If the definition of insanity actually is doing the identical factor, time and again, and anticipating a distinct consequence each time, then maybe wagon fans ought to hand over on telling America they’re lacking out. Let’s preserve, as an alternative, ridiculously quick and oddly sensible automobiles just like the Audi RS6 Avant to ourselves, layering exclusivity on high of supercar ranges of efficiency.
Audi doesn’t break RS6 Avant gross sales numbers out of its quarterly summaries, although it’s most likely not unfair to say that it’s probably within the working for the “Most Area of interest Audi within the US” title. It’s primarily based, in fact, on the A6 Avant, that suffix being the automaker’s most well-liked time period for the station wagon. So little curiosity is there seen for that automotive amongst American drivers, Audi solely presents two personalized variations of it on these shores.
On the one hand, the RS6 Avant is the efficiency automotive. Alongside it, the A6 Allroad Quattro applies further cladding, a bump up in experience top, and makes a compelling different to SUVs. Each are classically good-looking, in the identical method that the lantern-jawed Superman of the comedian books is good-looking.
The sizable grille and squinting headlamps have simply the proper diploma of angst; Audi’s inflated wheel arches body the elective 22-inch alloys – a part of the pleasing Black Optic package deal – fantastically, whereas the lengthy, lean profile leaves me scratching my head why anybody would choose an SUV over this. That very same sense of scale is delivered on the rear, the place the distinctively notched LED taillights push eagerly to the perimeters of the trunk lid, with gloss black trim items exaggerating the Avant’s width and its twin oval tailpipes.
Audi loves to indicate it off in shiny Tango Pink, however there’s an magnificence to the extra subdued hues. Nardo Gray could also be a little bit played-out among the many RS line-up at this level, however it’s nonetheless deeply flattering to the RS6’s creases and contours. I think it’ll age properly, too, neither obscenely exaggerated nor succumbing to passing developments or fancies.
The identical goes for the inside, immediately acquainted in the way in which that every one trendy Audis have been. Sports activities seats with fulsome bolstering are commonplace, as is aluminum and carbon fiber trim. The RS steering wheel and shift knob assist add a little bit distance from an everyday A6, however the tech is carried proper over: twin touchscreens stacked within the middle console for infotainment and HVAC, and a 12.3-inch digital cockpit show for the driving force.
The massive distinction, thoughts, is the engine. Audi’s rising e-tron line-up could also be pushing electrification, however there’s nonetheless a contented place for its stonking 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo beneath the RS6 Avant’s straked hood. 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque are wild numbers for a wagon, comfortably exceeding even Audi’s R8 V10 Efficiency, although the Avant does in fact carry a near-5,000 pound curb weight to the occasion too.
Nonetheless, that is sincere to god quick. 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and a high velocity of 155 mph. Add the carbon ceramic brakes and, along with even stronger stopping energy and an $8,500 hit in your pockets, Audi will nudge the limiter as much as 190 mph.
That most likely is sensible in Germany, with its derestricted roads, however it’s a harder promote right here within the US. The usual brakes are greater than as much as the duty, anyway, reassuringly assured with out being grabby.
Since we’re bruising physics anyway, the Avant takes no prisoners relating to cornering efficiency. Commonplace air suspension, adaptive dampers, a torque-vectoring rear differential, and Quattro all-wheel drive work in tandem with Audi’s drive modes system. The same old Consolation, Dynamic, and Auto are current and proper, and joined by two customizable presets that may be summoned with a stab of the RS button on the wheel.
With these instruments, you may coax the RS6 Avant between household hauler and race observe aspirant with mesmerizing ease. Certain, it’s firmer than the common Audi, even in Consolation mode: the thin rubber doesn’t do experience any favors, even when it’s not fairly the teeth-loosening expertise you would possibly count on. All the identical, you may merrily use the wagon like, effectively, a wagon for DIY runs and impromptu Costco hauls.
Ditch the majority paper towels, mulch, and ideally any passengers too, and Dynamic mode morphs the RS6 Avant in a snarling monster. Straight-line acceleration is organ-adjusting; corners are tackled with a flat confidence that two-seater sports activities automobiles might take classes from. You by no means fairly lose the sense of common scale, significantly relating to the wagon’s width, however then you definately by no means really feel such as you’re approaching the Audi’s limits, both.
That’s a blessing and a curse, maybe. One thing so intensely succesful can find yourself feeling wasted on public roads, but I can’t see many from that already-small checklist of RS6 Avant house owners selecting to take their wunder-wagon to a observe day. Even a quick lapse in warning can have you ever hurtling to speeds the place – ought to the fallacious velocity lure be trying your method – your license turns into immediate confetti.
It’s an issue that the Audi’s potent rivals – automobiles just like the Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo, for instance – run up towards, too. Huge energy numbers which are extra generally used for bragging rights than really going anyplace quick. The RS6 Avant does, at the least, have extra cargo house – 59.3 cu-ft with the cut up rear seats folded, or 30 cu-ft with them up – than the Porsche.
Resign your self to there being ranges of Audi Sport profligacy which are out of smart attain, although, and there’s a lot to like concerning the RS6 Avant. The rear-wheel steering – commonplace match – bumps up practicality too, in addition to aiding in that sense of utmost stability even at velocity. It sounds wonderful, bellowing and snorting, and the eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox is Teutonically blunt about the truth that it’s far, much more adept than you might be at switching ratios.
At $109,000 for the 2021 mannequin, or $116,500 for the 2022, the Audi undercuts its Porsche cousin as effectively. You should use these financial savings on fuel: 15 mpg within the metropolis, 22 mpg on the freeway, and 17 mpg mixed aren’t nice even on paper, however the actuality is even much less frugal in case you’re driving the wagon the way it calls for to be handled.
2021 Audi RS6 Avant Verdict
Audi’s determination to carry the RS6 Avant to the US was a stunning one. After years of it mentioning that American drivers don’t purchase wagons, definitely don’t purchase sports activities wagons, and that the market shift to SUVs was much more smart, the truth that you should buy this automotive in any respect appears astonishing.
Whereas that exclusivity is compelling, it’s the RS6 Avant’s sense of flexibility that lingers. Automobiles that may tackle exotics on the lights – or on the observe – and but additionally deal with cross-country jaunts or Huge Field Retailer indulgences are uncommon. You’d forgive the Audi if it struggled to be, effectively, a wagon, then, and but its fiery efficiency solely provides to that, relatively than diluting it.