When a £78K 560hp estate car isn't enough: Pay an extra 10% and Audi will sell you a 'Performance' version of the RS6 Avant with 600 horses. We tried it
We all know what it’s like to be menaced on the fast lane of a motorway. Normally, the oafish apparition in your mirror is an old Sprinter.
But some cars look menacing even when they’re standing still.
Many of them are Audi estates, and few things short of an incoming missile could look more threatening than the latest RS6 Performance.
Performance boost: As the name suggests, the horse power figures on this more expensive version of the RS6 Avant have been ramped up
This upgraded version of Audi's most potent estate is just under 10 per cent more than the standard RS6 Avant, meaning a base price of £85,085.
This gets you 605hp and 516lb ft, the latter climbing on 553 on overboost, as well as 21-inch rims, a Sport exhaust and a drive mode dial on the steering wheel.
So it’s 45hp more powerful than the standard model, and its turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 spins an extra 500rpm round the dial before the limiter kicks in.
Which is all good, and while it has a lot more speed than you can exploit on British roads the added get-up-and-go makes it more interesting on the way there.
With 605hp, it will out accelerate some of the most potent supercars
That's despite the RS6 being a large five-seat estate car with a capacious boot
While it's quick, the handling isn't all that sophisticated, we found
Handling-wise, it’s not as sophisticated as you might want in something so rampantly fast.
There’s no shortage of grip, but the sort of road surfaces you’ll forever be contending with here in the UK mean that even with our test car’s optional Sports suspension pack, it’s best seen as a brutally fast wagon rather than a surrogate sports car.
Leave your expectations there, and they’ll be met by the bucketload. Nothing comparable comes close to matching this vehicle for outright speed.
You'll have to pay in the region of an extra £7,000 if you want the Performance RS6, though that's based on the basic, no-options-fitted, model. In reality, you're likely to spend around £100K fully kitted out
A 0-to-62mph time of less than four seconds is blisteringly fast by any standard
Inside, the RS6 Performance is a gorgeous place - the seats are figure hugging and sublimely comfortable at the same time
We found the RS6 Performance best in Dynamic mode. This goes in hard with its settings for the engine, shift points and diff, though our test car also had the violently expensive ceramic brakes and we were thankful for them more than once as we hurtled into corners faster than we thought was even possible.
Between these and the other options on the vehicle in our pictures, ordering one just like it would lead to your friendly Audi dealer writing you an invoice for £102,755. That’s enough to get you thinking seriously about what else you could get for that money.
Our test car was rammed with additional equipment, taking the total to over £102,000
Top speed is limited to 155mph - expect closer to the 200mph mark derestricted
There's one guarantee wit hthe Audi RS6 Performance - you won't get more menace for the money
You could certainly get a more entertaining performance car – but whether you could get this much pace, power and practicality in one package is a lot more dubious.
One thing’s for sure, though – nothing else can match the RS6 in terms of menace for your money.
AUDI RS6 AVANT PERFORMANCE: FACTS & FIGURES
Engine: 3,993cc, V8 turbocharged
Transmission: 8-speed tiptronic, Quattro all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 605@6,100-6,900rpm
Torque (lb ft): 516@1,750-6,000rpm (553@2,500-5,500rpm on overboost)
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
Weight: 1,950kg (EU unladen)
MPG: 29.4 (combined)
Price (standard): £85,085
Price (as tested): £102,755
Test car optional extras: Assistance pack (£2,100), ceramic brakes (£9,375), Audi hands-free boot opening system with Advanced key (£750), Speed limit display (£250), parking pack (£810), RS Sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (£1,000), Panoramic glass sunroof (£1,300), Audi Connect and Audi Phone Box (£750)
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