Wild, Dark & Wonderful. We Put Audi’s Station Wagon Supreme RS6 to the Test
So you’re Darth Vader and you’re married to Batwoman, and your kids are Thor, Zeus and Apollo. Here’s your car! Not sure why Audi is so smitten with station wagons strong enough to align the stars, but we really dig them. And this RS6 is just the business. Again.
Looks the Part. Turns Heads Too
Angular and more purposeful, it really looks the part and turns heads. Especially in this dark Sebring Darth hue enhanced by optional RS Dynamic Package Matrix LED headlights. That extreme width is no illusion. 1.6 inches wider, RS6 stretches to 1,950 mm at the front fenders. Those flatter, sportier HD Matrix LED headlamps have dynamic turn signals and RS-sequencing too.
They punctuate RS6’s squat gloss black 3D honeycomb single frame grille with side ducts that draw into the RS bumper and extend to the lower edge of the headlamps. All good old R8 cues. It’s those estate roots that really make this one pop though. Its long, flat roofline and flat D pillars rest on quattro blisters, while the RS sport exhaust’s vast oval black tips help tell a dramatic story aft.
So yes, some cars just look as if they’re travelling at 200 mph and this RS6 Avant is one of them. Even if it’s limited to a spoilsport 155. Or 175 with this one’s RS package. That courtesy of Audi’s latest mild hybrid 591 HP 590 lb.-ft 4-litre TFSI turbo V8 turning all four wheels via a shift-optimized eight-speed auto.
RS6 Looks After the Planet
That 48-volt belt alternator hybrid is an interesting device. It recovers up to 8 HP in gentle driving. To charge up a lithium-ion battery. That juice is then used for start-stop driving at speeds below 15 mph. To save up to half a gallon a tank. But that’s not all. Cylinder on demand deactivates half the V8 to deliver four-pot mode in light throttle driving.
But we digress and while it all works very well, the Audi RS6 Avant quattro is not really about any of that. Any red-blooded driver is too easily be spawned on by RS6’s sonorous full cream V8 howl. It’s a wonderful racket highlighted by a turbocharger scream emanating from deep in the vee of the eight. The noise is even customizable via RS1 and RS2 modes. To make any tunnel worthy of turning around and driving back through again. And again.
RS6’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive has a mechanical self-locking center differential. Standard it sends a 40 percent of that torque forward, 60 to the rear. But this one’s RS Dynamic sport differential seamlessly spreads it up to 70 up front or 85 percent aft. Add direct ratio progressive steering in this RS dynamic package, dynamic all-wheel steering and wheel-selective torque to gently brakes the inside wheels to help it turn, and you’re rapidly approaching dynamic bliss.
The Quickest Wagon We Ever Tested
All of which means RS6 is now even quicker to 60 mph. It took a quite astounding 3.2 seconds. And a mid-11-second quarter mile with staggering overtaking ability, too. That makes it the quickest wagon we’ve ever tested. And as it adds a good few miles per gallon when driven economically. Not so sure how much when those turbos are all spooled up though. Push it and RS6 becomes a drunkard with a platinum card on pay day.
Moving on, RS6 rides on 22-inch 5-V-spoke RS alloys in 285/30 rubber wrapped around internally ventilated and perforated steel disc brakes. 16.5-inch front and 14.5” rear. Its aluminum-rich five-link front and rear RS adaptive air suspension affords three-quarter inch drop in ride height at over 80 mph. Air suspension brings the choice between comfort and performance motoring. And Dynamic Ride Control has six modes including two individually configurable RS settings.
So, RS6 rides splendidly in normal driving. But it also handles brilliantly, turns in precisely and follows through beautifully when pushed All-wheel drive may rob a touch of deftness of feel, bit it surely adds a certain sure-footedness to boost driver confidence.
RS6 is Still a Wagon at Heart
RS6 stands furthest apart thanks to its wagon advantages. Some may say it’s a hearse but don’t tell Darth. He may like that idea! Easily accessible via foot gesture activated power tailgate, the 30 cubic foot trunk conveniently grows to three times that. Just pop the 40:20:40 split folding rear bench down. It has an even broader loading width and a luggage compartment cover. And if that’s not enough, the power swiveling tow hitch will drag a 4,630 lbs. braked trailer.
You sink into RS6’s delightful red stitched honeycomb pattern black Valcona leather sports seats. Another cockpit highlight is the MMI RS monitor. It reports component temperatures, g-forces and tire pressures and temperatures. The Audi virtual cockpit dials get a sporty RS Performance graphics including the new RS Runway. That sits behind a chunky flat-bottomed leather sport haptic multifunction steering wheel large aluminum paddle shifters.
RS6 also packs in all the expected driver aids. For starters, those Matrix LED headlights yet again proved a revelation. They take auto illumination next level. Just keep the beams bright. They simply block out oncoming cars, so those drivers are not dazzled. Audi connect updates traffic information real time, shows points of interest via the satellite map and reports live weather updates.
RS6 Evokes Splendid Adjectives
There’s lane change and 360-degree camera intelligent park assist, adaptive cruise control and a pre sense rear package. Add Car2X services emergency service calling and your MyAudi app links your RS6 to your smartphone. That’s just some of a huge selection specification and safety kit. And of course, RS6 does also get Audi’s much-improved latest MMI multimedia interface. A definite step ahead.
The Audi RS6 is now one of a few top end station-wagons out there, but for some reason this car certainly has an outer worldliness about its style and execution. it looks magnificent, sounds incredible and feels spectacular to drive. So, there you go Darth Vader — take Batwoman home!
Images – Michele Lupini
ROAD TESTED: Audi RS4 Avant Engine: 591 HP 590 lb.-ft 4-litre biturbo petrol V8 Drive: 8-speed automatic AWD TESTED: 0-60 mph: 1.59 sec 0-60 mph: 3.25 sec 0-100 mph: 7.61 sec ¼-mile: 11.4 sec @ 195 km/h 50-75 mph: 2.24 sec 75-100 mph: 3.09 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 175 mph Fuel combined: 17 mpg BASE PRICE: $116,500 MSRP RATED: 9