AUDI’S LATEST RS 6 MIGHT BE OFF THE SCALE IN TERMS OF POWER, PROMISES AND PRICE, BUT IF EVER THERE WAS A PRACTICAL SUPERCAR, THIS IS IT. WE DELVE INTO THE WONDERS OF AUDI’S LATEST WAR WAGON.
Audi’s RS 6 is based on the firm’s A6 model, which here starts at $155,900 in Avant form with a 250kW/500Nm V6. And a few years back that would have been considered plentiful, more than enough. Not now though, and in NZ, Audi A6 buyers want it all with few even considering the entry model, lured by the pull of the almighty RS 6. Not that there is much in common between the base Avant and the beast. The RS 6 shares only its front doors, roof and tailgate with the civilian version, while the guards are pumped 40mm each side to contain its engorged track.
For this new, fourth-generation model, the 4.0-litre V8 returns, revised with a view to a semblance of efficiency. There’s 441kW, which is slightly down on the previous Performance version, (guess they are saving something for the mid-life refresh then) but they’ve added a few more Newton metres, now with 800 on from 2050rpm to 4500. Additional too is a particulate filter for cleaner exhaust gases. The pair of twin scroll turbos are slightly larger and puff up to 1.4bar of boost pressure, a rise of 0.2bar. They live inside the V, reducing gas travel times to aid throttle response. The V8 is now coupled with a mild hybrid set-up featuring a belt alternator starter and a small lithium-ion battery. It adds extended engine-off periods, and it can hibernate the eight at speeds between 55 and 160km/h on a dead throttle. The effort is said to gain 0.8L/100km savings. There’s also cylinder deactivation. Audi is now claiming 11.7/100km on average for the RS 6, though mid-teens are still a more likely outcome from our experience. But what is quite amazing is the 24-month, 30,000km service interval for such a performance engine.