The first C5 RS 6 was launched in 2002.
It was offered as a sedan and a delightful Avant, aka wagon.
The RS 6 sedan was replaced by the RS 7 in 2013.
The RS 6 is an unquestionable part of Audi’s legendary collection of RS vehicles. Launched for the 2002 model year during the C5 generation of the A6, the RS 6 was a street-legal race in regular clothing. While its exterior physique has evolved, the high-performance car remains an everyday useable means of transportation.
There’s a good chance that you did not know this but Cosworth, at one time a subsidiary of AUDI AG until 2004, was in part responsible for its twin-turbocharged 4.2-litre V8 putting out a notable 450 PS and 560 Nm of torque. Both the RS 6 sedan and Avant featured an automatic transmission which enabled the cars to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds.
Audi fitted both of them with their newly-developed Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) suspension which catered to both on-road and track use. Impressively, each car spent on average 15 hours on a lift in Neckarsulm being fine-tuned and worked on by quattro GmbH workers.
The follow-up C6 got the RS 6’s largest-ever engine. The dry-sumped twin-turbocharged V10 produced a whopping 580 PS and 650 Nm of torque, or more than the R8 supercar at the time! The 0-100km/h sprint times dropped to 4.5 seconds while the top speed increased to 303 km/h (188 mph) from the C5’s 280 km/h (174 mph). The sedan and Avant once more featured the DRC suspension.
The C7-generation RS 6 saw the sedan body style relegated to the RS 7 Sportback meaning that only the Avan remained. In our opinion, this move further increased the RS 6’s status. It also marked the return of the V8, this time a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre unit capable of 605 PS and 750 Nm of torque with the overboost function. Thanks to a 120 kg (265 lbs) reduction in weight, the new RS 6 needed only 3.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph). For the first time, the RS 6 included an adaptive air suspension which lowered the car 20 millimeters (0.79 in).
The fourth-generation C8 Audi RS 6 is an exceptional gift from Audi Sport GmbH and the first ever to be offered for sale in North America. We’ve had the absolute privilege to drive it on a few occasions. You can read more about it in the review.
Based on what Audi’s shown the world so far, the C8 may become the final petrol-powered RS 6 as the next one will likely be electric.