Automobile

2023 Audi RS6 Avant Review, Pricing, and Specs

Overview

In a sea of performance SUVs like the BMW X5 M, the Audi RS6’s rakish profile, hunkered-down stance, and supercar driving character are rare and special. Powered by a 591-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-8, this station wagon is a performance beast, shooting to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and capable of a 190 mph top speed. That’ll make Costco runs a lot more interesting. At the same time, the long-roof body style can comfortably seat five while carrying nearly as much cargo as chunkier, less athletic SUVs. And though the RS6 leans heavily towards sporty driving, the interior features a classy design, sumptuous materials, and all of the latest technology. Along with the high-riding performance SUVs, the RS6 Avant does battle with other pricey performance wagons like the Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo. If you dig the RS6 Avant’s performance credentials but want a sleeker, less family-oriented look, Audi also offers the mechanically identical RS7 hatchback.

What’s New for 2023?

There is only one update to the RS6 Avant for the 2023 model year: an available black suede headliner made from recycled materials. Otherwise, the high-performance wagon carries over unchanged from last year, and the price also remains the same.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

This car comes in only one spec, but you can deck it out with lots of fancy options. Unless you want a gray car, you’ll have to pay extra for a different paint color. We’d have ours sprayed in the pretty Navarra Blue Metallic. We’d also select the Black Optic package, which gives the wagon an even more sinister look with black exterior bits and snazzy 22-inch wheels on summer performance tires. Those who want their Avant to reach 190 mph will have to shell out for carbon-ceramic brakes, but we’d spend that money on massage chairs up front and the Executive package (more leather-covered surfaces, heated rear seats, soft-close doors, and a head-up display). Of course, our wagon needs the optional sport exhaust so we can revel in its intoxicating engine sounds.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Audi endows the RS6 Avant with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which generates 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant combines with a 48-volt hybrid system that’s found on other Audi products, such as the A8 luxury sedan and the Q8 crossover. The RS6 Avant feeds its standard Quattro all-wheel drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The combination helped rocket our 5031-pound test car to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 11.5 ticks at 120 mph. But those numbers don’t accurately demonstrate the wagon’s glorious ability to increase our heart rates and tingle our ear drums with its breakneck acceleration and badass soundtrack. Rolling on a set of 22-inch wheels with summer performance rubber and buoyed by a sport-tuned air suspension with adaptive dampers, our Tango Red RS6 Avant test car was able to deliver a relaxed or rollicking ride depending on the selected drive mode. The long-roof Audi also felt extremely agile thanks to its four-wheel steering and torque-vectoring rear differential. Ours stopped from 70 mph in a tidy 160 feet with the standard brakes. A set of front and rear carbon-ceramic stoppers are available for a sizable sum, and the upgrade unlocks a higher top speed of 190 mph.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The RS6 Avant is expected to earn 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which is in line with what the E63 S and Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo manage. Once we can run the RS6 Avant on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the RS6 Avant’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Inside, the RS6 Avant showcases a sophisticated design and cutting-edge technology. The driver faces a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the dashboard features a pair of large touchscreens between the front passengers. The rest of the cabin is covered in leather and accentuated with racy materials. The RS6 Avant has a roster of upscale standard features, including heated and ventilated front seats, four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and wireless phone charging. Buyers can order a head-up display, massaging front seats, richer leather, and heated rear seats for more coin. The wagon has 30 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats too. A power rear liftgate comes standard; a motion-activated one is optional.

Infotainment and Connectivity

A 10.1-inch touchscreen handles the infotainment system. It supports standard features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Bang & Olufsen stereo, built-in navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Below the upper display is an 8.6-inch touchscreen that contains settings for the climate controls as well as other vehicle functions. While both screens have large icons that are easy to spot and use, they can be distracting to the driver, especially the lower one. We miss the old scroll knob that used to accompany Audi’s infotainment systems.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Audi wagon offers some standard driver-assistance technology, with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist both available. For more information about the RS6 Avant’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Available night vision with large animal and pedestrian detection
  • Available blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Audi’s limited and powertrain warranties align with plans offered by Mercedes and Porsche.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

Specifications

Specifications

2021 Audi RS6 Avant

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE AS TESTED

$119,840 (base price: $110,045)

ENGINE TYPE

twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement

244 in3, 3996 cm3
Power

591 hp @ 6250 rpm
Torque

590 lb-ft @ 2050 rpm

TRANSMISSION

8-speed automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink

Brakes (F/R): 16.5-in vented, cross-drilled disc/14.6-in vented, cross-drilled disc

Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4, 285/30ZR-22 (101Y) AO

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 115.4 in

Length: 196.7 in

Width: 76.8 in

Height: 58.6 in

Passenger volume: 101 ft3

Cargo volume: 30 ft3

Curb weight: 5031 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 3.1 sec

100 mph: 7.8 sec

130 mph: 13.6 sec

150 mph: 19.6 sec

Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.4 sec

Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec

Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.1 sec

1/4 mile: 11.5 sec @ 120 mph

Top speed (governor limited): 156 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 160 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 318 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.94 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/city/highway: 17/15/22 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

More Features and Specs

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