Used cars: how to buy a second-hand Audi RS6 Avant (2002-2004) | CAR Magazine

Used cars: how to buy a second-hand Audi RS6 Avant (2002-2004)

Published: 10 September 2012 Updated: 01 February 2015

Audi’s maiden foray into M5 territory marked more new developments for Quattro. Power still came from a twin-turbo engine (now a 4.2-litre V8 from the S6), but future traits such as silver door mirrors, RS-branded calipers and twin oval tailpipes appeared. This was also the first RS fitted with an automatic transmission, and the first to be offered as a saloon.

The Avant endured though, and in 2004 it was offered as a special ‘Plus’ model when production of the saloon stopped. Just 999 were built, 100 came to the UK, and for £7875 more there was an extra 30bhp, a broader torque curve, a sports exhaust, cross-drilled brakes, a 10mm suspension drop, firmer dampers, a de-chromed exterior, darkened 19in alloys, and the limiter was raised from 155 to 175mph.

It’s the car we have here. There’s a muscle car-lite rumble from eight cylinders, throttle response is keener than the RS4, the steering is meatier, but although the brakes need less effort there’s less feel. Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) was an RS6 debutante too, with a system of diagonally linked shock absorbers to reduce roll. It works, but this car’s party piece is peerless traction matched to sufficient pace to humble a supercar.

There are more Mk1 RS6s below £10k than there are Mk1 RS4s simply because there are more of them about. The Plus is rare though, and the cheapest we’ve seen was £18,500. If you’re in the market listen for suspension knocks and look for DRC leaks.





Engine 4176cc 40v twin-turbo V8, 473bhp @ 6000rpm, 413lb ft @ 1950-6000rpm Transmission 5-spd auto, 4wd Performance 4.6sec 0-62mph, 175mph (limited), 19.3mpg Original UK price (2004)  £66,675


One we found RS6 Avant Plus, 2004, 90k miles, Sprint Blue, FSH, HPI clear, recent cambelt/water pump change. Private £18,500








By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large