Road Review: Audi RS6 (2016) V8 quattro

So you are landed gentry and you don’t like travelling without your Labrador and the car must also work as the family carrier. But it must drill the Lord next door’s Lamborghini too. Got that? Yes – and so has Audi RS6. Audi RS6 (3) Wild wagons are nothing new and Audi has regularly been a major player in that niche – its RS estates have pretty much typified the cutting edge in this obscure niche and now it’s moved the goalposts even further. Suppose this car’s incredible pace is down to Audi sticking to its turbocharged quattro drive guns. It invented cars like this and it seems Ingolstadt has lucked out too and the hallmarks of its quattro philosophy have come to be absolute essentials in any modern supercar. Packing a monster 4-litre V8 pumped up to 412kW and 700Nm by a pair of turbos, Audi claims His Lordship’s Labrador Lugger will crack 100km/h from standstill in just 3.9 seconds, aided and abetted by quattro traction, a splendid 8-speed ZF box, special dynamic suspension and stopped by monster carbon ceramic brakes. Audi RS6 (2) That’s hardly slow for a two-ton station wagon, but then it consistently broke the 3.7-second mark on our test strip. That’s squarely in Ferrari and Lamborghini territory and with those blistered arches and flared nostrils it drew a number of stares – even an owner of a Ferrari 488 gave it the universal sign for ‘nice car.’ Of course Audi RS6 is also a wonderful blend everything that is good from quilted leather to shiny carbon fibre, the gizmos and the rest. Space is beyond question; we’ve driven everything form Range Rovers to S-Class’s that fail to compare to the excellent rear space and vast load bed. Audi RS6 is a touch challenging to manoeuvre and it came very close to not fitting in our garage but the shape is magnificently odd and beguiling that you simply don’t mind. So how does all this translate to the road? Well, it’s pretty damned impressive, if not quite as pointed and precise as the lower and as such defter RS7 – that car is impeccable thanks to its lower centres of mass and gravity, but truth be told we’re splitting hairs. Audi RS6 (5) Perhaps most impressive is that achieving this wagon’s Ferrari-rivalling acceleration was like taking sweets from a child – quick, simple and utterly repetitive. This car is also another nail in the coffin of those fumbling overpowered rear-driven supercars that make dancing with a grizzly bear or swimming with a great white seem easier than trying to drive them hard. And how does this monster shape up as a drivers car? Pretty damned well I’d say, although its heft and proportions will always rob it of the nimbleness to really dance toe-to toe with the best but as a car that excels in so many areas, the Audi RS6 is simply unsurpassed and maybe for once the South African market will realise the enormous advantages of wagons. *This review was first published in AutoNews by Michele Lupini

Base Price R1 509 000
Engine Capacity 3 993 cm³
No. Of Cylinders 8-cylinders
Aspiration Turbo
Power 412kW at 5 700 r/min
Torque 700Nm at 1 750 r/min
Transmission 7-speed Auto
Drive type Quattro drive
Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed 250km/h
Fuel Consumption 9.8l/100km (claimed combined)
CO2 Emissions 223g/km


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