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Handbook: Audi RS6 Avant

Time 8:41 am, July 12, 2013

The_Audi_RS6_avant_Audi_44500Fast estate cars are becoming a dying breed, but Audi doesn’t agree. Leon Poultney drives its latest offering. 

What is it?

It’s every family man’s fantasy: A four-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 552bhp all wrapped up in the exterior of a sensible estate car that can happily swallow 1,680 litres worth of luggage. The concept may be difficult to fathom but demand for molten hot estate cars remains relatively strong, with Audi shifting around 700 of the outgoing model (saloon included) in the UK with relative ease over the past two years.

What’s under the bonnet?

Screen shot 2013-07-12 at 09.37.17An all-new 4.0-litre twin-turbo TFSI V8 engine with cylinder-on-demand technology replaces the 5.0-litre V10 of old. Despite dropping a couple of cylinders and 18-odd horses, the new power plant manages to propel the RS6 to 60mph in just 3.7 seconds, beating the old unit by 0.7 seconds. It also reduces fuel consumption by a staggering 47 per cent and drastically reduces emissions.

What’s the spec like?

This is a £76,985 Audi so it’s going to feel pretty special inside. Honeycomb- quilted seats, the flat-bottomed RS steering wheel and twin-oval RS tailpipes help ram home the sporting intentions but then the excellent BOSE sound system, MMI Navigation and driver information system are all added tech bonuses that come as standard.

What’s it like to drive?

The sheer size of the RS6 Avant makes attacking tight country roads a bit of a handful. The V8 produces so much punch it becomes difficult to put it down on normal roads, despite the best efforts of the four-wheel-drive Quattro system. As a rapid missile that’s capable of transporting a plethora of goods and people, the RS6 is phenomenal, but driving it anywhere near its limit requires some serious nerve and unless you want smashed shopping, mangled children and a divorce, it’s probably best avoided when fully-laden with the aforementioned items.

What do the press think of it?

Top Gear said: ‘The Audi RS6 is back on form after a slightly lost couple of generations. This car has a huge sense of humour, looks ace, goes indecently fast and makes a good case for being your only car.’

What do we think of it?

The Daily Mail questioned the need for such a rapid estate when details were first unveiled, and it has a point – it is difficult to see anyone in the UK actually testing the 189mph top speed. But this isn’t a machine for the masses, it is for those who want a truly luxurious, fire-breathing motor that pops and bangs yet can happily double up as an everyday family cruiser. In that respect, the RS6 Avant is pretty much faultless.

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