- We've tested and reviewed some of the fastest vehicles ever produced by Audi.
- The RS 6 Avant, RS 7 and RS Q8 use the same engine, transmission and all-wheel-drive system.
- The RS 7 posted the best all-around performance of the trio.
Audi has been pumping out performance cars for decades now, and Edmunds has tested three of its latest and most powerful models: the RS 6 Avant, the RS 7 and RS Q8, the latter being Audi's first RS-spec SUV. All three use a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 making 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That V8 is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a performance-tuned version of Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
The Audi RS 6 Avant is a high-performance wagon based on the Audi A6 sedan. While we don't get a standard A6 Avant in the United States, we do get the lifted Audi A6 Allroad wagon. In addition to the powertrain, the RS 6 includes upgrades such as all-wheel steering, an adaptive air suspension for improved handling, and a sport-tuned limited-slip differential for enhanced traction.
Aside from the shape, the RS 7 is nearly identical to the RS 6 Avant. It even uses a hatchback-style trunk, though that sleek profile means it doesn't offer quite as much cargo space as the wagon. The interior is much the same. From the driver's seat forward, the two look and feel about the same. The RS 7 is slightly more expensive, but it has generally the same features and options as the RS 6.
If you want performance and luxury but you prefer the space, comfort and seating position of an SUV, Audi has you covered. Think of the RS Q8 as a lifted and slightly stretched version of the RS 6 Avant. It offers a bit more passenger and cargo space than the wagon as well as the tall seating position SUV drivers enjoy. And yet it sure doesn't drive like an SUV, with performance that's only a bit off from that of the RS 6 and RS 7.
The RS 6 Avant is the least expensive, the RS 7 is the quickest, and the RS Q8 offers the most space, utility and performance. Really, you won't go wrong with any of them. But the RS 7 seems to sit in the sweet spot between utility and performance.