Peak Performance

by Petrol Mum
Audi RS 6 Avant performance Ascari blue, metallic

Last year when I drove the Audi RS 6 Avant base version, I described it as a ‘Stealth Bomber’. Since then the Audi engineers have fettled and tuned this already phenomenal wagon giving it more power and an even more emotive driving experience.

The wick has been turned up in the Audi RS 6 Avant performance with the 4.0 litre, twin turbocharged V8 petrol engine, which has 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology, and now 0.2 seconds faster than the base version with the 0 to 100 km/h time down to just 3.4 seconds! Boost pressure has increased from 2.4 to 2.6 bar with a total power increase from 441 kW to 463 kW and maximum torque has gone from 800 Nm to 850 Nm compared to its non-performance predecessor.

It’s not just the point-to-point speed that is impressive about the RS 6 Avant though, but how all that power makes you feel. It’s like you could get in the wagon and point it towards the horizon and just drive until the road stops. We did two long road trips during the week we had the Avant and thoroughly enjoyed the driving experience on the highway and the sweeping country roads alike thanks to the comfortable ride on offer combined with all that performance. The official combined fuel consumption is 11.8L/100km and for my week of road trip fun I used 13.4L/100km.

In addition to the engine upgrades, the performance Avant comes standard with 22″ alloy wheels in 5-Y-spoke design and these are the matt grey version. The airy design aids cooling on the RS high performance braking system and the lighter rims are manufactured in a high-tech forging-milling process saving around five kilograms per wheel. The open design also makes cleaning the wheels a synch and I was able to easily reach all the way around the red brake calipers to clean the inside of the wheels. Notably, the brake path is also reduced by up to two metres with the new wheels when braking from 100 to 0 km/h.

The standard eight-speed tiptronic gearbox now has faster shifting times and can be ‘manually’ changed using the small metal wheel-mounted paddle shifters. While the permanent all-wheel drive quattro offers greater confidence in all driving conditions. The self-locking centre differential is also lighter and more compact, improving driving dynamics and offering more precise cornering when combined with the all-wheel dynamic steering system.

This Ascari blue metallic RS 6 Avant performance is fitted with the optional ($700) matt grey exterior styling package with the front spoiler, front side flaps, side sill inserts, rear diffuser insert, trim strips on the side windows, exterior mirror housings, and roof rails sporting the contrasting grey colour. Keyless start and smart keyless entry is standard and available on all four doors and they have a soft closure as well. At night the entrance LED lights in the front doors project the lettering ‘RS performance’ onto the ground next to the car and ‘RS 6’ is illuminated on the door sill.

In the interior, the familiar RS design package is now highlighted in blue with the front and outer rear seat belts in full-surface Ocean blue. The selector lever knob and the side of the centre console are covered with Dinamica microfibre, consisting of around 45% recycled PET fibres, and highlighted with blue stitching. My Avant also had the optional ($2,900) RS design package in blue that includes additional enhancements and Dinamica elements and my favourite feature the optional ($2,100) carbon twill inlays with blue thread. The ambient lighting colour can be customised or fixed to the drive mode selected and to make it easier to find the seat belt buckle they are illuminated at night.

The interior of the RS 6 Avant smells very nice and the sports seats feature high-quality Valcona leather upholstery perforated with contrasting honeycomb stitching in blue. The centre console, dash, and doors are trimmed with fine Nappa leather also. The seats were very comfortable on our long drives and both front passengers get power adjustment for recline, forward/back, seat cushion height front and rear, and 4-way lumbar support with the driver’s seat getting two memory positions. The front seats are also heated and cooled and both functions work well and I only noticed the noise from the cooled seat ventilation when the cabin was quiet.

Press the RS button though on the black Alcantara steering wheel, which features contrasting stitching in Mercato blue, and the exhaust note deepens to something familiar sounding, a Lamborghini Urus! A reduction in the amount of insulation between the engine, the interior cabin, and the rear of the vehicle is the reason for this thrilling next-level theatre of sound. The emotive sound of the sport exhaust system travels easily into the cabin and in turn contributes to a reduction in unladen weight of the vehicle and it’s a winner in my books.

If you prefer a subdued exhaust note in the cabin you can adjust the noise level from the exhaust under both the RS 1 and RS 2 drive modes. In addition, both RS modes allow you to customise the drive system, suspension, steering, and the Quattro sport differential. RS 2 adds one more option to have the ESC On or in Dynamic mode. The other standard drive modes available are Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, and Dynamic, but I gravitated towards RS 1 mostly.

Under one of the infotainment menus on the 10.1” main display you will find the RS monitor that keeps tabs on the temps of the engine oil, brakes, sport differential, and gear oil. There is also a G meter and tyre pressure monitoring under this menu option. The smaller screen below the main screen is used to control the climate system mainly and both of them do get bad finger marks on them when you press the haptic buttons. Voice control can be used to access some functions on the infotainment system by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the feminine looking silhouette on it. The voice control worked well for me when I used it to make phone calls, changing the radio station, and setting a destination on the sat nav.

The RS 6 Avant performance comes standard with a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, with the latter working well for me, and wireless charging under the arm rest, which also incorporates wireless charging for the key fob. Here there is also a space for your sunglasses and two USB-C ports and between the two cup holders there is a slot for the key fob and one 12V socket. The slim cup holders are under a gloss black panel, which does get bad finger marks and dust on it, and have grippy sides and a rubber mat at the base of them that can be removed for easy cleaning. The drink bottle storage cubby in the front doors suits larger sized rigid water bottles for keeping you hydrated on those long road trips.

For passengers in the rear seats there is ample head and leg room for two adults to comfortably sit and on our long drives there were no complaints from my children back there. They were happy with the dual digital climate controls that allowed them to adjust the temp, mode and air speed individually. For younger passengers there are two ISOfix/three rear tether child seat restraint points, but only enough room for two car seats due to the width and the sculptured nature of the rear seats.

The centre rear seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two smaller sized cup holders at the front of it with grippy sides. Taller sized bottles do no suit these holders and should be placed in the good-sized cubbies located in the rear doors. Below the air controls there are two USB-C ports and one 12V socket and the transmission tunnel is quite high. The rear sunroof does not open like the front sunroof, but both do have a powered blind that is controlled from the front of the cabin.

The powered tailgate can be open/closed from the key fob, button under the tailgate and a button in the cabin. A small feature that I appreciated was the cargo cover automatically moves back when you open the tailgate and lowers down when you close it. Behind the cargo cover there is manual roller blind that can be pulled up to become a safety barrier between the boot space and the cabin to reduce the likelihood of projectiles from coming forward under emergency braking. This Avant also has the luggage rail system with four substantial tie down points for the cargo net. The boot also has two hooks, two lights, a 12V outlet and a tyre repair kit under the boot floor.

The boot space is very large and would easily accommodate a large weekly shop or a pram and a smaller shop. If more space is required the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split folding mechanism that is manually released using the levers in the boot. There is also a small amount of additional storage space under the boot floor for items that you don’t need every day like a spare set of emergency clothes for your children.

The Driver Assist features on the RS 6 Avant performance can be customised between Basic, Individual, and Maximum. Under the Individual options you can turn on/off the distance warning, Audi pre-sense, side assist, intersection assist, and emergency assist. Other active safety systems include Audi pre-sense front with Autonomous Emergency Braking provides collision mitigation from 5km/h up to 85 km/h (pedestrians and cyclists) and up to 250km/h (vehicles), Audi pre-sense rear, adaptive cruise control (controlled via a stalk behind the steering wheel), active lane assist, blind spot warning system, collision avoidance assist, and rear cross traffic assist. Passive safety includes front airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags for front and rear side passengers, head level curtain airbag for front and rear.

The 360-degree reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors incorporates four wide-angle cameras covering the entire area immediately around the vehicle and you can ‘move’ around the Avant by sliding your finger on the infotainment screen. The RS 6 Avant performance also has auto wipers and auto lights with high beam assist on the Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser lights.

The Audi RS 6 Avant performance comes with a five-year/unlimited kilometre manufacturer warranty and five-years coverage with Audi roadside assistance. Audi owners also receive a complementary membership during their warranty period to Audi Experience, Audi Australia’s bespoke loyalty program that offers access to exclusive national events, intimate Audi Ambassador experiences and premium partner offers.

The service interval for the RS 6 Avant performance is 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first, and a five-year service plan (maximum of 75,000km) can be purchased upfront for $4.360. Customers also have the opportunity to purchase Audi Advantage, an Audi-exclusive program that allows owners to purchase two-year packages to extend their servicing, warranty and roadside assistance. New vehicle customers are able to purchase two-year programs back-to-back at the time of purchase, or at a later date up to 8 years old, to extend the current manufacturer warranty beyond the current 5-year timeframe. This allows new vehicle owners the security of a full factory warranty for up to 9 years, which is transferable to future owners of their vehicle.

Audi RS 6 Avant performance repair shop

After driving almost a thousand kilometres in the Audi RS 6 Avant performance my whole family agreed that it was hard to find any major faults with what it offers, it truly is a peak performing family car. Prices for the Audi RS 6 Avant performance start at $241,500 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs and as tested my Avant was $247,200 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. You can shop for an Audi RS 6 Avant performance online or visit your preferred Audi dealer for more information.

Greater performance over the previous RS 6 AvantGloss black surfaces on centre console and dash
More noise over previous RS 6 AvantFinger marks on the haptic touch screens
A comfortable cabin experience for all passengersWe had to hand it back ☹

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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