One of the biggest names in the world of hot rod wagons has made a return – the Audi RS6.
Although the new RS6 has fewer cylinders and less horsepower than its V10-engined predecessor, it still comes with a respectable 560hp from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. Torque is rated at 700Nm (516 lb ft), which is available between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm. There is also a sporty exhaust system which becomes louder at the touch of a button, while an even throatier exhaust system is available as an optional extra.
As usual the RS6 is equipped with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system (with torque vectoring, self-locking centre and rear differentials), but this time receiving drive from an eight-speed automatic transmission. Combine that traction and drivetrain with the engine’s power, and the RS6 is capable of getting from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Top speed is an electronically governed 155mph (250km/h), which can also be raised to either 174mph (approx. 280km/h) or 189mph (approx. 300km/h).
Audi is claiming a 100kg reduction in weight over the previous RS6 (the previous car weighed around 2,025kg, so it’s still quite heavy despite being less than 2 tonnes) which in part helps it become more fuel efficient. Other features that make the RS6 a claimed 40 per cent more efficient are a stop-start function, a Cylinder on Demand (COD) system which shuts down four of the eight cylinders at low engine speeds, and a tall eighth gear ratio geared more towards efficiency rather than top speed.
Air suspension is another new feature for the RS6, which enables it to ride 20mm lower. A conventional steel sprung setup is also available, coming in the form of Sports Suspension Plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), which makes use of three-way adjustable shock absorbers. Front brake discs measure 390mm and are clamped by six-piston calipers, while carbon ceramic items measuring 420mm are optional.
The RS6 will be available to order by early next year at a cost of around £77,000 in the UK. Deliveries are expected to be made by summer 2013.