Audi's RS division's has unleashed yet another family car with supercar-slaying ambitions.

Its ferocious performance potential has been retained despite this brand new RS 6 having ditched its predecessor's V10 in favour of a return to the V8 format with a version of Audi’s latest 4-litre twin-turbo motor also found in the S6.

With 412kW on tap between 5700 and 6700rpm, it is 14kW less powerful than before but twisting force increases by 50Nm to 700Nm (from 1750rpm) and Audi is claiming a 0.6-second improvement in the 0-100km/h sprint time. That's just 3.9 seconds for the new one and there's a bahnstorming top speed of 304km/h if you order the fanciest ‘Dynamic’ package.

40% LESS THIRSTY

We can't imagine that economy is too important to prospective owners, but Audi has improved the unrealistic-but-official fuel consumption figure by around 40 percent - to 9.8 litres per 100km on the combined cycle - to ensure that legislators sleep a little better at night.

This newfound efficiency is achieved by numerous means, which included reducing the car's overall weight by around 100kg and implementing technologies like idle-stop, a cylinder deactivation system and some clever thermal management technology.

While we're on the subject of sensibility, it's worth mentioning that the RS 6 will only be available in Avant wagon format (for now at least) and that its load bay can swallow up to 1680 litres worth of luggage if you fold the rear seats down.

GUTTURAL SOUNDTRACK

Getting back to this car's more exciting aspects, Audi has ensured that occupants hear as much of the drama emanating from the cylinder banks as possible, with switchable flaps in the exhaust system that increase the aural delight at the touch of a button. An even greater sound track is on the cards for buyers that order the optional sports exhaust.

An eight-speed, three-mode tiptronic gearbox sends the urge to all four wheels via Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, which features a self-locking centre diff with an elevated locking value and a sport diff on the rear axle.

AIR SUSPENSION

However, this time the family won't be complaining about the firm ride as this Avant is the first Audi RS model ever to feature adaptive air suspension. Its controlled damping system adapts in accordance with road conditions, driving style and whatever mode the driver has selected.

If the air suspension idea sounds too soft for your liking, Audi offers an alternative in the form of Sports Suspension Plus with Dynamic Ride Control. Another option for enthusiasts is Audi's dynamic steering system that allows drivers to steplessly vary the ratio and boost of the steering.

Unfortunately our local Audi contact says there are no plans to bring the RS 6 Avant to South Africa as the A6 Avant body style is not offered here, but they do promise that something very special is coming soon. A sedan perhaps?

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