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    Pros
    • As fast and as focused as ever
    • It's a hoot on track
    • Still the ultimate family wagon
    Cons
    • $250,000 is out of reach for most families... and me
    • High fuel bill if you're liberal with your right foot
    • You can still add tens of thousands in options

    The Audi RS6 isn’t your run-of-the-mill station wagon. It just got even more hardcore for 2024.

    More power, more torque, and a more focused setup headline the spec sheet of the 2024 Audi RS6 Avant Performance, as well as the related RS7 Sportback Performance.

    It features the most powerful V8 production engine the German marque has ever made, and is the latest in a long line of A6-based hot wagons dating back to the C4-generation S6 plus Avant back in 1996. Audi Sport – formerly known as quattro GmbH – is celebrating 40 years of being Audi’s performance arm in 2023.

    For nearly 30 years the Audi RS6 has combined supercar performance with the practicality of a wagon. We’ve seen RS6s with engines shared with the Lamborghini Gallardo, as well as Audi’s own R8 and various Porsche products.

    Today, the RS6 Avant is a hero car for enthusiasts. The new Performance version should only elevate that, given it’s now as fast and as exclusive as the nameplate has ever been.

    We joined Audi Australia at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in Victoria’s south east to get a first taste of the updated super wagon on the track. Is it still worthy of your lust?

    Note: Our drive of the RS6 Avant Performance was limited to the track, so some of our ratings categories draw upon previous reviews of the RS6.

    How does the Audi RS6 fare vs its competitors?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Audi RS6 against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Audi RS6 Performance cost?

    Priced from $241,500 before on-road costs, the RS6 Avant Performance is $9300 dearer than the ‘standard’ RS6 Avant it replaces in Australia – though both versions are available concurrently abroad.

    Should the wagon be too frumpy for your liking – not sure why you’d think so – you can spend extra on the RS7 Sportback Performance which lists for $248,500 plus on-roads.

    Neither BMW or Mercedes-Benz offer equivalent large performance wagons, though a new M5 Touring is in the works and a possibility for Australia. The smaller Audi RS4 Avant starts from $159,900 plus on-roads, while the BMW M3 Touring Competition is priced at $180,100 before on-roads.

    The Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo is priced from $323,800 and features a version of the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8, but it’s less powerful (353kW/620Nm). If you’re not tied to the wagon and could settle on a performance SUV, the related Audi RSQ8 starts from $223,900.

    2024 Audi RS6 + RS7 pricing:

    • 2024 Audi RS6 Avant Performance: $241,500
    • 2024 Audi RS7 Sportback Performance: $248,500

    Prices exclude on-road costs

    What is the Audi RS6 Performance like on the inside?

    Changes in the cabin are limited, and largely depend on how you spec the RS6 – but regardless, it’s a nice place to be.

    Swathes of fine Nappa and Valcona leather, and Dinamica suede line the cabin, even to the lowest reaches of the cockpit. The vehicles on test had the optional RS design package with contrast red and blue bits depending on spec as well.

    The Ascari Blue vehicle you see pictured here (a new colour for the RS6 Performance) is shown with a matching blue interior package ($2900-$5200), which can be extended to the seatbelts, and even blue-tinted threads in the optional carbon-fibre weave trim inserts ($2100).

    Opt for the $11,000 Sensory Package and you up the ante further, including a Dinamica suede headliner (ooft), manual sunshades for the rear windows, a leather-covered steering wheel hub, heated outer rear seats, as well as as thumping 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System with 1820-watt output.

    Unfortunately my limited drive on the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit meant I didn’t really get to try out all these things, but the cabin feels fittingly high-end.

    I feel the Sensory Package’s asking price is a little steep on what is an already $250,000+ car in your driveway, but if you want something truly unique, you can get a range of exterior and interior colour options as part of the Audi Exclusive special build program – I’ve seen images of a #greenovertan one in Melbourne already…

    Worth noting also, is the standard Nappa leather trim is offered in Black or Cognac Brown. I already know which would be my pick.

    The RS6’s interior is fairly consistent with Audi’s larger products, including the Q7 and Q8. The dual-screen touch setup is one of the better implementations of touch-based climate control setups, with a dedicated menu for temperature controls, and a user-friendly menu structure as well as haptic feedback.

    Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit display remains a benchmark for digital instrument clusters, with a range of layouts and widgets, as well as special Audi Sport performance displays for the RS. The company’s tech may not have the wow-factor of the latest BMW or Mercedes-Benz products, but it all works well and is super clean.

    Being based on the A6 Avant, the RS6 is hugely practical as a family wagon. The big back seat means taller adults can sit behind taller adults – even with helmets as we found out during a ‘demonstration lap’ at the end of the day.

    There’s four zones of climate control as standard, meaning the two outer seats get their own temperature controls, and you get extra USB charge ports, map pockets, bottle holders in the doors, and a fold-down centre-armrests with cupholders.

    Behind the rear seats there’s 548 litres of cargo volume, which extends to 1658L with the second row folded.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    The new RS6 and RS7 Performance models are powered by an updated 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 augmented by a 48V mild-hybrid system.

    Compared to the outgoing version, the ‘performance’ motor has had the boost pressure increased from 2.4 to 2.6 bar which sees outputs upped to 463kW and 850Nm – up from 441kW and 800Nm.

    The added grunt translates to a 0.2s improvement in the claimed 0-100km/h time, dropping to 3.4 seconds for both the RS6 and RS7 Performance. Like before, there’s an eight-speed automatic shifting cogs and quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

    Top speed is rated at 280km/h as standard, though the available RS Dynamics Package ups that to 305km/h in conjunction with the optional RS ceramic brake system – though this option hasn’t been priced for Australia.

    The transmission has quicker shift times for enhanced response in the Performance versions, and the self-locking centre differential has been made lighter and more compact, which delivers improved dynamics and more precise cornering, according to Audi.

    While the revisions deliver improved performance, the carryover 48V MHEV setup allows the idle stop/start system to engage from 22km/h as the vehicle slows, while cylinder on demand (CoD) technology can shut off four cylinders under light throttle load to save more fuel.

    Official consumption is listed as 11.8L/100km on the combined cycle for the RS6 Avant Performance, 0.2L/100km more than the slinkier RS7 Sportback Performance with an identical drivetrain – it’s 0.1L up on the outgoing model.

    As you’d expect, 98 RON premium unleaded is the minimum fuel rating for the 73-litre fuel tank.

    How does the Audi RS6 Performance drive?

    We only got to drive the RS6 Performance on track – but it perhaps does its best work there.

    Given Australia’s strict speed limits and policing, you’re never going to be able to legally unleash the RS6’s full potential on public roads. So a blast on the circuit is arguably the best way to test it.

    I drove the ‘standard’ RS6 Avant on an Audi Driving Experience day a couple of years back, and had a stack of fun piloting such a big and powerful vehicle around one of Australia’s most famous race tracks. This new one? No different.

    Led by race driver Chelsea Angelo out of the pits, I set off for four-ish supervised laps of the Phillip Island track in the RS6 Avant Performance, chasing Chelsea in an RSQ8.

    We got to work pretty quickly given the limited track time, and right away the reduced sound deadening in the engine bay and load area was noticeable; the RS6 Avant Performance has a more pronounced soundtrack as claimed.

    Despite its hulking dimensions, the RS6 starts to shrink around you on the circuit, with direct and responsive controls particularly in their most aggressive settings.

    It has massive footprint with a lot of rubber in contact with the road – the tyres measure 285/30 R22 all round – so there’s heaps of grip on tap in conjunction with full-time quattro all-wheel drive.

    At a claimed 2150kg with driver on board, the RS6 was never meant to be a genuine R8 alternative. That doesn’t make it less fun though, because the insane performance and traction on offer is enough to have a smile brimming ear from ear.

    The sharper transmission calibration elicits a snappy recoil-like sensation as the eight-speed auto rifles through the gears, while the extra grunt and louder V8 engine note add to the drama as you rocket towards the horizon.

    It goes as hard as its 3.4-second 0-100 claim suggests, and there’s so much grunt underfoot that you very quickly will see the speedo eclipse 200km/h with enough track ahead. On the autobahn, this would happily cruise at 250km/h like it was no one’s business.

    After the first guided lap we’re travelling at over 200km/h on the main straight and have to hit the brakes hard into turn 1 – with 420mm front and 370mm rear RS high performance brakes with 10-piston calipers up front, Audi claims the RS6 Performance will stop up to 2m quicker than the outgoing model from 100km/h.

    While there was no back-to-back braking test to substantiate the company’s claims, I can attest that there’s monstrous stopping power on tap when you hit the anchors, able to bring this big beast’s velocity down quickly when you need it.

    There’s even an optional set of carbon brakes that increases the front discs to 440mm, which are the equal largest ever fitted to a production vehicle and shared with the likes of the hulking Lamborghini Urus. Do you need them? Probably not, plus they were a $19,500 option on the old one…

    As we send the RS6 through successive bends around The Island, it’s evident the RS6 Performance is a serious bit of kit.

    It hangs on admirably even around the tightest hairpins, and loves when you step back on the throttle on corner exit, using its all-paw quattro traction to blast onward.

    The standard adaptive air suspension allows more body roll than the optional RS sport suspension with adjustable damping in this kind of environment, but I’d argue the air-sprung chassis provides better all-round compliance particularly in day-to-day duties, given the patchy quality of Australian blacktop.

    The experience is incredibly addictive. I was giggling like a child almost the entire session. It’s a bit silly that you can have this much fun in a vehicle this large. Audi’s performance cars are boring? Says who?

    We also got the chance to try our hand at getting the RS6 Performance sideways on the skid pan. Cue more laughs.

    Doing a U-turn with drifting is not something you’d ever do on a public road, but learning how to control a vehicle while sliding sideways in the wet is definitely a lot of fun – who knows when you might have to use this skill.

    Full lock to the right with traction control set to ‘off’, you bury the throttle at let the back end swing out, slowly correcting the steering to get you back facing the right way.

    As an onlooker, we were treated to the aural symphony that is the RS6’s 4.0-litre bi-turbo’s soundtrack.

    What do you get?

    RS6 Avant Performance highlights:

    • 22-inch alloy wheels
    • Metallic paint
    • quattro sport differential
    • All-wheel steering
    • Adaptive air suspension
    • RS high-performance brakes
    • Red brake calipers
    • RS sport exhaust, black
    • Audi drive select (modes)
    • Convenience key
      • Keyless entry
      • Keyless start
    • Black exterior styling package
      • incl. black exterior mirrors
    • HD Matrix LED headlights
      • Dynamic front, rear indicators
      • Audi laser light
    • Privacy glass, rear
    • Acoustic glazing, front side windows
    • Panoramic glass sunroof
    • Bang & Olufsen 3D Sound System
      • 16 speakers
      • 705-watt output
    • Power assisted door closure
    • Audi phone box light
      • Wireless smartphone charging
    • RS sport front seats incl. ventilation
    • Heated front seats
    • Premium Valcona leather upholstery
    • RS sport leather steering wheel incl. paddles
    • Electric steering column adjustment
      • Auto entry, exit functions
      • Memory function
    • Inlays in aluminium race anthracite
    • LED colour interior ambient lighting
    • Leather package – fine Nappa leather
      • Centre console
      • Dashboard
      • Door rails
      • Door armrests
      • Contrast stitching
    • Head-up display
    • Audi virtual cockpit (12.3in)
    • Audi connect plus
    • MMI navigation plus
      • 10.1-inch HD touchscreen infotainment
      • 8.6-inch HD touchscreen climate display
      • Voice control
      • 3D map display incl. POI, city models
      • MMI search (free text)
    • Park assist incl. 360-degree cameras

    Options

    Sensory package: $11,000

    • Sunshades for rear windows
    • Dinamica suede headliner, black
    • Leather steering wheel airbag cover
    • Heated outer rear seats
    • Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System
      • 19 speakers
      • 1820-watt output

    Carbon and black exterior styling package: $8700

    • Gloss carbon exterior accents
      • Front spoiler
      • Front side flaps
      • Side sill inserts
      • Rear diffuser insert
    • Window trim strips in gloss black
    • Exterior mirror housings in gloss black

    Matt carbon and black exterior styling package: $11,000

    • Matt carbon exterior accents
      • Front spoiler
      • Front side flaps
      • Side sill inserts
      • Rear diffuser insert
    • Window trim strips in gloss black
    • Exterior mirror housings in gloss black

    Matt grey exterior styling package: $700

    • Matt grey exterior accents
      • Front spoiler
      • Front side flaps
      • Side sill inserts
      • Rear diffuser insert
    • Window trim strips in matt grey
    • Exterior mirror housings in matt grey
    • Roof rails in matt grey
    • Audi rings, exterior badging in black

    RS design package, red: $2900

    • Steering wheel rim in Alcantara
    • Gear selector in Dinamica, black
    • Door armrests, gear level gaiter in fine Nappa leather, black
    • Sides of centre console in Dinamica, black
    • Seat belts for front, outer rear seats in black, red edges
    • Floor mats incl. RS logos on front mats, red stitching
    • Express red contrast stitching

    RS design package, blue: $2900

    • Steering wheel rim in Alcantara
    • Gear selector in Dinamica, black
    • Door armrests, gear level gaiter in fine Nappa leather, black
    • Sides of centre console in Dinamica, black
    • Seat belts for front, outer rear seats in blue
    • Floor mats incl. RS logos on front mats, blue stitching
    • Blue contrast stitching

    RS design package plus, red: $5200

    • RS design package, red
    • Seat perforations in red
    • RS logos embroidered in express red
    • Front centre armrests, door armrests in Dinamica
      • Black, express red stitching
    • Inlays in Dinamica, black

    RS design package plus, blue: $5200

    • RS design package, blue
    • Seat perforations in blue
    • RS logos embroidered in blue
    • Front centre armrests, door armrests in Dinamica
      • Black, blue stitching
    • Inlays in Dinamica, black

    Is the Audi RS6 Performance safe?

    While the standard A6 and A7 wear five-star ANCAP and Euro NCAP safety ratings, the RS6 and RS7 versions remain unrated.

    Standard safety equipment includes:

    • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
      • Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
      • Junction assist
      • Reversing AEB
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Driver monitoring
    • Exit warning system
    • Lane keep assist
    • Park assist plus
    • Parking sensors front, rear
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Surround-view cameras
    • Traffic jam assist
    • Tyre pressure monitoring

    How much does the Audi RS6 Performance cost to run?

    Audi Australia’s line-up is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Five years of complementary roadside is also included with purchase.

    Audi offers a five-year Service Plan for $4360, with intervals of 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first. The company also allows customers to purchase an additional two-year package to extend warranty, servicing and roadside assistance.

    New vehicle owners can purchase two-year programs back-to-back at the time of purchase, or at a later date up to eight years old. This allows new vehicle owners to extend their warranty for up to nine years.

    CarExpert’s Take on the Audi RS6 Performance

    You can’t help but lust after the Audi RS6 – and the new Performance is as good as Audi’s super wagon has ever been.

    You can lay claim to having Audi’s most powerful V8 engine ever under the bonnet, while also revelling in the all-round desirability and exclusivity that comes with this exquisite feat of engineering.

    While we haven’t yet put the RS6 Performance through its paces on Australian roads just yet, its very impressive predecessor indicates we can expect good things from the bahn-storming estate. The fact Audi has been able to improve on what is a near-perfect formula already calls for more applause.

    It will shame supercars in a straight line and blast through a track day, whilst also being able to do the grocery and school runs in comfort with the family on board. What’s not to love?

    Yes $250,000 is a lot of money; yes you’re not going to really be able to use its capabilities on Australian roads like you might be able to in Germany; and yes the fuel bill will be high even with that 48V MHEV system.

    But who cares – I still want one.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    BUY: Audi RS6
    MORE: Everything Audi RS6

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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    8.7
    Overall Rating

    Cost of Ownership8
    Ride Comfort8.5
    Fit for Purpose9.5
    Handling Dynamics9
    Interior Practicality and Space9
    Fuel Efficiency7.5
    Value for Money8.5
    Performance9.5
    Technology Infotainment9
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