As a motoring journalist, the most common question I get asked is what my dream car is. It is always so hard to answer because it can change quite often. But one car that has remained in my top three is the Audi RS6 Avant. Or any Audi RS Avant for that matter. Avant refers to the wagon body style that so many South Africans despise. It is why we hardly see any station wagons on sale in this country. And it boggles the mind. Sure, the SUV has taken the world by storm, but the humble wagon is still popular in many other countries, just not ours.
The reason I love Audi’s Avant guise is because it provides ample space and practicality, while still looking good. The RS6 Avant Performance adds the power! The updated model that arrived alongside the RS7 Sportback in the middle of this year, is the fastest and most powerful yet.
The twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine now produces 463 kW of power and 850 Nm of torque. That’s 22 kW and 50 Nm more than the current model, and so adds a bit more oomph, for sure. An eight-speed Tiptronic transmission powers the permanent all-wheel drive Quattro system and the shifts are also faster now. It will get to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. Overall, the RS6 Performance now offers more power, less weight, and more grip. Could it be the most fun you can have in a station wagon? Definitely!
Audi says a “lighter and more compact” self-locking centre differential is also included in the deal. This is said to result in “more precise cornering” and less understeer at the limit. Under normal circumstances, it sends 60 per cent of the torque to the rear axle, but if needed, it can direct up to 85 per cent to the rear or even 70 per cent to the front. This all means that even the less experienced petrolheads out there will be able to drive this beast with absolute confidence.
All this information might not steer you toward thinking of the RS6 as a family car, but there are oodles of space – the boot is a whopping 565 litres and can swallow a large amount of family paraphernalia. It is what makes this car the perfect all-rounder!
Pricing for the RS6 Avant Performance kicks off at just over R2.3 million. It doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re looking at its rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz E63 S or BMW M5 Competition, I think your heart and your head will settle on this beautiful beast. I know mine would!