For most people, you’d think an all-wheel drive estate with 572bhp and 479lb ft of torque was quite enough. Not German tuner Abt, which has tweaked the Audi RS6 to 690bhp and 590lb ft.
ABT, you say?
It’s Abt, surname of company founder Johann Abt, and it’s pronounced much like ‘apt’. After years on the edges of our consciousness, Abt is getting its act together in the UK and now has a distributor based in Leeds. There you’ll find everything from a chip for your Golf TDi to a full-on supercharger kit for your Audi R8.
Everything meets tough German TUV standards, Abt matches the factory warranty and there’s proper pedigree too – Abt HQ in Germany runs the DTM team that this year secured Audi’s German touring car championship.
Go on then – how much, how fast, how thirsty?
The 0-62mph dash drops a smidge from 4.6sec to 4.3sec, while the top speed rises from an electronically restricted 155mph is de-limited to either 173mph, 201mph or 210mph depending on the tyre rating you specify.
The extra power is unleashed via a boost tweak for the V10’s twin turbochargers, plus very careful remapping of all other parameters including, of course, the fuel and air mix. And it’s this careful honing that, claims Abt, results in the standard car’s 331g/km C02 rating remaining unchanged. No claims for mpg, however.
The bhp graph largely mirrors the standard car’s 45 degree progression, matching it at 1200rpm and from then on progressively diverging – the pair of lines look like a crocodile holding its mouth slightly open. Peak power remains at 6250rpm.
Likewise, the torque graph is similar, and, although the lb ft plateau arrives a little later – 2400-6200rpm rather than the standard car’s 1500-6250rpm – the amount of torque is always higher and the transition from 1500-2400rpm is incredibly smooth.
The full conversion costs £4500 fitted, would take between two and three hours and could be carried out at the customer’s home – assuming a good internet connection, which allows the technician to connect to Abt’s server in Germany.
How does it drive?
It’s predictably spectacular. Yes, the standard car is very quick, but its unflappable chassis can sometimes make even 572bhp feel a little dull. The Abt conversion’s extra hit of power provides a much-needed adrenaline shot. We drove it in heavy rain and the sure-footed chassis combined with the surfeit of power made it most probably the fastest car we’ve ever driven in such circumstances. And the little trill that accompanies high rpm gear shifts is incredibly cool.
Yet around town you’d never know – it’s as docile as ever, and it still builds to its crescendo very smoothly indeed.
Extremely impressive, this. Abt’s RS6 is a proper Jekyll and Hyde machine, with daily driving manners to match the standard car, but with a lunatic streak that a couple of taps on the paddle shifters easily unleashes.
The price seems reasonable, the fitting hassle-free, and the fact that it’s TUV-approved and that Abt matches the duration of the factory warranty lends much needed reassurance.
With a brief test drive we’re not in the position to comment on real-world mpg or longterm reliability, but we like what we’ve seen so far.