Audi RS6 First Drive Review | CAR Magazine

Audi RS6 Avant Performance first drive, CAR+ June 2016

Published: 06 June 2016

► New RS6 Avant Performance driven
► Twin-turbo V8 belts out 597bhp
► £7k premium over standard RS6

It is not a machine of surprises, the RS6 Performance. Given the hardly shy styling, the numbers pertinent to – and generated by – its engine (597bhp and 553lb ft from the 4.0-litre biturbo V8) and the mildly terrifying cacophony with which it waves goodbye to all that it leaves behind, there is nothing surprising about its performance, whether witnessed from within or without.

This is a Q-car in the Espace F1 mould: kidding no one. The addition of Performance to the RS6 Avant’s name (and the RS7 Sportback’s) would suggest more speed than before and so it proves: the RS6’s 0-62mph time drops 0.2sec to 3.7sec, with a 1.4sec advantage over the standard RS6 from rest to 124mph (12.1sec).

There are few surprises inside. How would you expect to find the innards of a £100k (£86,010 basic) Audi A6? Roomy, clad in nothing but impossibly tactile, very handsome materials and fitted with some of the very finest performance seats conceived by mortal minds? Check. No Virtual Cockpit though, the A6 pre-dating TT, R8 and A4, and don’t those analogue instruments look twee.

If there are any surprises, they’re to be found in the pliant and deliciously oily ride (on 21in wheels!). This RS6 is outlandishly expensive, clearly, 18-20mpg won’t be compatible with many household budgets, and you’ll pay a £7k premium for that Performance badge, but if you’re smitten by the concept (is funny, ja?) and you have the means then congratulations: an immensely fast, refined and charismatic machine awaits.

The specs: Audi RS6 Avant Performance

Price: £86,010
Engine: 3993cc 32v biturbo V8, 597bhp @ 6100rpm, 553lb @ 1750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Performance: 3.7sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 29.4mpg, 223g/km CO2
Weight: 2025kg  
On sale: Now  

Verdict: Faster and more capacious than a Japanese freight trane. Costs as much too
Rating:  ****

Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three