2020 Audi RS 6 Avant is an angry wagon due on sale in the US
Your fire-breathing all-season family hauler has arrived and is ready to hit the soccer game before heading to the racetrack.
Following a world debut in September, the 2020 Audi RS 6 Avant on Wednesday made its local debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s due on sale in early 2020 and will be joined that year by another A6 wagon, the Allroad soft-roader.
The RS 6 is the one you really want, though. With a mild-hybrid powertrain, 592 horsepower sent to all four wheels, and 20 cubic feet of cargo space, the high-performance wagon has just become the ultimate family vehicle for those who need to get there quickly and in style.
The RS 6 Avant is based on the eighth-generation A6 wagon, internally known as the C8, but the front doors, roof, and tailgate are the only exterior body panels that are shared with the base car. Like the A6 Avant, the RS 6 Avant’s roofline has a slightly faster rake than previous generations, giving it a sporty look that a sedan simply can’t match.
It starts with the stance, which is 1.6-inches wider than the standard Avant thanks to the flared fenders that sit above 21- or 22-inch wheels. The RS 6 gets the A7’s headlights, with their wider, flatter appearance, to further distinguish it from the rest of the A6 lineup.
Like previous RS models, the RS 6 Avant has gaping intakes on either side of the front fenders to feed cool air to the intercoolers. RS-specific side sills give the RS 6 Avant more width down low, while the rear hatch features a roof-mounted spoiler, an RS-specific rear bumper and diffuser, and dual RS oval exhaust outlets.
Audi RS 6 Avant
Under the hood sits a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that sends 592 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. A 48-volt mild-hybrid system is added via a belt alternator, and up to 12 kilowatts of power can be stored in a lithium-ion battery pack (Audi didn’t disclose the pack’s size) via regenerative braking.
Performance should be bewildering with Audi quoting a 0-62 mph sprint of 3.6 seconds and a 0-124 mph run of 12 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, but an optional Dynamic Package lifts that to 174 mph or 190 mph with the Dynamic Package Plus.
The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 has cylinder deactivation that shuts off cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 (making it a 2.0-liter V-4), for better fuel efficiency at low speeds or light loads.
Audi RS 6 Avant
Audi’s Quattro full-time all-wheel-drive system splits power 40/60 front to rear via a mechanical center differential, though up to 70 percent of power can be sent to the front while 85 percent can go to the rear. The suspension uses a five-link design front and rear and comes standard with adaptive air springs. Audi said the suspension has several modes but didn’t go into detail beyond noting it automatically levels the wagon. While the RS 6 Avant sits 0.8 inches lower than the standard A6 Avant, it will automatically drop another 0.4 inches at 75 mph and can be lifted 0.8 inches at low speeds to enter driveways or parking lots.
An RS sport suspension with steel springs and three-stage adjustable dampers will be available. This system also comes with Dynamic Ride Control, which uses diagonally linked dampers to counteract body lean through hydromechanical means.
A four-wheel-steering system will be optional with the Dynamic or Dynamic Package Plus. It can turn the rear wheels up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels at low speeds, or up to 2 degrees in the same direction at higher speeds. The system reduces the turning circle by up to 3.3 feet.
Audi RS 6 Avant
Audi RS 6 Avant
Audi RS 6 Avant
Drivers can choose between six drive modes: Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, Efficiency, and individually configurable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes activated by the “RS MODE” button on the steering wheel. The modes vary parameters in the all-wheel-steering system, standard sport differential, engine sound (i.e. fake engine noise pumped into the cabin), transmission shift logic, power steering, suspension, and automatic air conditioning. Audi said RS2 mode exists purely to modify the parameters of the electronic stability control.
Inside the RS 6 Avant features Audi’s latest MMI infotainment system with two dash-mounted touchscreens (one for climate controls and vehicle functions and another for infotainment) paired with a digital gauge cluster. Aluminum, wood, and carbon-fiber trim are available to go with the acres of shiny piano black plastic trim.
While there’s seating for five, the front sport buckets and rear buckets combined with the large center driveline tunnel make it so little Johnny’s friend is better off taking the bus. Nappa leather and Alcantara line the cabin. RS logos are embossed in various places throughout the interior, and the seats have a rhombus pattern stitched into them.
2020 Audi RS 6 Avant, 2019 LA Auto Show
As a wagon, the RS 6 Avant has room for the soccer balls and weekend adventure equipment with a decent 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Leave the kids at home and fold the split-folding 40/20/40 second row down for a up to 59.3 cubic feet of space.
Need to tow with your RS 6 Avant? Audi thought of that and there’s an optional swiveling trailer hitch with an electronic release plus an optional camera-based trailer assist system for maneuvering a trailer. Audi hasn’t shared the maximum tow rating.
The RS 6 Avant also offers numerous safety and driver-assistance features, everything from adaptive cruise control and lane change warnings to a surround-view camera and intersection assist.
New Audi RS 6 Avant
When it goes on sale, the Audi RS 6 Avant will be available in 13 colors, including sure-to-please-enthusiasts Nardo Gray and Sebring Black and five matte finishes. The mirrors can be ordered in black, body color, or matte-finished aluminum. Trim can be had in matte aluminum or gloss black, and this is all before dipping into the (spendy) Audi Exclusive customization program.
Pricing information will be announced closer to next year’s market launch.
Audi also used the L.A. Auto Show for the debuts of the RS 7 Sportback, RS Q8, and E-Tron Sportback. For more from the show, head to our dedicated hub.