2021 Audi RS6 Avant evaluation: Swiss Military Wagon

That is one imply soccer-match machine.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Having a pal who owns a station wagon is like having a pal who’s a vegan or who owns a rescue canine: You are by no means going to listen to the tip of it. The period of crossovers has given these low-slug longroofs new life amongst a small however vocal subset of automotive followers who need you to get up and notice that not all people wants a sun-blotting SUV. The 2021 Audi RS6 Avant is handled like a demigod on this circle, and for good purpose: It combines ample storage and sufficient torque to have an effect on plate tectonics in a package deal that makes for one of the compelling each day drivers on the market at the moment.

LikeKiller looksBalls-out performanceStorage galore

Do not LikeBig wheels = stiff-ish rideRequires cash to buy

There is not any mistaking the RS6 Avant for the rest. The physique is low and lengthy, actually hammering dwelling that battleship metaphor because of the no-cost Nardo Gray paint colour and the $6,350(!) Carbon Optic package deal that replaces all hints of exterior chrome trim with carbon fiber. This pack additionally provides 22-inch alloy wheels that fill the wheel wells amply. Mix that with some impressively fats rear fenders and you have got a wagon that out-sinisters even its closest rival, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. I am not a fan of the protruding rear diffuser, however that gripe extends past the wagon to its hatchback sibling, the RS7, as effectively.

The place there’s bark, there’s… extra bark. Slipping down into the RS6 Avant’s customary sport seats, I push the beginning button on the middle console and half the neighborhood is smacked within the face with a bass-heavy roar of a chilly begin, thanks partly to my tester’s $1,000 sport exhaust improve. Regardless that the physique appears glued to terra firma, there’s simply sufficient journey peak right here to flee a scrape from my steep driveway because the exhaust broadcasts my departure with enthusiasm, regardless of the twin-turbocharged V8 by no means spinning over 2,500 rpm. Whether or not the pipes keep of their customary mode or are opened up a tad in additional aggressive profiles, there’s by no means a scarcity of noise emanating from underneath the cargo space. It is nice.

The RS6 Avant’s customary multimode air suspension is spectacular in its means to alter the automotive’s character. At its most compliant, the RS6 ought to hold the entire household comfy, and I wager that the inventory 21-inch wheels do an excellent higher job right here — the 22s and their 285/30-profile Pirelli P-Zero summer season tires make for a journey that is on the stiff aspect, though not punishingly so. Throw the automotive into Dynamic mode, although, and the solidity will increase, all however eliminating physique roll and giving the RS6 a shocking quantity of agility for a automotive this dimension. 

Turbocharged V6s would possibly get lots of consideration these days, however the V8 ain’t achieved but. Packing 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque within the RS6 Avant, this eight-pot produces ahead movement like an EDM live performance within the forest gives good vibes. Let the eight-speed automated transmission rapidly kick its method all the way down to the suitable gear (greatest achieved by itself, though shift paddles are customary) and the automotive will dart towards the horizon, bouncing its perennially thunderous exhaust word off each flat floor in earshot. There is not a lot in the best way of overrun between shifts or whereas decelerating, however that is high quality, you may’t win ’em all.

It is clear that the RS6 Avant can be greatest utilized on a German autobahn, pushing the speedometer needle into the area of foolish numbers whereas returning a sufficiently easy journey. On tight, curvy forest roads, this wagon virtually looks like an excessive amount of automotive. It is virtually as broad as a single lane. It needs to speed up till it runs out of fuel. It is this type of hard-to-wrangle perspective that offers this RS-badged car among the character that feels missing within the automaker’s different efficiency fashions, which really feel so totally sanitized that you simply surprise if these vehicles weren’t constructed by robots, for robots.

Do not act shocked after I say the RS6 Avant is one thirsty wagon, with the EPA estimating simply 15 miles per gallon metropolis and 22 mpg freeway — the identical because the much less capacious RS7. Whereas the V8 can deactivate half its cylinders underneath gentle masses, which might push instantaneous mileage to the 30-mpg mark, I discover my freeway financial system solely barely greater than what the feds can muster, with my metropolis financial system falling nearer to about 12 mpg.

Audi’s interiors are fairly company, so should you’re accustomed to one of many newer ones, odds are you have obtained a great lay of the land for the entire lineup. My tester sports activities $500 carbon fiber inlays with a matte end and precise texture, which is a pleasant departure from the ultra-glossy SEMA crap. A $2,500 Govt Bundle places tender Nappa leather-based nearly in all places, from the dashboard topper to the middle console trim. The entire shebang coalesces properly, feeling fairly costly whereas nonetheless sustaining a racy look. There’s ample lateral help within the entrance and rear seats, and the purple deviated stitching provides some further character.

Put that matte carbon fiber on the whole lot, Audi, and by no means look again. Excessive-gloss finishes are… not precisely en vogue.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Each rows provide up tons of house and visibility, and the cargo space’s 30 cubic ft of space for storing trumps the RS7’s 24.6 cubes whereas practically tying the two-row Q8 SUV. See? You may have your cake and eat it whereas concurrently transporting a number of different truffles with room to spare.

Audi loves itself some screens, and fortunately, these screens are simple to like. The corporate’s MMI infotainment system lives contained in the 10.1-inch touchscreen on the dashboard, and whereas it would take a while to get used to the trouble required to click on every tile, the tech is responsive and simple on the eyes. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is included, as are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Two USB-C ports hang around underneath the middle console armrest, along with a wi-fi system charger that makes use of the wagon’s personal antenna to spice up a telephone’s sign. Slightly below the primary display is an 8.6-inch show that covers local weather management and seat settings — once more, finger presses require some weight, however the haptic suggestions feels good with each push.

The gauge cluster is a display, too. Audi’s Digital Cockpit places nearly each usable piece of data in entrance of my face, and I can change elements of the display to show much more, whether or not it is a Google Earth-style map or the present energy and torque outputs from the engine, with some RS-specific designs for the tachometer. The Govt Bundle additionally features a head-up show, in case I wish to save my eyes from transferring two further inches to see what gear I am in. Digital Cockpit is adjusted utilizing steering wheel switches, so distraction is stored to a minimal.

When you get used to Audi’s interface, it is fairly simple to alter issues with minimal distraction.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Some efficiency vehicles do not even provide security techniques, however the RS6 Avant is rife with ’em. Commonplace save-your-butt tech consists of automated emergency braking and common cruise management, however the $2,250 Driver Help Bundle beefs issues up with adaptive cruise management, visitors signal recognition, lane-keeping help and rear cross-traffic warnings. The motive force assists are mighty easy, but it surely’s arduous to willingly hand over management of such a enjoyable automotive, even within the tedium of a each day freeway commute.

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant is an costly proposition, beginning at $110,045 together with vacation spot, with my tester’s quite a few choices pushing the window sticker north to about $123,000. The one actual bummer with its configurability is the shortcoming to pair the smaller 21-inch wheels with any of the black-exterior-trim packages, which might take away among the journey’s inherent stiffness whereas sustaining its extra aggressive countenance. I would in all probability spec an RS6 Avant precisely like it’s right here, although.

The RS6 Avant has a single competitor within the US: The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon, which prices a bit of extra and produces a bit of extra energy whereas returning faster acceleration figures (3.zero seconds to 60 mph versus the Audi’s 3.5) and providing a number of further cubes of cargo capability. That mentioned, the Merc’s aesthetics are way more subdued inside and outside, so it is principally a way of non-public style, particularly at this value stratum. For those who actually dislike wagons for some purpose, there’s at all times the RS7, too.

Quick wagons are few and much between, and the RS6 Avant is often relegated to forbidden fruit standing within the US, so contemplate this one a particular deal with. With efficiency chops to spare and a correctly luxurious inside that may maintain greater than you’d count on, there is a good purpose why individuals fawn over the RS6.  For those who aren’t fairly able to embrace the crossover life, this middle-grounder presents a tough alternative to cross up.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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