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Audi RS6 Avant quattro

The independent definitive Audi RS6 Avant video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    THE FOUR RINGS OF POWER (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Audi's RS6 has long been the go to choice if you needed a dementedly rapid big estate. The competition's become a lot hotter since the old V10 model was deleted. Can the latest improved V8 model cut it? Jonathan Crouch reports

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 85

    The concept of accelerating from zero to 62mph in less than four seconds takes a bit of bending your head around, but that's the capability on offer from Audi's latest RS6. There's now the option of a 'performance' version with output boosted by 45PS to 605PS, but even if you go for the standard model, you're looking at a top speed of up to 189mph. That's coupled with potential for this leviathon to deliver up to 29.4mpg. Overkill doesn't come any more polished than this.

    Backgroundword count: 162

    Does the luxury estate segment really need contenders offering the option of supercar performance? Audi thinks so. This improved third generation RS6 is the quickest model of its kind - as all its predecessors have been. Under the bonnet lies a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. Yes, the 560PS it delivers in standard form may have dropped slightly over what was on offer from the previous generation model's throbbing V10 unit, but this V8 is also lighter and more efficient than that V10, so still manages to create a car that is faster than ever, as well as being significantly cheaper to run. There's also now a 'performance' model that boost's its output to a thumping 605PS. In other words, there's no question of this RS6 having gone a bit soft in its middle age. If you doubt that, then just three or four seconds behind the wheel of this astonishing machine is all you need to underline its credentials. Let's check them out.

    Driving Experienceword count: 286

    That 'world's fastest estate car' billing kind of clues you in to what to expect from the Audi RS6, but even knowing that fact ahead of driving it won't prepare you for quite how brutal and inexorable its power delivery is. Nothing can. Under the bonnet, the twin turbo 4.2-litre V8 doesn't yowl like the old V10 powerplant did, but that engine never felt particularly well suited to a big estate car. The reason? Torque - pulling power. Where the V10 could manage 650Nm of torque, this one's packing at least 700Nm and it's delivered all the way from just 1,750rpm, so you get the punch low in the rev range, meaning that the engine is never caught off the boil. As soon as you poke the accelerator, you've got its full measure. If you do need more, there's now a 'performance' version that boosts power from 560 to 605PS, cutting the rest to 62mph time from 3.9s to 3.7s and boosting torque by 50Nm to 750Nm. On the move at speed around especially tight twisty roads, this car never shrinks around you when you're really driving it hard - you're always aware that this is a sizeable hunk of machinery. But you're also always in awe of the fact that it feels so completely unflappable, with an almost complete absence of roll, understeer and pitch when accelerating or braking, thanks mainly to a couple of things - one mechanical, one electronic. The mechanical bit is covered by a sport differential that through the bends, actively distributes torque between the rear wheels. Electronics meanwhile, furnish you with a torque vectoring system that acts on all four wheels, lightly braking any about to lose traction during cornering.

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    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-60 mph (s):

    3.6

    3.8

    Combined mpg:

    29.4

    Extra urban mpg:

    38.2

    Height (mm):

    1461

    Length (mm):

    4979

    Max Speed (mph):

    155

    ... and 6 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Sporting Cars

    Performance
    100%
    Handling
    80%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    90%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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