What is it?
2020 Audi RS 6 Avant: The Hot Wagon Is Back in the USA
An Even Less Stationary Station Wagon
The 2020 Audi RS 6 Avant is a super-hot wagon with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 stuffed under the hood to help make up for the extra cargo you can stuff in its large boot. In Europe, that engine will be good for 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. U.S. horses are sometimes a little different, so we'll have to see if that number changes when the RS 6 Avant crosses the Atlantic.
Another European metric for excellence is the quoted 0-62 mph time (or 0-100 km/h) of 3.6 seconds. That's slightly slower than the current BMW M5, but then, the M5 doesn't come with a fifth door.
Why does it matter?
Audi has always had a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts, and its past RS cars have something of a cult following. But the company's current lineup has gotten a little bland for such die-hard fans. The delightfully quirky five-cylinder RS 3 and TT RS are both getting the ax, while the latest iteration of the RS 5 ditches the old model's sonorous V8 for a V6 that's plenty powerful but doesn't offer much in the way of personality.
So how do you get enthusiasts talking again? How does a twin-turbo V8 wagon strike you? Audi likely won't sell many RS 6 Avants in the U.S., but it's going to win some hearts and minds.
What does it compete with?
Audi has two big competitors when it comes to super-hot wagons. The first is the Mercedes-Benz AMG E 63 S Wagon, which packs a 603-hp twin-turbo V8 and boasts similar performance specs. One advantage of the Mercedes is a bigger trunk — while it looks less sporty, you get more cargo space in the trade.
The second wagon of note shares space with the RS 6 under the Volkswagen Group's corporate umbrella: the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, which boasts a twin-turbo V8 of its own in either GTS (453 hp) or Turbo (550 hp) trim. The Porsche will be more expensive, but it's hard to argue with its performance pedigree.
It's great to see Audi embracing a car with personality. The RS 6's aggressive styling and ripping V8 may not be for everyone, but they certainly make a statement.