Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
What a fantastic experience I had evaluating Audi’s ultimate sport wagon during auto show week in Washington, D.C. The German machine arrived with a Sebring Black Crystal Effect and blazed me around town quicker than most sports cars but with capacity to hold five occupants and their luggage. Performance wagons are rare in the United States but once you take hold of one, such as the 2023 Audi RS 6 Avant, you will become a lifelong believer.
There is something special about RS models from the four rings of Audi Sport. They are extraordinary vehicles for extraordinary individuals. The RS 6 Avant is an ideal ride if you want the best of both an SUV and a performance vehicle. The only problem is that you have to pay the premium price tag for the RS label. My loaner had an MSRP of $121,900, yet came in at a whopping $158,105 with its option packages. Some of the add-ons included the $4,900 Bang and Olufsen Advanced sound system, a $6,350 Carbon Optic package, $8,500 ceramic brakes, the $2,750 Executive package, $3,000 Black Dinamica headliner, the $2,500 Night Vision Assistant, and a few more. The 2024 models are arriving soon with a starting MSRP of $125,800. I configured a sample spec totaling $138,490 since I wouldn’t require many of the mentioned options. My gripe with the options is that Audi forces you to select the $2,750 Executive package when you add the $3,000 RS Design package plus. We’re not sure why.
The RS moniker is Audi’s artistic vision to transform their quattro AWD roadrunners into German works of art. Our star-studded 2023 Audi RS 6 Avant arrived with a boisterous personality, energetic performance, and imaginative design enhancements. Additionally, it was outfitted with winter tires that worked wonderfully in unison with quattro AWD (rear sport differential) in snowy weather. Formed by Quattro GmbH, Audi’s high-performance division, RS translates to RennSport, which in turn equates to “racing sport.” Indicators of the Avant’s heightened capabilities include an aggressive growl from the $1,000 RS sport exhaust system and a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. However, expect only 14 city mpg on a good day.
Mechanically, the RS 6 Avant is outfitted with the same bi-turbo 4.0 TFSI V8 and 8-speed Tiptronic transmission pairing as the RS Q8. Behind the wheel, I was captivated by the vehicle’s acceleration from 591-horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque distribution. Compare the RS 6 directly to the potentency of the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon. However, Audi feels more streamlined during acceleration while the AMG provides pure ecstasy. The 2024 RS 6 Avant performance model may be a different story since horsepower increases to 621 and max torque to 627. With impressive steering inputs from Dynamic all-wheel steering and an Audi RS-tuned adaptive air suspension, the Avant was superb through winding roads at accelerated rates.
My 4,096-pound German wagon drove around town garnering significant attention from its black-on-black appearance and menacing features such as an RS-specific honeycomb grille, 22″ 5-V-spoke trapezoid design rims with gloss anthracite black finish, dual RS oval exhaust outlets, black Audi rings, and much more. Also, HD Matrix-LED laser headlights help accentuate the front end, while flared wheel arches and side skirts enhance the stance.
Inside, the aeronautical cockpit features a stealthy handheld gear shifter, the cerebral Audi MMI Navigation Plus with a dual-screen MMI touch response system (10.1″ upper and 8.6″ lower display), and bolstered Valcona leather seats with honeycomb stitching and RS embossing. The carbon twill matte inlays and 3-spoke perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel will also appease you. Though, I would like to see magnesium or aluminum shift paddles in this model. Whether driving long distances or through the city, I never felt daunted by the Avant’s capabilities. In fact, with Audi Drive Select, you can customize the wagon for aggression or tame it for daily commuting. In addition, RS 1 and RS 2 settings allow you to adjust the performance of your RS 6. Each can be selected from the multi-function steering wheel’s “RS MODE” button.
So, if you are a connoisseur of Audi’s A6 line you must be thankful for the manifestation of the prestigious RS 6 Avant.