2020 Audi RS6 Avant first drive review: Take a chance on me

    It feels a little bit on-the-nose to say this, however the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant is, in a phrase, spectacular. I do know. I do know. “Automotive journalist loves 591-horsepower station wagon” is not precisely breaking information. Yet after a day of driving the brand new RS6 wagon by means of the Malibu canyons in Southern California, right here I’m, completely impressed and completely thrilled that, after greater than a decade of begging, Audi has lastly determined to promote considered one of its RS-badged longroofs within the good ol’ US of A.But now, America, it is time to put your cash the place your mouth is. Audi fulfilled its finish of the deal by constructing a strong enterprise case and doing the homologation work that is required to promote the RS6 Avant within the United States. That means you even have to purchase one. And it’s best to. You actually, actually ought to.
    No one factor in regards to the RS6 Avant stands out as a bit de resistance. Rather, it is how this complete bundle comes collectively that makes it so interesting. It’s the large V8. The subtle driveline. The luxurious inside. The world-beating tech. Take all that and wrap it in sheet steel that is not simply fairly for a wagon, however downright arresting, full cease.I can not consider a greater strategy to say it, people: This automotive fucks.Under the hood, you may discover Audi’s twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine, making 591 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque. Hit the checkered flag button on the steering wheel, maintain the brakes and mash the throttle, and you may activate launch management, permitting the RS6 Avant to tear off 3.6-second 0-to-60-mph runs. Should you’ve gotten the area to maintain going, the wagon will hit both 155 mph or 190 mph, relying on whether or not or not your automotive has the usual, 16.5-inch metal entrance brakes or the bigger, 17.3-inch carbon-ceramic stoppers. (Both setups include 14.5-inch rear rotors.) With nice pace comes nice duty, in spite of everything.What’s extra American than an enormous, honking V8?
    This V8 engine additionally makes use of 48-volt mild-hybrid know-how, which permits for extra liberal use of the stop-start system in regular driving circumstances. European fashions even get a coasting operate, powered by the identical 48-volt system, however this hasn’t but been accepted to be used within the US. At least our automotive will likely be louder — “significantly so,” based on Audi. Still, I’ll must take the corporate’s phrase for it for now, because the German-spec mannequin examined right here falls topic to Europe’s stricter noise laws which, fairly frankly, take a number of the enjoyable out of getting a V8-powered something.Nevertheless, the RS6 Avant is a delight to drive quick. The eight-speed automated transmission shifts easily and seamlessly, whether or not left to its personal gadgets or for those who select to make use of the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters (that are too small for an Audi with an RS badge, despite the fact that they’re now completed in aluminum). The Quattro all-wheel-drive system shuffles energy round as wanted, although the usual sport differential ensures energy is at the start despatched rearward. Roll into the throttle as you come out of a nook and you may really feel the automotive’s rump hunker down, the torque thrust shoving you ahead. The diff is not so intelligent it will idiot you into considering the RS6 is a rear-wheel-drive wagon, but it surely not less than permits for a little bit of playfulness from the large boy’s hind quarters. Then there’s the usual four-wheel steering, which is nice at masking the sheer dimension of the RS6 Avant on slender, winding roads. Climbing considered one of my favourite Malibu canyons, the RS6 rotates round corners with a stage of precision you would not count on from one thing this dimension. Seriously, the slight motion of the rear wheels makes the chassis really feel a couple of foot shorter than it really is, permitting you to take sharper turns quicker, understanding the rear finish can sufficiently claw into the pavement and spin you proper ‘spherical.See? It’s even sensible for a run to the outlets.
    As with any good German efficiency automotive, there are a complete mess of drive modes to select from: Efficiency, Comfort, Auto and Dynamic, in addition to two reconfigurable RS1 and RS2 choices, straight accessed by the “RS” button on the steering wheel. Also like all good German efficiency automotive, the variations between these settings are form of insignificant. Even in its weakest Efficiency mode, the RS6 Avant will rise up and go for those who mash the throttle. Dialing up a sportier setting simply offers the transmission a little bit extra freedom to downshift, and provides extra weight to the variable-ratio steering. Speaking of the steering, it is received fast turn-in and many suggestions. The RS6 has considered one of Audi’s higher steering setups.North America’s RS6 Avant comes customary with adaptive air suspension, and to me, this looks like the perfect setup. The dampers can go from supple to sporty on the contact of a button, they usually make the RS6 Avant a automotive you could possibly drive all day, every single day. Whether cruising down Pacific Coast Highway or giving the RS6 hell up within the canyons, the air suspension by no means misses a beat, retaining the physique flat and filtering out pointless chatter from poorly surfaced roads. As a every day driver, I’d purchase an RS6 this fashion.If you are planning to usually take your RS6 Avant to the observe — and I’m positive solely a handful of you might be — then the Dynamic Ride Control chassis is price contemplating. This steel-spring setup is a little bit bit lighter than the aforementioned air suspension, and contains pitch-and-roll management for improved stability. The DRC choice is compliant sufficient for every day driving duties, it simply turns the RS6 right into a sharper corner-carver. That stated, testing a DRC-equipped RS6 again to again with an air suspension mannequin would not reveal any significant dealing with enhancements on public roads. Both automobiles are superbly arrange, so actually, it is all about how you may use your RS6. For the 5 of you who’ll observe it, go DRC. For the remainder of you, do not test that choice field. The identical may be stated for the usual and carbon-ceramic brake packages, too.The RS6’s different choices are largely beauty decisions. Instead of the usual 21-inch wheels, you’ll be able to match the 22s seen right here, a part of the “Black Optic” or “Carbon Optic” exterior look packages. Several completely different exterior colours will likely be accessible, together with a complete vary of Audi Exclusive hues, together with matte finishes.MMI tech up entrance, plenty of room for cargo ‘spherical again.
    Whether you go stealth or go wild, you’ll be able to’t go far flawed. The RS6 Avant appears to be like killer — correctly aggressive with bulges in all the proper locations. Compared to a normal A6 Avant, the RS6 is simply over 3 inches wider, and solely the entrance doorways, roof and tailgate are shared with its extra subdued sibling. The entrance bumper is similar one you may discover on the RS7 Sportback, proper right down to the LED headlamps.Inside, 4 completely different leather-based colours can be found, with stunning stitching on the extremely supportive seats. Carbon fiber trim is tastefully utilized all through the inside, and rear-seat passengers are handled to the identical three-across bench because the RS7 Sportback, albeit with extra headroom because of the RS6’s extra upright silhouette. Of course, that practical form might be why you got the Avant within the first place — inherent cool issue apart — and you will be happy to know there is a ton of room behind the rear seats. With the again seats upright, you may have entry to 20 cubic toes of area, which I’ve to think about almost doubles with the rear bench folded (Audi hasn’t launched this spec simply but).Cabin tech duties are dealt with by the identical MMI Touch Response infotainment system you may discover in every other new Audi, with a pair of screens on the middle stack that handle conventional multimedia capabilities, local weather controls and car settings. Audi’s glorious Virtual Cockpit tech takes up area within the gauge cluster, with reconfigurable shows and a complete host of data that make the opposite two screens irrelevant at occasions. From a performance standpoint, MMI Touch Response is without doubt one of the finest techniques within the enterprise. In addition, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot and connected-car apps are all right here, and customary.Safety tech can also be in excessive provide, with Audi’s newest and biggest techniques making their approach over to the RS6 Avant. When the wagon goes on sale subsequent summer season, search for forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, lane-centering help and extra. All the stuff you’d count on, actually.Everything on this picture is ideal.
    What I did not count on, consider it or not, was that I’d immediately love the RS6 Avant as a lot as I do. Truth be instructed, I’ve had a tough time warming as much as a few of Audi’s latest RS fashions. The RS5 Coupe and Sportback are succesful automobiles and discuss an enormous sport on paper, however they’re too buttoned up for their very own good. Ditto the TT RS — what might (and will) be a form of mini-R8 seems to be a improbable engine seeking a greater residence. I used to be fearful the RS6 Avant would even be a little bit too sedate, too mainstream. Instead, Audi’s made a supercar within the form of a wagon, a meet-your-heroes expertise for everybody who’s been dying for the RS6 Avant to sometime be supplied on American soil.The solely actual hurdle between the RS6 Avant and the driveway of each salivating fanatic throughout the nation will likely be its price ticket. The official MSRP will not be accessible for just a few extra months, however Audi tells me the RS6 Avant will likely be priced equally to the RS7 Sportback… which can also be an unknown quantity proper now. I’m going to imagine each automobiles will begin beneath $120,000. I’m additionally going to want a elevate.More than something, my hope is that sufficient people will really run into Audi sellers yelling “shut up and take my money!” that the automaker would not make this a one-time train, one thing it might probably level to for example when Americans complain about why we do not get the subsequent RS6 Avant. Audi has created a improbable, quick wagon, and is lastly giving us a shot at proudly owning one. I’m asking you, new-car patrons with salaries far better than mine, contemplate the RS6 Avant as a substitute of some high-riding efficiency SUV. Please, please, please do not screw this up.
    Editors’ word: Travel prices associated to this story had been lined by the producer, which is widespread within the auto trade. The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s workers are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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