2008 Audi RS 6 Avant Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2007
  • Not for sale in the United States

  • The most powerful car ever introduced by Audi

  • Twin-turbo V-10 rated at 580 hp

  • Zero to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds

  • Top speed limited to 155 mph

  • Standard quattro four-wheel drive

  • Optional ceramic composite brakes

  • Leather, Alcantara, aluminum, and carbon fiber-appointed cabin


According to Audi, "the RS models from quattro GMBH are the ultimate in sportiness, complemented by powerful and elegant design, exclusive equipment and perfect quality." The very first RS, a collaborative project between Audi and Porsche in 1993, was the Audi RS2 Avant (estate, or station wagon). The RS2 was powered by a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine offering the unique combination of high-performance and practical versatility. The Avant proved popular. For 2008, another Avant has been chosen to wear the RS badge. The result is the most powerful Audi in the current model range, and the most potent Audi ever designed for public roads. Audi offers the RS 6 Avant as a sole range-topping performance variant of the A6 series. Each RS 6 is identically equipped with a 580-hp V-10 engine, tiptronic automatic transmission, and quattro permanent four-wheel drive. As is the case with the standard A6 series, the Audi RS 6 Avant can be customized to match the driver's individual wishes.


Visually distinguishing itself from the standard Audi A6 and Audi S6 models, the RS 6 Avant features different exterior and interior enhancements for both performance and aesthetics.

The exterior of the RS 6 Avant presents a very aggressive and muscular stance. The front bumper has been redesigned to allow more intake air to improve engine cooling, forcing the fog lamps to be moved up into the headlight cluster. The RS-family signature matte aluminum-look single-frame grill is prominent, and centered between the adaptive bi-xenon headlights and LED running lamps. The wheels bulge from aggressively flared wheel arches and prominent lower doorsills. The rear of the Audi RS 6 Avant is characterized by twin oval exhaust pipes set to each side of the rear diffuser. A subtle roof spoiler completes the aerodynamic fine-tuning.

The interior cabin, generously swathed in leather, Alcantara, aluminum and carbon fiber, wraps passengers with an aura of sporty elegance and exclusiveness. Although the highly contoured sport seats are standard, buyers can choose between two steering wheels: the flat-bottomed RS sport steering wheel or the multi-function sport wheel.


The thunder inside the Audi RS 6 Avant is a 5.2-liter twin-turbo 10-cylinder engine. While the powerplant is based on the normally aspirated V-10 engines found in the Audi S6 and Audi S8 (rated at 435 hp and 450 hp, respectively), the two turbochargers added under the aluminum hood of the Audi RS 6 boost power to an astounding 580 hp. Torque is rated at 479 lb.-ft. Even with a curb weight of 4,464 pounds, Audi claims the RS 6 Avant launches to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds. A mere 14.9 seconds after leaving a standstill, it passes 125 mph. Acceleration is only harnessed by an electronic limiter at 155 mph.

A technical marvel, the twin-turbo V-10 features Audi's TFSI technology-a combination of direct injection and turbocharging. Direct injection uses high-pressure fuel delivery, at nearly 1800 PSI, to deliver precisely metered amounts of fuel to the cylinder. The result is very efficient combustion, producing more power and better fuel economy. The engine also features a dry-sump lubrication system, ensuring oil delivery even with constant lateral acceleration of up to 1.2 times the force of gravity.

The sole transmission offering is a 6-speed electronically controlled Tiptronic. The automatic shifting characteristics have been optimized to achieve exceptionally short shift times, with ratios adjusted accordingly. The transmission routes power through Audi's race-proven quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system, providing substantially more driving safety and stability under all driving conditions as it transfers engine torque to the wheels with more traction. By default, quattro sends 40 percent of the engine's power to the front wheels, and 60 percent to the rear. This rear-biased setup improves the dynamic handling characteristics of the RS 6 Avant.

The independent suspension of the RS 6 Avant is designed for maximum performance and comfort. Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), a mechanical system utilizing fluid dynamics to control suspension movement, is standard on the range-topping Audi. While DRC operates automatically, the driver can select one of three stages of dampening (Comfort, Dynamic or Sport) based on his/her ride preferences. The standard brakes consist of race-bred floating steel rotors with aluminum components; however, an upgraded ceramic brake system is available. Virtually immune to fade and offering a very long service life, the composite-ceramic discs are 16.5 inches in diameter at the front, and 14.0 inches at the rear. Standard wheels are 19-inch 10-spoke alloys, with 20-inch wheels optional.


As expected, the high-performance Audi RS 6 Avant offers a comprehensive level of standard equipment. Features include a Bose� Surround Sound audio system, heated seats front and rear, a tire-pressure-monitoring system, and Audi parking system plus.

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