The acceleration is firm, insistent, not savage but linear and the speeds possible would be illegal in most other countries very quickly indeed. Road noise is remarkably minimal, comparable even to luxury machines like Bentleys, and the sound from the exhaust is more of a bassy, hard-edged hum than a roar. The RS6 doesn’t encourage you to drive fast, but it’ll more than happily oblige when the desire takes you.
The car will be available with air suspension, but the cars on the launch have the optional steel Sports Suspension Plus set up, which lets you choose between Dynamic and Comfort modes using the infotainment system. We did all our autobahn blasting on Comfort, as the gulf to Dynamic – for the suspension at least – is large and results in an unpleasantly choppy ride. On the tighter roads in the countryside, the way the more hardcore setting checks bodyroll is excellent. It’s a formidable accompaniment to the superb brakes and monstrous engine, with its buckets of torque that rocket you out of corners. However, I still wish there was a setting for the dampers somewhere between the two, to firm things up on fast, sweeping bends but without shaking your ribs loose.
On the face of it, this looks like a good rival for the E63 AMG. It’s got all-wheel drive, lots of power and a luxury badge, but for me this is a more refined, reserved experience, less lairy than the Merc but, I would imagine, just as fast.
As a mile-muncher, for covering large distances with four adults and a load of luggage, I can’t honestly fault it. It’s quiet, comfortable and so, so fast, perhaps the perfect machine for a road trip. As a sports car, it doesn’t thrill as much as it could, but the more I think about it, who buys an estate car if all they want is raw dynamism?
The Middle East price has yet to be announced, but as a guide, it’ll cost 107,000 euros (around $140,000) in Europe, which puts it in the same price bracket as the new Range Rover. There’s no doubt that the RS6 Avant is an excellent machine, and but can it tempt local buyers away from their much-loved SUVs? Time will tell.
|Audi RS6 Avant C7|
|Engine:||V8 / twin turbo 3993cc|
|Power:||552bhp @ 5700-6700rpm|
|Torque:||516lb ft @ 1750-5500rpm|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed transmission / quattro permanent all-wheel-drive / Sports differential|
|Front suspension:||RS-specific Adaptive air suspension|
|Rear suspension:||RS-specific Adaptive air suspension|
|Brakes:||RS high-performance braking system|
|Wheels:||20in front and rear|
|Tyres:||275/35 R20 front and rear|