The concept of the super-fast Avant is more tightly woven into the Audi DNA than virtually any other hallmark of Vorsprung durch Technik, and that concept has been refined yet again in the creation of the new, fourth generation RS 6 Avant.
Bristling with the technological accomplishments already delivered by the new A6 Avant, the latest addition to the Audi Sport fold combines formidable twin-turbo eight-cylinder TFSI power with state-of-the-art efficiency features including mild hybrid drive and cylinder-on-demand technology, helping to deliver epic performance as responsibly as possible.
An Absolute Icon
“Throughout our 25-year RS history, the Audi RS 6 Avant is one of our absolute icons with a large global fan base,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “We will also be offering the RS 6 Avant in North America for the very first time. As such, we will be tapping into a new market with huge potential and generating further growth.”
With the exception of the front doors, roof and tailgate, the exterior of the RS 6 Avant comprises exclusively RS-specific parts, and to look at the car at rest on its sizeable 21-inch wheels shrouded by broad flared arches that expand its width by 40mm on each side, this is immediately evident.
The new RS 6 Avant is one of the first Audi Sport models to feature the new RS design language. In addition to a new bonnet with powerdome, it also adopts the front headlights from the A7 model line which are not only slimmer and more sporting in style but also offer the RS Matrix LED laser headlight with darkened trims as an additional USP of the RS 6 Avant in the A6 family. Similar to the LED rear lights, they feature a dynamic indicator along with RS-specific sequencing when the vehicle is locked and unlocked.
The three-dimensional honeycomb structure within the Singleframe grille is finished in gloss black, and its surround and the quattro logo in the bumper have been removed in this latest incarnation of the design.
Below the standard LED headlights, side air inlets open on the strikingly drawn new RS bumper and extend almost into the lower edge of the headlights. The designers have taken their cue for this application from the front-end of the Audi R8 supercar.
Elongated Front Section
The characteristic Avant silhouette dominates in the side view – elongated front section, long, straight roofline and flat D pillars, which rest on the quattro blisters. RS-specific sills with black inserts also add emphasis to the flanks. The dynamic rear-end consists of the roof edge spoiler and an RS-specific bumper with rear diffuser and design elements in gloss black. In hallmark RS style, the RS exhaust system flows on both sides into oval chrome-coloured tailpipes.
The 4.0 TFSI in the new Audi RS 6 Avant delivers 600PS and 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque, which is maintained at this high level between 2,050 and 4,500 rpm. In just 3.6 seconds the high-performance Avant sprints from zero to 100 km/h, and where conditions permit the driver can see 200 km/h by the time 12 seconds have elapsed. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h.
Thanks to the 48-volt main electrical system the twin-turbo V8 combines maximum performance with high efficiency. A belt alternator starter lies at the heart of the mild hybrid system (MHEV). Up to 12 kW of power can be recovered during light deceleration and stored in a separate lithium-ion battery. If the driver lifts off the accelerator at a speed of between 50 and 160 km/h, the drive management selects one of two options: Depending on the driving situation and setting in the standard Audi drive select dynamic driving system the new RS 6 Avant recovers energy or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. Re-applying pressure on the accelerator instructs the belt alternator starter to restart the engine. MHEV technology allows for start/stop operation at speeds of up to 20 km/h. Fuel savings of up to 0.8 litres per 100 kilometres are possible in everyday driving.
Cylinder On Demand
Another key efficiency-focused component is the cylinder on demand (COD) system, which at low to intermediate loads and speeds deactivates cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8 in the high gears by switching off injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. In four-cylinder operation the operating points in the active cylinders are displaced toward higher loads in areas of the characteristic map with higher efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders largely run without losses, like gas springs. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, they are reactivated instantly.
For all its efficiency the 4.0 TFSI remains a thoroughbred V8 in terms of character and sound. The driver can influence that sound using the Audi drive select system. In the new, customisable RS1 and RS2 modes accessible via Audi drive select, customers decide themselves whether the sound should be full-blooded or balanced.
Optimized shift times
The standard eight-speed tiptronic with optimized shift times and a new Launch Control function transmits the power of the 4.0 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axle in a ratio of 40:60 via the all-mechanical centre differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 percent can be channelled to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels.
The wheel-selective torque control optimises the agile and safe handling of the new RS 6 Avant – it brakes the wheels with reduced load on the inside of a bend slightly before they can begin to spin.
The quattro sport differential shifts the drive torque when cornering at speed as required between the rear wheels, thus improving traction, stability and dynamics. While always offered in Asia and European markets, the RS6 Avant has been absent from the North American market, but this latest one will be on sale in Canada and the U.S.A. So, the days of the fast-wagon are finally upon us!