars – and this fourth generation of the model is set to build significantly on that legend.

The heart of the new car is a 4.0 TFSI twin turbo V8 pumping out 441kW and 800Nm of torque. In real terms that means 0 to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds and 200km/h in 12 seconds flat on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250km/h. But for those wanting even more urge, that top speed can be increased to 280km/h with the optional dynamic package, or 305km/h with the dynamic package plus. Serious performance by any standard. 

But when you take into account that the RS 6 is an Avant, or a station wagon in everyday parlance, those performance figures take on a whole new significance. This is not some paired down supercar, but a vehicle that boasts superb accommodation and storage for up to five adults and their luggage. Yet its combination of TFSI powerplant with mild hybrid technology, married to quattro permanent all-wheel drive makes for a car that performs and handles like a high-performance sportscar.

Despite its wagon configuration, the Audi RS 6 Avant could never be described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as it’s always been pretty clear that there’s been something special about this car. The new model takes that to new heights, with distinctive new styling that leaves no-one in any doubt that this is a serious high-performance vehicle.

With the exception of the front doors, roof and tailgate, the exterior is made up solely of RS-specific parts. The body, has been widened around 40mm on each side with broad flared wheel arches, to accommodate the 21 or 22-inch wheels. 

The Audi RS 6 Avant could never be described as a wolf in sheep’s clothing – it's all wolf

The powerplant is mated to a standard eight-speed tiptronic with optimised shift times and a new Launch Control function

The RS 6 Avant also adopts the front headlights from the A7 model line which are flatter and sharper and also offer the option of the RS Matrix LED laser headlight.  

The three-dimensional honeycomb structure within the Singleframe grille is finished in gloss black, while the Singleframe surround and the quattro logo in the bumper have been removed. Large side air inlets sit below the standard LED headlights and become a major feature of the car’s ‘face’ which is far more aggressive and purposeful than ever before. 

The sweeping Avant body can best be described as muscular. The sculpted flanks meeting an RS-specific bumper with diffuser at the rear, which also features a subtle roof edge spoiler and the RS exhaust system on both sides with oval chrome-coloured exhaust tips. An RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipes is available as an option. 

The overall effect is powerful to say the least, but the actual performance and handling of this new Audi RS 6 Avant is more impressive again.

That 4.0 TFSI is a work of art, and on this model the inclusion of a 48 volt main electrical system with the twin-turbo V8 combines maximum performance with high efficiency. This system employs the belt alternator starter and allows up to 12kW of power to be recovered during light deceleration and stored in a separate lithium-ion battery. 

The RS 6 Avant also employs cylinder on demand (COD) technology which deactivates four cylinders at low to intermediate loads, but reactivates them instantly when required.

The powerplant is mated to a standard eight-speed tiptronic with optimised shift times and a new Launch Control function. Power is transferred to the road through the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, with s split of 40:60 front and rear, via the all-mechanical centre differential. This also allows for up to 70 percent of the power to flow to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels as required.

The RS 6 also uses wheel-selective torque control and the quattro sport differential in the optional dynamic package and dynamic package plus shifts the drive torque when cornering at speed between the rear wheels, for improved traction, stability and dynamics. 

The standard RS adaptive air suspension with controlled damping was tuned specifically for the RS and provides, thanks to the new air spring module with a 50 percent higher spring rate, a top speed of 305km/h for the first time in conjunction with the dynamic package plus. It can be set to several modes and includes automatic level control. The body of the new RS 6 Avant is 20mm lower than the A6 Avant with standard suspension and at speeds of 120km/h and above, it is lowered by another 10mm. A lift mode raises the vehicle by 20mm at low speed. 

RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) is available as an alternative and increases the support provided and reduces pitch and roll movements at speed even further. 

Progressive steering is standard, or the RS 6 can be ordered with dynamic all-wheel steering with the dynamic package and dynamic package plus.  

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system allows the driver to change the character of the RS 6 Avant with six profiles – comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, and the individually configurable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes, which can be activated directly using the ‘RS MODE’ button ion the steering wheel. The drive select dynamic handling influences the engine and transmission management, the power steering, the suspension, the dynamic all-wheel steering, the quattro sport differential, the engine sound and the characteristics of the automatic air conditioning. The RS2 mode exists specifically to influence the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) at the push of a button. 

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system allows the driver to change the character of the RS 6 Avant with six profiles

Huge 21-inch cast aluminium wheels with 275/35 tyres are standard while 22-inch RS-specific rims are available as an option

Huge 21-inch cast aluminium wheels with 275/35 tyres are standard while 22-inch RS-specific wheels are available as an option, in silver, matt titanium look, gloss turned finish, and gloss anthracite black, gloss turned finish. The callipers of the RS steel brake system with ventilated and perforated discs (420mm front, 370mm rear) are painted black as standard and are optionally available in red. With the optional RS ceramic brakes, the callipers come in a choice of grey, red or blue., with 440mm discs on the front and 370mm on the rear. The newly developed RS ceramic brake system weighs around 34kg and the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) features a sport mode or can be switched off entirely. 

Inside the RS 6 Avant employs the new Audi design language that features the top MMI touch response displays that are incorporated into the black-panel architecture. Here the driver can monitor all operating systems as well as an overview of the temperature status of the drive components, the maximum g acceleration figures along with information on tyre pressure and temperature. 

In the Audi virtual cockpit, special RS displays also provide information on tyre pressure, torque, power output, engine oil temperature, boost pressure, lap timings, acceleration measurements and g forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the maximum engine speed is reached and the optional head-up display also provides several RS-specific graphic displays. 

The fully perforated sport leather steering wheel, with flat bottom, features new large RS shift paddles made of aluminium, and multifunction buttons that allow the driver to directly select the new Audi drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. RS and RS 6 logos adorn the interior on the steering wheel, seats and the illuminated front door sill trims. The Audi Sport emblem is projected onto the road when the front or rear doors are opened. 

The sport seats in black pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara come with RS embossing and rhombus pattern. As an option, RS sport seats are available in perforated Valcona leather with honeycomb pattern and RS embossing. Their perforation also allows ventilation for the first time.
Two RS design packages, red and grey, bring colour and additional sportiness to the interior – with this option, the steering wheel rim, gear lever gaiter and knee pads are in Alcantara with contrasting stitching. Belt straps with colour edging and RS floor mats round out the package. Inlays in carbon, wood natural, grey-brown, or matt aluminium add further customisation options. 

Practicality remains a strength of the RS 6 Avant, with 1680 litres off storage and a power tailgate and luggage compartment cover as standard. In combination with the optional convenience key, sensor control allows the tailgate to be opened with a foot gesture. The optional swivelling trailer towing hitch features an electric release function and an optional camera-based trailer assist, which helps the driver when reversing and manoeuvring with a trailer. 

The new RS 6 Avant comes with extensive comfort, connectivity and driver assist equipment, with more than 30 assist systems available – including adaptive cruise assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, curb warning and 360 degree cameras. 

There are 13 colours, including the two RS- specific colours Nardo grey and Sebring black, crystal effect along with a choice of five matt effect paint finishes. The exterior mirror housings come standard in black, and are optionally available in the body colour or matt aluminium. The Audi rings and the RS logos at the front and rear can also be finished in gloss black as an option for the black and carbon styling packages while the Audi exclusive range offers numerous other customisation options. 

Australian pricing and specification will be announced closer to the car’s release Down Under which is expected around the middle of next year.

The new Audi RS 6 Avant is expected to touch down in Australia around the middle of next year