What Car? says...
With an ever-increasing demand for sports SUVs, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the concept of the fast estate car was very much on its last legs. But as the release of this fourth-generation Audi RS6 shows, the opposite is true.
Never before have we had such a talented selection of large performance estates at our disposal, the shortlist including, but not limited to the Porsche Panamera Sports Turismo, a wagon that manages to combine high-class luxury with continent crushing performance, and the Alpina B5 Touring, a 200mph BMW 5 Series with enough power to smoosh your dog up against the rear window at will. And, of course, there's our top price-point Performance Car of the Year, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate, a car that's the automotive equivalent of a reverse mullet: all business out back, with a 603bhp party up front.
The RS6 has been designed to better them all.
It certainly looks up for a fight, doesn’t it? Only the roof, front doors and rear hatch are carried over from the regular A6 Avant; every other panel has been stretched and flared to accommodate larger wheels, a wider track (the width between the left wheels and right) and beefier tail-pipes. You’ll have to decide if you like the look, but it’s certainly no shrinking violet.
Under the bonnet lurks a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 petrol engine that is capable of dispatching a mighty 592bhp and 590lb ft of torque to all four wheels, through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The results are rather punchy: 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-124mph in 12 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph; unless you tick the box for ceramic brakes on the Vorsprung model. Do that and you'll have access to 189mph.
So, is the RS6 the ultimate do-it-all machine? Read on to find out. And don’t forget we can save you a good few quid on your next new car if you check out our New Car Buying pages.