20 years after the RS 6 was introduced, the RS 6 Avant comes stateside for the first time.
The United States isn’t exactly known for wagons, but those who like them love them. And it’s that love that prompted Audi to bring one of the most iconic wagons in the luxury performance world to US customers for the first time ever: the RS 6 Avant. It’s a spacious, luxurious wagon with beastly amounts of power and performance, and while we’re seeing it here in the US for the first time ever, the car has a long history that dates all the way back to 2002. The Audi RS 6 was introduced after the brand ended up on the podium at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, and won the prestigious race the next three years in a row.
Complementing the RS 4, Audi decided to use its racing prowess to create a bigger, more powerful sports sedan, and the RS 6 came into the world as Audi’s roadgoing crown jewel, as no other Audi in the brand’s lineup was as powerful. Remember, at this point in time the roadgoing Audi R8 didn’t exist, rather the eponymous Audi R8 LMP race car was building the legacy that the R8 would eventually name itself after.
The V8 engine in the first Audi RS 6 put out 444 horsepower and 428 lb/ft of torque, and that brought it to 60 mph in as little as 4.7 seconds. This generation of the Audi RS 6 briefly made it to the United States in sedan form in the 2003 model year, with only 860 units available. And until the 2021 model year, the United States never saw the RS 6 again. Meanwhile, in Europe, the second generation of the RS 6 received a V10 engine with wild performance in the name of 571 horsepower and 479 lb/ft of torque. With standard Quattro all-wheel-drive, the car rocketed to 60 mph in less than 4.6 seconds and sounded incredible while doing it.
After that, the third generation of the car returned to a twin-turbocharged V8 engine, while the United States received the popular RS 7 Sportback. However, with the downsized engine came reduced weight, and the car went from 0-60 in less than 3.9 seconds and could climb to a top speed of 190 mph. It also featured the incredible technology of ceramic brakes and cylinder deactivation.
The fourth and current generation of the car was introduced in 2019, and it boasts 592 horsepower and 590 lb/ft of torque. With a mild hybrid system that improves efficiency, the RS 6 has both brain and brawns, with a 0-60 sprint of fewer than 3.6 seconds. Now, this explosively powerful RS 6 comes to the United States as an Avant model for the first time, and American roads and drivers will get to experience its dominant performance, luxury, and practicality.