Audi have long been proponents of fast wagons over the past 25 years, with notable cars like the legendary RS2 in its back catalogue, along with the RS4 and RS6 ranges having been paired down to ‘Avant’ wagon form in their previous generations.
But it’s the latter of those in question today, as Audi has revealed what looks like it could well be its best effort yet – the incredibly handsome new RS6 Avant, which Audi is claiming will ‘usher in a new chapter’ for the company’s fast wagons.
Set to debut here in mid-2020, the new RS6 is going to be one strong performer, with it sporting a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 under the bonnet that also features a 48V mild-hybrid system to help it put out an impressive 441kW and 800Nm – an increase of 100Nm over the previous model.
Backing it up is an eight-speed torque converter automatic and, as is traditional with Audi, ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive with a standard 40/60 power split, although its mechanical centre differential can channel as much as 85 percent of the power to the rear wheels when required.
From a standstill, it will reach 100km/h in a claimed 3.6 seconds and 200km/h in 12.0 seconds, while de-restricted, it will charge on to 305km/h.
Helping improve its efficiency, the mild-hybrid system can recover up to 12kW of power under braking, and will allow it to coast fuel-free between 50-160km/h which Audi claims will save up to 0.8L/100km during everyday driving. There’s also a cylinder deactivation system that allows it to run on just four cylinders under light throttle.
Riding on model-specific air suspension at all four corners, the RS6 will normally sit 20mm lower than the regular A6 Avant on which it’s based, while for added stability, it’ll drop a further 10mm at speeds in excess of 120km/h. However, a regular coil-spring setup with adaptive dampers will also be available.
Four-wheel steering can also be added as an option, with the system turning the rear wheels as much as five-degrees in the opposite direction at low speeds to reduce its turning circle by as much as one metre, while also tightening its corner-carving abilities by turning up to two-degrees in the same direction as the fronts at higher speeds.
As standard, the RS6 will ride on 21-inch wheels with 275/35 tyres with 420mm front and 370mm rear brakes as standard – however, the 22-inch rims with 285/30 tyres are optional, as are massive 440mm front and 370mm rear carbon ceramic stoppers, which save a claimed 34kg compared to the regular steel equivalents.
Other options will also include an RS sport exhaust to unlock some real growl from the bent-eight under the bonnet, along with a torque-vectoring rear differential as part of the wider dynamic package.
Also worth mentioning is that on the inside, it will come fully laden with all the very best goodies from the regular A6, including the brilliant virtual cockpit digital gauge cluster and MMI touch response dual-screen infotainment system, which will also sport a unique ‘RS Monitor’ that includes additional temperature gauges and performance measuring tools.
And one key ingredient of the RS6 that has been improved with this all-new model is its massive boot, which has only been made bigger with 14mm of added width between the rear wheel arches, while the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat will expand the boot to very nearly two metres in length.
You can expect more details to arise over the next few months as Audi begins to roll out the new RS6 Avant in various markets around the world – including, for the first time, the USA, which only received the RS6 sedan before this for the 2003 model year alone. Based off everything we know so far, however, we’re going to take an educated guess and say that this thing is shaping up to be one incredible car.