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RS 6 Avant: Defy the laws of physics in style

S Muralidhar | Updated on August 23, 2019 Published on August 23, 2019

Audi’s new-gen shooting brake takes sharper aim at competition in the performance segment

The market for station-wagons just doesn’t exist in the Indian context. We seem to have a certain disdain for cars that seem over-focussed on everyday practicality, and yet we crave the most space and usability possible from our cars. The evolution of clunky estates to the sexy shooting brakes of today hasn’t done much to change our perception. But when it comes to a few performance models, we take exceptions to this fixated opinion of ours; these are the estates that defy the laws of physics. The Porsche Panamera and the Audi RS 6 Avant are amongst them. Audi has just pulled the wraps off its 2020 RS 6 Avant and this new fourth generation model looks like the exception that a lot more of the estate-haters have been waiting for.

The RS 6 had in the previous generations also been offered as a saloon, but the fourth gen will only be an Avant (shooting brake form). Sportbacks will now face even more competition from a new generation of performance estates. The RS 6 and RS 7 are two cult cars that fans of Audi have always craved. If you thought that the A6 and S6 weren’t exciting enough, the RS 6 Avant can literally blow your mind with its performance.

 

 

And this one’s wicked design delivers shots of adrenaline even while it is standing still. Coming from Audi’s Sport division, the new RS6 Avant sports a significantly differentiated design compared with the A6 Avant base model. The exterior is almost entirely RS-specific parts; the only carry-overs being the front doors, roof and tailgate,. There is a marginal increase in dimensions with the body being widened around 40 mm on each side with its broad flared wheel arches. Within them, the 22-inch wheels accentuate the striking proportions.

Design

The fourth-gen RS 6 Avant is one of the first Audi Sport models to feature the new RS design language. There are a few design bits that have been borrowed from the A7 model line, including the new hood with its powerdome and the front headlights. These sport a flatter, sportier expression, and you also have the option of the RS Matrix LED laser headlight with darkened trims as an additional USP. The Single-frame 3D honeycomb grill is now finished in gloss black. They are even more striking on models that sport matte-black body paint. Side air inlets open out on the new RS bumper contributing to its wicked appeal, extending almost all the way into the lower edge of the headlights. Audi designers are said to have taken cues from the front-end of the Audi R8 supercar.

The characteristic Avant silhouette dominates in the side view — elongated front section, long, straight roofline and flat D pillars. The dynamic rear-end consists of the roof edge spoiler and an RS-specific bumper with a massive rear diffuser and design elements in gloss black. In hallmark RS style, the exhaust system flows on both sides into oval chrome-colored tailpipes. An RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipes is available as an option and am sure that a growling, sporty exhaust note is guaranteed.

Cabin

There is a huge jump in cabin quality in the new RS 6 Avant. Better materials and a more modern cabin is what will greet you in the new model. The instrument panel seems light and sleek, thanks to its horizontal alignment and tiered, three-dimensional structure, The MMI touch response display merges nicely into the black-panel architecture at the top of the dashboard. The “RS Monitor” display provides the driver with the option of having the top screen provide racecar-style information with an overview of the temperature status of the drive components, the maximum g-figures, tire pressure and temperature details.

 

The interior gets the virtual cockpit and head-up display

 

 

The Audi virtual cockpit and the optional head-up display also provide several RS-specific graphic displays. The new RS 6 Avant also gets a fully perforated sport leather steering wheel; flattened at the bottom, with new large, machined aluminium RS shift paddles. In addition to the other multi-function buttons, it also offers the customisable RS1 and RS2 mode buttons allowing the driver to directly make these Audi drive selections. More than 30 assist systems are available — including adaptive cruise assist, intersection assist, lane change warning, kerb warning and 360 degree cameras.

Performance

The new RS 6 Avant gets the four-litre, twin-turbo V8 TFSI delivering 600 PS of peak power and 800 Nm of torque. All of that sumptuous output is available between 2,050 and 4,500 rpm. The performance numbers come into context with the high-performance station wagon’s claimed sprint from 0-100 kmph in just 3.6 seconds. In a mere 12 seconds, the RS 6 Avant can reach 200 kmph. Top speed has been electronically governed at 250 kmph. But worry not, if you are looking to top it on the track, the optional dynamic package does up to 280 kmph, or even up to 305 kmph with the dynamic package plus.

For the first time, the RS 6 Avant also gets a mild hybrid system. The 48-volt main electrical system is meant to help improve efficiencies for the twin-turbo V8. A belt alternator starter lies at its heart and upto 12 kW of power gets stored in a separate lithium-ion battery after being recovered during light deceleration. If the driver takes his/her foot off the accelerator at speeds between 55 and 160 kmph, the drive management selects one of two options: Depending on the driving situation and setting in the Audi drive select, the new RS 6 Avant recovers energy or coasts up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. Pressing the accelerator makes the belt alternator starter restart the engine.

Cylinder on demand system is also available as another efficiency component. At low through intermediate load and speed, it deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 in the high gears by switching off injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. The standard eight-speed tiptronic 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. This offers a default front to rear axle split in a ratio of 40:60 via the all-mechanical center differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 per cent can flow to the front wheels and up to 85 per cent to the rear wheels.

When can you buy one?

The new RS 6 Avant promises to be a serious performance car that has also got a big jump in cabin quality. Any doubts about whether electronic interference will kill the prospects of you going sideways on the track can quickly be banished since there is the option of switching off electronic stability control. The driver can also change the character of the RS 6 Avant using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. Six profiles are available: Comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, in addition to the configurable RS1 and RS2 modes. Drive select dynamic handling system influences acceleration performance, and the character of power steering, suspension, all-wheel steering and the quattro sport differential. The new model takes it one step higher with changes to the engine sound and the characteristics of the automatic air conditioning.

The 2020 Audi RS 6 Avant is being rolled out globally after being launched first in Germany. It will hopefully make it to Indian shores next year.

 

Published on August 23, 2019
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