The Audi RS6 Avant feels more like a sports car to pilot than a four-door station wagon, but the interior is not so edgy and the ride is bouncy in the Dynamic mode
Acquiring a performance tag, the Audi RS6 has gained in terms of speed. An estate with RS badge, which makes it sporty among the horde, the RS6 Avant does 605 bhp from a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 100kmph in 3.7 seconds, the sporty estate is exceedingly quick in its pace. Riding on 22-inch dia tyres with low aspect ratio 285/30 ZR21 tyres, the RS6 Avant could be described as a faster road going version of the RS6, which does 0 to 100kmph in 3.9 seconds. Based on the fourth generation model line-up (the fifth generation model line-up is out), the RS6 Avant feels a bit dated though.
Interior, not so edgy
If the exterior makes for an exceedingly sporty looking estate that flaunts the famous four entangled rings on the grille, which represent the coming together of four historic sporting brands like Auto Union, DKW, Horch and Wanderer, and an aggressive bumper with wide intakes and a large rear central diffuser, the RS6 Avant feels a bit dated inside. It’s not because of the build quality, but the lack of features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Not that these features affect the car’s performance, they simply indicate that this one’s not up-to-date. The interior misses Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. It follows an older, less edgy design, the retractable screen found on the dash of the RS6 Avant simply making for an old school look. It could be termed retro-cool but the sporty estate does feel special inside.
The bit that contributes most to the special feel is the chunky flat-bottom steering wheel and a generous helping of carbon-fibre bits. Well equipped with four-zone climate control, memory seats, and Audi’s MMI infotainment system, the RS6 Avant is quite spacious by the virtue of it being an estate. The front seats have deep side bolstering, and are comfortable and wide. Comfortable for two, the rear seats accompany a good amount of space. Third person can sit at the rear, but has to contend with a high centre tunnel. Practical as a weekend getaway car with 565-litres of storage space at the rear, the RS6 Avant feels like a sports car to pilot than a four-door station wagon. The massive tyres shod on spider-like alloys have a role to play; it feels easy to drive in town. The Comfort mode offers that amount of docility. However, the Dynamic and Sport modes offer a ballistic missile-like acceleration to the car.
The eight-speed auto transmission is super quick, in both the Dynamic and Sport modes. Even when digging deep into three-digit speeds, the engine does not seem to run out of breath. It is astonishing that power is available at the tip of the right pedal. Push the pedal, and the car leaps ahead. Exhibiting the quickness of a supercar, the estate, weighing a shade less than two-tonnes, features fuel saving cylinder on demand technology. The technology shuts down one bank of cylinders when coasting; it is non-intrusive and hardly noticeable.
Bouncy on less-than-ideal surfaces
Accelerating wildly, the RS6 Avant in Dynamic mode has its dampers firming up. This makes for a bouncy ride on less-than-ideal surfaces and makes it tiring. In the Comfort mode, there is body roll, but the ride is not as annoying as in the Dynamic mode on surfaces that are not perfect. The steering offers good feedback, but is not as engaging as it should be. The Quattro all-wheel drive system produces massive amount of grip. On a twisty stretch while negotiating corners, the car gives the impression of running on rails.
Over the RS6, the RS6 Avant offers quite an amount of exclusivity. At Rs 1.65 crore ex-showroom, the car costs roughly Rs 30 lakh more than the RS6. Offering 45bhp more than the RS6, the RS6 Avant is practical as an estate, and has the ability to carry four people in a luxurious environment with enough space for their luggage. And the estate also delivers a supercar-like performance.
Pros: Performance, power, practical as an estate
Cons: Price, ride in Dynamic mode