On May 27th, a few phones in the office started buzzing. It was a press invitation from Audi India for a car that ‘will turn everyday driving into a celebration’. With enough rumours to back that already, it appeared that Audi had finally listened to the passionate station wagon lover, and was ready to launch the RS6 Avant. With just three days to go (the said launch is on June 4), it’s hard to contain our excitement.
The vehicle in question is based on the 2015 Audi A6 (which too hasn’t been launched in India, but was spotted testing), shares its engine with the recently launched four-door sports coupe, the RS7, but most importantly, brings back a bodystyle that India couldn’t appreciate and the enthusiasts couldn’t get enough of – station wagon – hence the Avant suffix.
Back to the RS6.
The estate bodystyle is what sets it apart. Look, India has had a very limited exposure to this type, and an RS6 will certainly be aspiring. The ‘RS’ in the moniker means it will have a mean-looking body-kit – essentially the bumpers and wheels. Just under 5m in length (at 4,979 mm), it’s slightly longer than the sedan version. The width, though, remains unchanged, hence parking and driving in narrow lanes won’t be too big an issue. It’s also slightly taller than the current car(pre-facelift A6 sold in India), which means there will be better headroom and luggage space in the upcoming performance derivative.
In terms of mechanics, a 4-litre turbocharged V8 petrol engine (4.0 TFSI – the same unit powering the RS7) endows the RS6 Avant with 560PS and 700Nm of maximum torque. The claimed 0-100 kmph time is 3.9s, which again should be enough to put a lot of sportscars to shame during the early morning runs. Traffic GPs won’t be the best way to test its performance, and in the end a racetrack is the only place that would do justice to the vehicle’s capabilities. And not to forget there’s the quattro all-wheel drive system backing the whole experience – not only adding stability when being driven in difficult road conditions but also the ability to tackle corners (preferably on the track) at high speeds. Gearbox duties are handled by a ZF-made 8-speed tiptronic unit.
And the RS6 Avant doesn’t score low in terms of practicality, either. It has enough space to seat five in comfort, and up to 1680 litres of boot space – that is with the rear seats folded; with them up the capacity drops to 565 litres.
That way not only does the RS6 Avant offer more than competitors – there are no real competitors, per se, given the estate bodystyle – but also ensure that it’s not just a couch on wheels. So much so that Audi India could be forgiven for offering vehicles with slightly lackluster driving experience – the previous (pre-update) Audi A4 (B8 facelift) and its CVT ‘box, for example.
Given that Audi India will be importing (CBU) the RS6 Avant, expect the price to be in the vicinity of a crore. And unlike what your finance ministry might tell you, that’s a bloody good deal, isn’t it? And that's why, even with vehicles like the R8 and the TT (review of the latter can be read here), it's the RS6 that promises to deliver more than what its coupe and SUV siblings can only dream of. And that's why it could as well be Audi India's best move yet.
To ensure that the risen enthusiasm doesn’t wither, below are a few videos of the Audi RS6 Avant that would show what the vehicle is capable of.
First some on-track action courtesy evo magazine:
and Chris Harris:
and how an RS6 Avant DTM was put to Uber duties by Jon Olsson: