Roger St. Pierre puts his pedal to the metal in a family estate that offers supercar performance levels.
Just listen to that loudly burbling exhaust note! Audi’s phenomenal RS 6 Avant is living proof that performance and practicality can exist in joyous harmony for here’s a family-sized estate car that can rocket from 0-62 mph in under four seconds, unleashing a massive 552 bhp and 700 Nm of torque and outpacing many a superstar in the process. Top speed is a controlled 155 mph but this can be raised to an eye-watering, knuckle-blanching 189 mph.
While it is faster than ever, this third and latest iteration of the beast actually has a smaller engine than its predecessor, with a twin turbo four-litre V8 replacing the previous mighty 5.0 litre lump.
What makes the difference is the RS 6 Performance edition’s turbo over-boost, which device hikes the output figure to an impressive 597 bhp.
You’ll recognise the Performance model from the even more stirring exhaust note, the distinctive titanium grey paint detailing and tinted privacy glass, as well as some snazzy looking over-sized (21-inch) sports alloys that help make it all the more desirable.
Audi’s famed Quattro four-wheel drive system and a road surface smoothing air-suspension set-up create a relaxed driving experience, though having all that raw power available at an instant’s notice does induce you to continually keep a firm rein on what your right foot is doing.
Driven sensibly, this monster will sip fuel at 29.4 mpg in the combined cycle helping this happen is partly achieved by the clever wheeze of shutting down four of the eight pots when in slow moving traffic.
Out on the road, the RS 6’s low-slung stance and aggressive looking front end seem to magically work like the parting of the waves as drivers of lesser cars ease over to let you pass while after dark the powerful headlights are assisted by indicators that feature a bank if sweeping LEDs.
Inside, quilted leather seats, privacy glass an HD MMI Navigation system, aluminium and carbon fibre trim and a welter of other creature comforts, including a surfeit of useful bins and boxes, contribute to the creation of a delectable prestige environment that driver and passengers alike can sit back and enjoy.
When the rear seats are lowered the 565-litre luggage area expands to a massive 1,680-litres – which is handy because, despite all that performance potential, this is designed essentially to be a family car.
The not inconsiderable £80,000 plus asking price for the base RS6 swells to more than £100,000 if you opt for the Performance edition and all the extras.
It’s fair mentioning, however, that you can find used RS 6 Avant models that have been approved by the German manufacturer for sale in trusted Audi Dealership centres. The currently available used models rank a little over 20,000 miles and register a whopping price drop of £25,000 to £30,000 for the base RS 6. Audis are renowned for being reliable cars, making them a safe bet for performance and luxury look and feel, even among used models of the RS 6.
Surprisingly, there’s no saloon version available.
Roger St. Pierre is a seasoned professional travel and motoring writer and editor with over 40 years in the industry and one of our regular contributors.
Photographs courtesy of Audi UK
Video Courtesy of Audi UK