Model: RS 6
Engine / Transmission: 4.0 litre – 8 Speed automatic
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 11.7L/100km combined
Price: From $216,000 plus on roads
It’s always risky meeting your heroes. Will you be disappointed? Will they live up to the hype? Are they actually just all smoke and mirrors? With this in mind, I approached a stint with Audi’s RS 6 with as much trepidation as applying for a job with Ellen.
I have been a massive fan of hot Audi wagons since Audi asked Porsche to help them out with the RS 2 back in 1994. Since then, the RS 6 has gone from eight cylinders to ten cylinders and back to eight cylinders. For rev heads, the RS 6 is the Holy Grail of all things wonderful. I needn’t have worried. The 2020 RS 6 is nothing short of a celebration of cars.
Of course, it’s performance is mind blowing, but this is far from this Audi’s only party trick. The test car’s 800nm of torque is available from just 2000rpm.
The result is utterly effortless transportation; a whiff of throttle being enough to leave everything else on the road long behind. With RS Mode 1 and RS Mode 2, you can tailor all sorts of parameters, such as throttle response and the tautness of the air suspension (the steel sprung RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control is available as an option, but I can’t fathom why you would choose this harder riding alternative).
As good as it is to click, click into RS Mode 2, when left in ‘comfort’ the RS 6 is a muscular, comfortable, safe car that shows everyone how good cars can be, shining a light on just how lazy some ‘premium’ manufacturers can be.
For this sort of coin, you get every tech gizmo that you can imagine … and some that you probably can’t. Of course, all of the regular driver aides are included, but what sometimes isn’t easy to assess when perusing a tech spec sheet is the quality of these inclusions.
The cruise control, for example, holds a constant speed to within one KPH at all times. The touch screens have haptic feedback that gives a sort of 3D effect to the touchscreen functions. The navigation system asks you to ‘handwrite’ your destination on the touchscreen with your finger. Your handwriting is ‘read’ and imputed.
Impressive, but the smudged screen really sets off my OCD. Furthermore, wireless charging is supported by wireless Apple CarPlay. The HD Matrix LED headlights are superb and include a snazzy little laser light show on startup.
There are a lot of fast cars that just aren’t nice to drive, making you feel like you are in mortal danger due to a lack of handling finesse or reliable feedback. Others feel dull while constantly placing your licence in mortal danger. The RS 6 is neither.
It is a car that can be stupidly fast all while being engaging and fun. Importantly, this fun factor remains even within the speed limit, responding instantly and faithfully to sensitive inputs. As much fun to drive as Porsche’s 911 Carrera (with the exception of some steering accuracy at the limit), the RS 6 is as fast, as inspiring and as safe as the Porsche with the added practicality of a four-door wagon layout.
Not So Impressive:
As tested, the RS 6 is a big ticket item. With everything that 2020 is throwing at us, people are struggling in all sorts of ways. In this sense, the RS 6 is an offensively expensive car. Looked at in another way, the RS 6 can replace everything else in the garage.
Gone is the family hauler, gone is the sports car, gone is the daily commuter. Further sealing the deal, one of the finest cars to have ever been made is only $230000.
WHEN ON A TEST DRIVE:
Make sure you really want to spend this much money on a car – once you’ve had a taste, you will be begging to sign on the dotted line.