Sunday, September 19, 2021
Reviews 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant Review: The One

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant Review: The One

The Audi RS 6 is the answer to the question: What’s the most well-rounded and complete car in the world?


  • Pricing for the 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant starts at $120,400 in Canada, $109,000 in the US.

  • The RS 6 is the most Audi RS of them all.

  • An icon, a status symbol, and a station wagon – it’s perfect.


It was almost exactly two years ago when I first came face-to-face with the new 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant. I clearly remember the event as not only were we introduced to the RS 6, but we got a sneak-peak at the new RS 7, RS Q3, and RS Q8. This is a massive dose of Audi RS for anyone in a very brief period but all in attendance were in excellent spirits as the next step was a driving opportunity.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme


Station wagon > SUV

Even before I first took the helm of the RS 6 Avant, I knew that was going to be beyond special. And it was, and still is. In fact, to the question I’m often posed, the answer is: the Audi RS 6 Avant is the one car I would get if I could only drive one petrol-powered car for the remainder of my natural life. This super-wagon is all things to so many enthusiasts starting with the fact that it is, unquestionably, a station wagon.


RS 6 Avant > AMG E 63 S wagon

The notion alone that it isn’t another damned SUV elevates it above all of them, be they of the AMG, Audi RS, BMW M, or of Porsche origins. Certainly, there’s the implausibly cool Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon but my mind and soul are clear: The RS 6 Avant, though it may not be as dynamically gifted or fast as the AMG, it’s the better overall driver in my opinion.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant vs. 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S | Photo: Olivier Delorme


Flawless

The 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant also has crushingly more visual appeal than the AMG. Truth be told, no wagon has the right to look this angry, this determined to ruin everyone else’s day on the road. I see Venom in the front fascia, an elegant prestigious cruise missile in its profile, and in the rear, something seductive that would be split by a thong. Perhaps my goggles are dirty, but I swoon in this car’s presence. I’ve had a love affair with station wagons for 40 years and, of the few modern ones, is the most drool-worthy

Although I’d not normally opt for carbon fibre adornments when building a car, I would absolutely specify the Carbon Optics kit for the RS 6. The included 22-inch 5 V-spoke trapezoid wheels, glossy carbon RS exterior parts such as on the bumpers and the mirrors housings, are simply too exquisite and exotic to pass up.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme


Executive high-performance cabin

The cabin too is exclusive and impressively comfortable. While most continue to believe that Audi RS is about balls-out performance, which it can be, its MO is the daily grind rapidly covered. This is why the valcona leather seats are so comfortable and supportive. They’ll hold you in place while apex-carving and they’ll keep you in good spirits on the longest road trip.

There’s plenty of room onboard furthering the wagon>SUV cause. Three adults could slide on the second-row bench but two will be more at ease. The front passengers are at an advantage which is right as they’re likely the ones making the monthly payments – they could use more storage spots, however. Finally, the boot will hold an easy 850 litres of stuff, plenty for any and all activities. Should that be insufficient, nothing says 2020-2021 like a roof box on an Audi wagon.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant is a premium automobile from a premium automaker thus is loaded with the latest tech. Audi’s virtual cockpit, with various viewing modes such as RS Performance and RS Sport, is standard, as is Audi’s MMI touch response system accessible via a 10.1-inch display, and more. Superbly strung together, the dashboard is an amalgamation of shapes, surfaces, and craftsmanship.


Glorious V8

The RS 6 Avant’s styling and inner sanctum whet the appetite as we all know what happens when the start button is prodded. The glorious 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 and its 591-horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque burbles to life through the RS sport exhaust system. In true form, and somewhat sadly, the V8 is bridled by a soft limiter meaning that neighbours will sleep soundly upon start-up. Even under load and when the performance exhaust is activated, the V8 is deeply civilized. For some, this is the way, for others, there’s Akrapovič.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

As is, however, the Audi RS 6 Avant is disruptively fast. Out of the box, the 5,000lb wagon reaches 100km/h from a standstill in only 3.6 seconds. The V8’s torque takes over from 2,050 rpm and twists heavily until 4,500 rpm, and by 6,000, the cavalry comes in. So immense is the onslaught of power that the rear end squats heavily while the front raises towards the heavens – it’s an incredible sight to behold.

Via the Drive Select drive modes, there are pre-set options and there’s the “RS Mode” button on the steering which enables access to two programable modes known as RS 1 and RS 2. These are available over and above the “dynamic”, “auto”, and “comfort” pre-programmed mode. Within moments of picking up the car, I had both RS modes ready for action.


RS adaptive air suspension + quattro = Unstoppable

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

For the daily, the standard RS adaptive air suspension is nothing short of a blessing. Its ability to deliver comfort on a scale that matches an A8 L and handling that should not physically be possible in such a car is what makes the RS 6 Avant the greater of the two super-powered German wagons. At no time is the Audi harsh or unpleasant to drive, even over some seriously damaged roads. This cannot be said about the AMG.

The RS 6 is never floaty, only ever intent on covering serious ground at serious speeds all the while ensuring that its occupants are as undisturbed as possible. The tested car also included the Dynamic package which delivers dynamic all-wheel steering and the quattro sport rear differential. Together, all three elements transform what should be a very intimidating car to drive into something no more imposing than an A4.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Mashing the throttle, as described, launches the RS 6 Avant into orbit but the magnificent quattro AWD system divvies up the power with unmatched expertise. The rear Sport Differential further divides the torque between the rear wheels for faultless forward momentum. Control this momentum comes down to the dynamic steering and the massive brakes. My only disappointment with the RS 6 Avant, for the second time, is that I will have had the opportunity to track it and properly sample the massive braking power and truly experience how responsible steering is.


The One answer

I have nothing further to add here. The 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant is the One.

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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