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Audi RS6 Avant

THE FOUR RINGS OF POWER... (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

If power corrupts, the fourth generation Audi RS 6 Avant is definitely the shadiest offering to emerge from the German marque so far. Jonathan Crouch checks out its mettle...

Ten Second Reviewword count: 54

Estates don't come any quicker - and very few cars of any kind do full stop. The RS 6 Avant uses the 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbo V8 with mild hybrid assistance and a thumping 800Nm of pulling power. The result is 600PS, 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, 124mph in 12 seconds and one queasy looking Labrador.

Backgroundword count: 166

One-upmanship, the car industry is awash with it and car enthusiasts wouldn't have it any other way. If the leading manufacturers were any less hell-bent on outdoing their rivals at every opportunity, cars like the Audi RS 6 Avant would simply never have been dragged into being. There are those who will greet news of this 600PS super estate with abject horror and most right-minded observers will at least briefly entertain the possibility that Audi may have gone a shade too far this time, but you have to admire the firm's commitment. For car nuts the world over, the only thing more exciting than the prospect of climbing into an RS 6, firing up the V8 biturbo engine then administering the full beans will be the thought of what BMW and Mercedes will do to top it. Rest assured, as soon as news of the RS 6 broke, the machinations of the powers that be in Munich and Stuttgart will have been directed along similar lines.

Driving Experienceword count: 247

The engine in question is the same V8 already found in star cars like Audi's S8 flagship. Don't be dismayed by its extra mild hybrid tech if all you care about is performance. The 4.0 TFSI remains a thoroughbred V8 in terms of character and sound as 62mph flashes by in just 3.6s. And the driver can influence that sound using the Audi drive select system. In the new, customisable RS1 and RS2 modes accessible via Audi drive select, customers decide themselves whether the sound should be full-blooded or balanced. The standard eight-speed tiptronic auto transmission with optimised shift times and a new Launch Control function transmits the power of the 4.0 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axle in a ratio of 40:60 via an all-mechanical centre differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70% can be channelled to the front wheels and up to 85% to the rear wheels. There's also wheel-selective torque control for more agile handling, the system braking the wheels with reduced load on the inside of a bend slightly before they can begin to spin. And you get a quattro sport differential that shifts the drive torque when cornering at speed as required between the rear wheels, thus improving traction, stability and dynamics. So there's everything you need to ruin the day of that supercar driver behind.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Sporting Cars

Performance
80%
Handling
80%
Comfort
80%
Space
90%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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