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Future models - Audi - A6 - RS6 Avant

First look: Wagons-ho for Audi’s wild new RS6

Wicked wagon: New RS6 Avant sprints to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds.

Storming 426kW twin-turbo RS6 Avant emerges as Audi’s most powerful production car

6 Sep 2007

AUDI shocked all when it launched the previous-generation RS4 in wagon guise, and now it has done it again with the hotly anticipated RS6, which has broken cover in Avant-only guise ahead of its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show next week – and ahead of its European release next April.

As expected, as Audi’s most powerful production car ever – and just as the RS4 does over the S4 - the RS6 up the performance ante significantly over the S6 upon which it’s based.

The S6 went on sale here last year in both sedan and Avant body styles, powered by a 309kW/540Nm 5.2-litre direct-injection V10. The same engine offers 331kW in the S8 super-limousine.

7 center imageBut the RS6 Avant blows them both out of the water with a twin-turbocharged version of the Lamborghini-sourced V10, this time good for a claimed 426kW and no less than 650Nm of torque from just 1500rpm and until 6250rpm, or when peak power cuts in.

Claimed to “redefine the term ‘high performance’ in the business class”, the figures eclipse the power and torque benchmarks set by its direct rival in BMW’s 5.0-litre V10-powered M5 and then the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate’s 6.2-litre V8 (378kW/630Nm). That ultimate Mercedes wagon costs $234,600.

Twin-turbos and dry sump lubrication push the V10’s weight up from 202 to 278kg for a total weight of a not insubstantial 2025kg, but the permanent all-wheel drive RS6 Avant quattro (with the same 40/60 front/rear torque split as the S6) still claims a staggering 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.6 seconds – a whole eight-tenths quicker than the S6 Avant.

With a weight-to-power ratio of just 3.5kg/hp, Audi says the six-speed Tiptronic auto-only RS6 will hit 200km/h in just 14.9 seconds. However, the direct-TSFI V10 has a relatively high compression ratio of 10.5:1, returning average fuel consumption of a still-respectable 13.9L/100km (better than the seven-speed auto-only E63 Estate's 14.5L/100km average).

All this is harnessed by the Dynamic Ride Control variable damping system, plus 19-inch alloy wheels as standard (going one better than the E63's 18s). There is also the option of 20-inch alloys with massive 420mm/356mm front/rear carbon-ceramic brake discs.

Of course, apart from the obligatory carbon-fibre, aluminium, leather and Alcantara-swathed interior, the RS4 Avant also swallows 1660 litres of cargo – enough to make even the brutal Benz E63 AMG Estate seem like a lazy luggage hauler in comparison.

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