Sunday 19th September 2021
Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page

 



Loony-toons-saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.

Loony-toons-saloon
Audi adds an RS6 saloon to its range to give customers looking for insane pace even more choice.

 



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> Audi reviews

| First Drive | Dusseldorf, Germany | Audi RS6 saloon |

Audi's RS6 has been available in Avant (estate) form for a while now, but Audi has recently refreshed its A6 range and added a saloon version of its crazy-carrier to the line up. Everything bar the boot is the same as in its estate relative, but that wasn't going to stop us having another go in it. After all, it's got a 571bhp twin-turbo V10 engine under its bonnet. That mighty powerplant not only gives it quite loony pace, but accompanies the performance with a soundtrack that's second only to Italian exotica.

In the Metal

The sheet metal changes over its estate relative might only mean the removal of the additional carrying capacity, but the RS6 saloon somehow manages to look even more muscular than ever. Perhaps it's the loss of the estate's longer roofline that draws your eye to the saloon's blistered wheelarches and huge alloys, behind which sit Audi's optional (and quite ludicrously expensive) ceramic brake discs. The RS6 looks fantastic in saloon guise, particularly in the bright red and matte black trimmed example we tested; it mixes Audi's usual clean, classy lines with some real visual aggression. No one is going to mistake the RS6 for an ordinary A6, with the noise it makes underlining that fact.

What you get for your Money

Money isn't really an issue with the RS6, as frankly, if you can afford to blow 76,000 on a saloon car then you're unlikely to be too worried about cash. Opt for the 6,250 ceramic brakes and you'll be breaking the 80,000 mark quickly, a few more choice options certain to ensure that few RS6s hit the road for much less than 85,000. That's a lot of cash for any car, but consider that its key rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz AMG are a good deal cheaper and you have to wonder why it costs so much more. The answer is quite simply the performance: the RS6 accelerates faster and harder, grips more tenaciously and generally goes about the business of getting places quickly very effectively.

Driving it

Audi didn't just improve on the output of its BMW and Mercedes AMG rivals, it comprehensively blew them away. The 5.0-litre twin-turbo V10 develops an incredible 571bhp, that massive output allowing the RS6 to sprint to 62mph in just 4.5 seconds. Keep the toe in and the RS6 will reach 124mph in just 14.5 seconds, its acceleration ferocious yet linear, the only hint that the Tiptronic automatic is shifting being a very slight let up and shift in engine note before it continues its incredible forward lunge. Drive it like that and you'll not hold onto your license for very long, but there's reward in backing off too. Lift your foot off the accelerator and the RS6's engine and exhaust crackles and pops like a competition car, sounding like a mighty mythical beast taking a breather before unleashing more hellish power.

It is an extraordinary experience and all that power is used effectively thanks to the Audi's quattro four-wheel drive system. Traction is phenomenal, making it a far more useable proposition than its direct rivals. The ride impresses too, Audi's switchable damping allowing the driver to select various degrees of stiffness, the Comfort setting actually surprisingly so. The steering is heavy and direct, but there's very little information through the wheel's rim - certainly less than in a BMW M5. Braking is sensational, especially if you've opted for the ceramic brake discs, which are so vast they could stop a jumbo jet.

Worth Noting

It's unlikely that the sort of people who can afford to buy and run an RS6 will care about the price of fuel, but a 20.3mpg combined consumption figure will mean frequent stops for super-unleaded. Just try getting anywhere near that figure too if you're tempted to use the RS6's phenomenal performance. If you do, and get frustrated by the 155mph limiter, Audi will remove it, or at least raise it to 175mph. Without it? Who knows, but with all that power on tap figure on breaking through 200mph.

Summary

Losing the estate rear end really does reduce the RS6's Q-car status, but for many that's part of the appeal. It's an amazing machine, that's thrilling and quite insanely fast, yet remarkably controllable and useable too. The new Audi RS6 saloon may be expensive, silly, and possibly a little wrong even, but it's undoubtedly glorious because of all that.

Kyle Fortune - 19 Sep 2008









  www.audi.co.uk    - Audi road tests
- Audi videos
- Audi news
- A6 images

2009 Audi A6 specifications:
Price: 76,160 on-the-road.
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Combined economy: 20.3mpg
Emissions: 331g/km
Kerb weight: 1985kg

Full technical specifications

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Audi.



2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 

2009 Audi RS6 saloon. Image by Kyle Fortune.
 






 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2021 ©