So, seeing as though we’ve seen the RS6 in the flesh, it’s obvious that Audi South Africa has decided to make it available within our market. The big question is… why? You see, as much as we love stationwagons the rest of South Africa doesn’t seem to follow our way of thinking. Hopefully a car like the RS6 will make these hearse-like cars cool, and by looking at what the RS6 has to offer, we doubt that it will have a hard time doing that.
For those who appreciate the RS nameplate and can remember the history, they will know that the first iteration of the Audi RS6 sedan was introduced to South Africa in 2003. It sold in limited numbers and featured a V8 4.2-litre Biturbo engine as well as Audi’s quattro technology; the engine produced 331kW of power and 580Nm of torque.
The second generation of the Audi RS6 was launched on local soil in 2008. This time, the engine was a V10 5.0 Biturbo producing 426kW and 650Nm of torque. This made it the single most powerful Audi ever built at that point in time.
As for 2015 however, Audi has introduced its super wagon with a highly versatile 4.0-litre Biturbo V8. This engine is used in many of the brand’s sporty models however, for the RS6, it develops 412kW and 700Nm. Throw in the quattro all-wheel-drive system and a quick shifting eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox and this practical, family stationwagon will get from 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds. It will also reach 305km/h with the optional dynamic package plus.
Audi has also fettled with the quattro system to improve handling. The core component of the quattro drivetrain in the Audi RS6 Avant is the self-locking centre differential. The basic configuration of the purely mechanical gear set splits the drive torque asymmetrically between the front and rear axle to promote dynamic handling. Audi has also thrown in a Sport Differential as standard. This enables the RS6 to turn into corners more directly.
Audi has also added its RS adaptive air suspension as standard. Benefits of this include a continuously adaptive damping system at all four wheels, which automatically adapt to every driving situation in milliseconds. The damper control and ground clearance is adjusted depending on which Audi drive select mode is chosen and the body is kept level at all times, even if unevenly loaded, thanks to permanent self-levelling.
The Audi RS6 definitely looks the part; it has a menacing character that will strike fear in the hearts of little children. It features a wider front and rear track, wider wheel arches and 21-inch wheels as standard. Inside, it’s Audi-business as usual; high quality materials have been used throughout. Customers can also choose to customise the interior to their heart’s content with the Audi exclusiveline. The RS 6 Avant is also extremely practical, offering 565 litres of luggage capacity in standard configuration, which increases to a massive 1680 litres with the rear seats folded down.
So what can you expect to pay for the RS6 Avant? Well when we saw the price, we thought it was a mistake, especially when you take into account the long list of standard features. Things such as Audi’s full LED headlights with RS6 specific look, MMI 3G Navigation with MMI touch, Audi connect, a 360 degree camera system with “top-view” and RS sport seats with Alcantara leather upholstery are all standard items, and the list goes on. The answer is R1 465 000,which includes VAT and the standard Audi Freeway Plan (five-year/100 000km). In all honesty, this is probably the bargain of the year according to us.