Audi RS6 Avant

SUV size with sedan-like dynamics

"The RS 6 Avant really is in a class of its own"

"The most powerful engine Audi makes - in a station wagon" said Issam

"It is car made for parents who want to get their kids to school rapidly"

"Flying scissor kicking within the corner" 

Many of you from around the Middle East region are wondering, what the heck is a station wagon? We all know that some stretched vehicles are made for Europe and for Europeans. Even American or Canadian people tend to opt for caravans, 4x4s or trucks. Everything is big around North American, including their choice of cars.

So let's get straight to the point. Why would we in the Middle East buy such a vehicle? Well, one of the main considerations is the cost of fuel, which is somewhat cheap in the GCC though a bit expensive in Lebanon and Jordan. Taxes on cars are killer around the Levant. The only logical reason to buy one would simply be because few other cars offer this combination of performance and practicality. RS6 Avant combines both SUV capabilities and sedan performance. Mercedes and BMW offer wagon variants of their AMG E63 and M5 models in Europe, but not in the Middle East.

Exterior
The new Audi RS 6 Avant comes standard with high gloss, 20 inch forged wheels in a seven twin-spoke design. Optional 21 inch cast wheels are available in three versions: high gloss silver, polished black and polished titanium-look.

The body plays a major role in the handling. It is roughly 20 percent aluminum and includes numerous components made of high strength steel. The new Audi RS 6 Avant weighs roughly 100 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. The improved power-to-weight ratio contributes to even better handling with improved performance coupled with reduced fuel consumption.

Numerous RS-specific design details underscore the distinctive appearance of the high performance Avant. Most noticeable are the matte aluminum applications on the body, the high gloss black protective grille at the front of the car, the bumpers, the fender, sill flares and the large roof spoiler. At the rear of the car, the diffuser and the two large, elliptical exhaust tailpipes make a bold statement.

Two optional appearance packages - Matte Aluminum or Carbon - further customize the look and include such things as quattro badges on the central front air inlet. With the carbon appearance package, the front splitter and the diffuser are even more boldly shaped. The new Audi RS 6 Avant is available in nine exterior colors, including the exclusive shade Daytona Gray matte. Additional options from the Audi exclusive range offer numerous opportunities for customization.

Interior
The sportily elegant cockpit of the new Audi RS 6 Avant is singularly tailored to the driver. The dial instruments feature black faces, white dials and red needles. The key: the flat-bottomed, three-spoke, multifunction steering wheel; the illuminated entry sills; the tachometer and the displays for the MMI as well as the driver information system (DIS) sport RS logos.

A new feature in the RS menu of the DIS is the shift light. Green segments are illuminated as revs increase. The bar turns red and begins to blink when revs approach the red line. Displays for the gear selected, boost pressure, oil temperature and a digital speedometer round out the RS 6-specific driver information system.

The footrest, pedals and switches in the MMI navigation plus terminal shine in an aluminum-look finish. The decorative bezel surrounding the retractable monitor sports a piano finish; the interior door openers feature a delicate double-bar design - a classic RS feature. Carbon inlays are standard and six additional materials are available as options. A black headlining is standard, while Moon Silver or black Alcantara are optional.

RS sport seats with pronounced side bolsters, integrated head restraints and RS 6 logos are standard.

It comes with a generous list of standard equipment, including xenon plus headlights, LED rear lights, a tire pressure control system, illuminated entry sills and the custom driver-information system. Also on board are the parking system plus, cruise control, three-zone automatic air conditioning, MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and the 10 speaker Audi sound system.

Options include LED headlights with a unique design, ceramic brakes front and rear, the sport differential on the rear axle and the sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). The Dynamic package, Dynamic package plus, Comfort package and practically every high-end option available in the model series are also available for the RS 6 Avant. These include the head-up display and the high-performance driver assistance systems as well as the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 15 speakers and 1,200 watts of total power. The Bluetooth online car phone - the perfect complement to the MMI navigation plus - delivers web-based Audi connect services to the car.

Drivetrain
The 4.0 TFSI, which debuted last year, is a perfect example of Audi's downsizing strategy in the high-performance category. In the new Audi RS 6 Avant, the twin-turbo V8 delivers confidence-inspiring power in every driving situation from its displacement of 4.0L TFSI. Peak output of 560 hp is reached between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm, with a constant 700 Nm of torque available between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm.

Driving Impressions
Pulling power develops quickly due in large part to the two large twin-scroll turbochargers. They are mounted together with the intercooler in the inside V of the cylinder banks. The exhaust side of the cylinder heads is also on the inside, the intake side outside. This concept allows for a compact design and short gas paths with minimal flow losses.

The RS-specific engine management and unthrottled intake system also contribute to the eight-cylinder engine's spontaneous response. The 4.0 TFSI delivers a sporty, full-throated sound. Switchable flaps in the exhaust system make the sound even fuller, if desired. Optional sport exhaust system is also offered.

The powerful twin-turbo V8 accelerates the new Audi RS 6 Avant from zero to 100 km/h in a best-in-segment 3.9 seconds. In the standard configuration, top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. This is increased to 280 km/h with the optional Dynamic package. With the Dynamic plus package, Audi reigns in the engine only upon reaching 305 km/h. The high performance Avant consumes on average just 9.8 liters of fuel per 100 km. Among the factors contributing to this figure are the new, standard start-stop system and innovative thermal management. Fuel consumption has been reduced by roughly 40 percent compared to the previous model.

Verdict
The Audi RS 6 Avant is a high performance sports car for everyday use. Its character and uncompromisingly sporty tuning is the work of quattro GmbH. The company's RS models with their powerful engines form the dynamic spearhead of the model program. The abbreviation "RS" stands for the most powerful version of a model series, for quattro permanent all wheel drive, for extreme handling, for an understated appearance and for full everyday utility. If you have the pennies, drop by your nearest showroom and own a car that is super unique. Brad Pitt is the cool family guy who I could honestly see driving this wagon.

Rivals: Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Shooting Brake, BMW M5 Touring, Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, Volvo V60 Polestar
Pros: gorgeous technology, astonishing performance, superb looks, extravagant interior
Cons: Adaptive cruise control is optional
One word: thunder
4.5 stars 

Specs:

4.0 L TFSI Twin-Turbo, 560 hp, 700 Nm
0-100 kph: 3.9 secs, top speed: 305 kph, fuel consumption: 9.8 L/ 100 km
8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
Weight: 1,935kg

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