You might think that 591 horsepower would be enough for the Audi RS6 Avant, but apparently it was not. For 2024, Audi decided to crank the dial, adding a new Performance model that promises a ludicrous 621 ponies. The new variant also weighs less, so acceleration should prove sufficiently brutal. And yet, the RS6 Avant’s search for more power changes nothing about its impressive practicality, comfortably seating five in an interior replete with rich materials and plenty of trendy technology. There’s plenty of space to store cargo behind the power rear liftgate, too. The RS6 Avant remains a niche choice adrift in a sea of performance-oriented SUVs like the
BMW X5 M, as the station wagon’s only true competitor comes in the form of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo. While the curvaceous look of the Porsche may appeal to some, the RS6 Avant’s brawny, hard-edged design is also one of its biggest selling points.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What’s New for 2024?
The RS6 Avant gains a new Performance model for 2024, boosting the V-8’s horsepower and torque while making some revisions to the chassis. The Performance model also sheds several pounds, wears new 285-width Continental Sport Contact 7 tires, and adds a couple new colors.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
While the Performance model adds horsepower, the standard RS6 Avant is still plenty awesome, and you can deck it out with all sorts of posh options. Unless you want a gray car, you’ll have to pay extra for a different paint color. We’d have ours sprayed in the pretty Navarra Blue Metallic. We’d also select the Black Optic package, which gives the wagon an even more sinister look with black exterior bits and snazzy 22-inch wheels on summer performance tires. Those who want their Avant to reach 190 mph will have to shell out for carbon-ceramic brakes, but we’d spend that money on massage chairs up front and the Executive package (more leather-covered surfaces, heated rear seats, soft-close doors, and a head-up display). Of course, our wagon needs the optional sport exhaust so we can revel in its intoxicating engine sounds.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Audi endows the RS6 Avant with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which generates 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant combines with a 48-volt hybrid system that’s found on other Audi products, such as the A8 luxury sedan and the Q8 crossover. The RS6 Avant feeds its standard Quattro all-wheel drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The combination helped rocket our 5031-pound test car to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 11.5 ticks at 120 mph. 2024’s new Performance trim boosts output to 621 hp, and Audi claims this shaves a couple of tenths off the wagon’s acceleration times. The Performance also gains lightweight wheels and a revised center differential. But those numbers don’t accurately demonstrate the wagon’s glorious ability to increase our heart rates and tingle our ear drums with its breakneck acceleration and badass soundtrack. Rolling on a set of 22-inch wheels with summer performance rubber and buoyed by a sport-tuned air suspension with adaptive dampers, our Tango Red RS6 Avant test car was able to deliver a relaxed or rollicking ride depending on the selected drive mode. The long-roof Audi also felt extremely agile thanks to its four-wheel steering and torque-vectoring rear differential. Ours stopped from 70 mph in a tidy 160 feet with the standard brakes. A set of front and rear carbon-ceramic stoppers are available for a sizable sum, and the upgrade unlocks a higher top speed of 190 mph.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The RS6 Avant is expected to earn 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which is in line with what the E63 S and Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo manage. Once we can run the RS6 Avant on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the RS6 Avant’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the RS6 Avant showcases a sophisticated design and cutting-edge technology. The driver faces a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the dashboard features a pair of large touchscreens between the front passengers. The rest of the cabin is covered in leather and accentuated with racy materials. The RS6 Avant has a roster of upscale standard features, including heated and ventilated front seats, four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, and wireless phone charging. Buyers can order a head-up display, massaging front seats, richer leather, and heated rear seats for more coin. The wagon has 30 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats too. A power rear liftgate comes standard; a motion-activated one is optional. The new Performance trim brings blue accents to the contrasting stitching and seatbelts.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 10.1-inch touchscreen handles the infotainment system. It supports standard features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Bang & Olufsen stereo, built-in navigation, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Below the upper display is an 8.6-inch touchscreen that contains settings for the climate controls as well as other vehicle functions. While both screens have large icons that are easy to spot and use, they can be distracting to the driver, especially the lower one. We miss the old scroll knob that used to accompany Audi’s infotainment systems.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Audi wagon offers some standard driver-assistance technology, with adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist both available. For more information about the RS6 Avant’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available night vision with large animal and pedestrian detection
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Audi’s limited and powertrain warranties align with plans offered by Mercedes and Porsche.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2021 Audi RS6 Avant
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$119,840 (base price: $110,045)
twin-turbocharged and intercooled V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
244 in3, 3996 cm3
591 hp @ 6250 rpm
590 lb-ft @ 2050 rpm
Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 16.5-in vented, cross-drilled disc/14.6-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4, 285/30ZR-22 (101Y) AO
Wheelbase: 115.4 in
Length: 196.7 in
Width: 76.8 in
Height: 58.6 in
Passenger volume: 101 ft3
Cargo volume: 30 ft3
Curb weight: 5031 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 3.1 sec
100 mph: 7.8 sec
130 mph: 13.6 sec
150 mph: 19.6 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.1 sec
1/4 mile: 11.5 sec @ 120 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 156 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 160 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 318 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.94 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 17/15/22 mpg