What is it?
Audi’s RS6 has cemented itself a name in motoring folklore. That reputation is all down to this car’s fearsome performance, surprising all-round usability and its undercover design that allows it to slip effortlessly without attracting too much attention.
The one thing it was never lacking in was power, however. But that’s never enough for Audi. In response, it has created the new RS6 Performance - an even meaner, more potent version of this iconic estate car. Let’s see what it’s like.
From the outside at least, this is pretty much standard-fare RS6 - and that’s just fine with us. Still only available in estate form, the RS6 remains a handsome and good-looking performance car that doesn’t scream about how quickly it can accelerate.
There is a handful of design changes, however, including the fitment of lightweight 22-inch alloy wheels and some grey styling elements. Two new colours are available as well - Ascari Blue and matt Dew Silver.
What’s under the bonnet?
It’s here where the main changes have taken place. The mighty 4.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine was hardly underpowered in the first place, but it’s now been built up by 30bhp and 50Nm courtesy of larger turbochargers and an increase in boost pressure.
It means that the RS6 now returns 621bhp and 850Nm of torque and can go from 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds. Fitted with an optional RS Dynamics Package, the RS6 will head on up to a top speed of 189mph, too.
What’s it like to drive?
The RS6 has always been a superb multi-tool kind of car. It’s ferociously powerful, of course - and even more potent in this Performance setup - but it’s how quickly it calms down and turns into a comfortable and refined estate car that really impresses. This Performance model does away with some sound deadening to help elevate the experience, but it’s still impressively quiet inside.
The steering is planted and reassuringly weighty while the adjustable suspension can be tailored to the type of road you’re on. We quite like it in its most comfortable setting where it manages to take the edge off the UK’s roads.
How does it look?
It’s hard to not find the look of the RS6 attractive. The performance estate car has always been a great recipe, but this latest generation of RS6 really does have a huge amount of presence out on the road. Sure, it’s a little more flamboyant than its predecessor, but it’s a very taught, well-executed design overall.
The larger wheels on this Performance model fill the arches nicely, though it would’ve been quite nice to have a few small model-specific badges to separate this from the ‘regular’ RS6.
What’s it like inside?
The RS6’s interior offers a great combination of high-end materials and genuine practicality. In this Performance model we’ve got comfortable yet supportive bucket seats while Alcantara covers vast swathes of the interior - including the pleasantly thin-rimmed steering wheel. The door bins aren’t the largest, mind you, and they struggle to hold a normal-sized water bottle.
Plus, you’ve got a handy 565-litre boot to use up and, as with any conventional A6 model, you can fold the rear seats down to help expand that load area further.
What’s the spec like?
As the range-topping A6 model, the RS6 gets plenty of equipment. There’s the same dual-screen infotainment system up front and, though its graphics are starting to show their age a little bit, it’s still very usable and has plenty of functions including Apple CarPlay.
The Performance also gets some extra equipment, including a head-up display, a 360-degree parking camera and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system.
In truth, the RS6 was always a big-hitter. These tweaks that come as part of the Performance specification only heighten the experience while pushing to the fore the positives that made the RS6 so good in the first place.