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A week in Darth’s car: the Audi RS6

30.12.2015

AT THE time of writing this, everyone was Star Wars mad in anticipation of the release of the latest instalment in the iconic franchise. This got me thinking about what car Lord Vader would drive if he had use for such a thing. Not too long after that, a black Audi RS6 was dropped off at the office and there was that question solved.

The RS6 looks incredible and while I’m aware that South Africans aren’t fans of station wagons I’m sure that it would be difficult for anyone to deny that the RS6 looks the business. There are 21-inch wheels squeezed between those blistered arches while the entire car seems more squat and angry than any wagon should. I am totally smitten with it as was everyone who I encountered on the road. 

Inside, it’s Audi as we all know it with a beautifully ergonomic centre console and a high level of quality. One does get the impression that this is an older car though after driving the new TT and Q7 it feels one generation behind with a lack of a USB port, an emphasis on SD cars and dials and gauges that look dated in comparison. My test unit was fitted with honeycomb leather seats with white stitching; it looks fantastic and is definitely something to tick on the options list.

One area where the RS6 shines is practicality. The boot is enormous! I managed to fit two sets of golf clubs, an overnight bag, four 25-litre drums of racing fuel and a week’s worth of groceries in my attempt to see what it would be able to swallow.

The most important part of the RS6 is the performance and boy-oh-boy can this thing shift for such a barge. There’s 412kW/700Nm from a biturbo 4.0-litre V8, making it good for a 0-100km/h sprint of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 305km/h with the dynamic package fitted. All the power is kept in check by the quattro all-wheel-drive system with a self-locking centre differential. I was quite stunned by the acceleration at first because it is such a big car, to my astonishment our test car had a slight boost leak from a problematic dump valve so it wasn’t pulling as hard as it could...scary to think what it would feel like at full taps.

The sound of a performance car is important too and while the RS6, in a very sophisticated Germanic way doesn’t deafen, it does have a very evil V8 bark to it. I accidently hit the rev limiter a few times... that sound will stay with me for a while; it’s so demonic, but in the best possible way, while also giving you a slight reprieve from the savagery that will ensue after the gear-change is complete.

In terms of handling, the RS6 comes with adaptive air suspension with variable damping, which means that depending on the drive mode selected, the vehicle will behave in the way that you want it to. When pushing on you can feel the weight of the car, but for regular road-driving the traction and grip levels are more than sufficient.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the RS6. I’m so happy that Audi has brought it to local shores after some time. The other impressive aspect of the RS6 is its pricing; it comes in at R1 465 000 and while that sounds like a lot, it actually undercuts key German rivals while also offering a very impressive standard specification.

Article written by Sean Nurse
30.12.2015
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