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Old 04-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #1
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Default 2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance first drive review

What do you do when you've created the world's fastest, most powerful station wagon?

You make it more powerful and even faster.

2016 Audi RS6 Avant Performance video review

Building the world's fastest wagon was not enough for Audi Sport.

At least that is Audi's way of thinking as demonstrated by the new RS6 Avant Performance - and its RS7 Sportback sibling.

The already ballistic load lugger has been given a power upgrade to take it from 412kW to 445kW.

The extra grunt is enough to drop the 0-100km/h time from 3.9 seconds to 3.7 seconds. That's quicker than Porsche's new hardcore 911 R - in the body of a full-size station wagon.

The new Performance model replaces the old RS6/RS7 models, which were first launched in 2014 as the German brand continues to push its new Audi Sport sub brand.

As they did with the old models, Audi chose Victoria's Phillip Island as the location to launch the RS6 Avant Performance.

Home of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Phillip Island is one of the fastest circuits in the country, making it an ideal venue to push the RS6 to its limits. And it is a car with very high limits, especially when you tick the $20,940 option box for the race car-style carbon ceramic brakes.

Down the Gardner Straight the RS6 has no trouble pulling to 250km/h before the driver runs out of bravery and brakes for the fast, sweeping first corner.

The thrust from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine is nothing short of immense with all that torque coming in from just 1750rpm. And because 700Nm isn't enough, Audi added an overboost function for this new model which allows for short bursts of 750Nm.

Getting so much grunt to the tarmac isn't a problem thanks to Audi's famous quattro all-wheel drive system and a sophisticated traction control setup. Just stand on the accelerator and be prepared to get shoved back in your seat.

However, Audi did give us the opportunity to see what the RS6 is like with its stability and traction control systems off. The answer is a lot of fun.

Although drifting is traditionally done in rear-wheel drive machines the RS6 and its 700Nm has no trouble stepping out of shape and sliding around - if that's your idea of a good time…

But it isn't just the power of the engine that impresses. The carbon ceramic brakes are just as capable of making the speed disappear as the V8 is of making it happen.

While they may be expensive, the 390mm front rotors clamped by gold-painted calipers wipe off speed in an instant. So capable are they that it takes a couple of laps of Phillip Island to really push them to their limits, they just keep letting you go deeper and deeper into corners. And despite repeated heavy stops, the brakes show no signs of fade.

As impressive as the carbon stoppers are, the regular steel brakes are the same size and also provide plenty of retardation, just not the same aggressive bite. All things considered, unless you intend to do a lot of track days in your wagon, you can probably save the $20k.

Aside from the increased power there isn't much new for the RS6 Performance over the old model. Cosmetically, there are titanium look finishes on the exterior including the grille, front spoiler, air intakes, mirror caps, window surrounds and rear diffuser as well as new 21-inch alloy wheels in the same metallic finish.

Inside there is new Alcantara and Valcona leather trim with blue honeycomb stitching and a new blue twill inlay to carbon fibre elements.

Of course the RS6 remains well equipped with RS adaptive air suspension, digital TV tuner, DAB+ digital radio, head up display, 360 degree parking camera with sensors, panoramic glass sunroof, electrically opening tailgate and the brand's Matrix LED headlights all included.

If you're 'thinking what's the catch?' you'd be right, because the extra power comes at a higher price - $15,790 higher to be precise - with the RS6 Avant Performance starting at $245,400.

But that's the price you have to pay if you want the world's fastest wagon.

Video at link

With pretty photos
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