2022 Audi RS 6 Avant: Review of Jalopnik
It’s easy to get excited about the 2022 Audi RS 6 Avant with its long list of best-in-class products. Its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 produces 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, all while producing a beautiful roar. That engine is mated to a very efficient eight-speed automatic transmission and of course Quattro all-wheel drive. The result is a large, very practical vehicle that can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It can also carry five people and loads of stuff from Ikea. Actually, RS6 Avant It’s a car that can do anything.
Full disclosure: Audi wanted me to drive the RS 6 Avant so much that it had one filled with gas at my house for a week with a full tank of gas. They made me pay it back, even though I brazenly pleaded.
The RS 6 Avant is an impressive performance car and it’s amazing how fast it always feels. The engine and transmission work together to deliver power quickly and smoothly, while massive P275/35YR-21 summer tires and Quattro all-wheel drive ensure that power transmitted to the pavement with minimal concern. The mid-range acceleration offered by that turbocharged V8 is particularly impressive, with very little perceptible turbo lag, making the car relentlessly quick when overtaking.
The RS 6’s chassis is also good enough to handle the power of that snarling V8, although the wagon tends to skid when pushed. However, thanks to the standard air suspension and the optional 48-volt anti-roll technology of the Audi Dynamic Ride Control, the RS 6 is able to hide its considerable mass very well. That’s no small feat considering this wagon weighs insignificant 4,982 pounds.
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That road-hugging weight demands a serious set of stoppers to haul it down from warp speed, so massive, 16.5-inch, 10-piston front brakes with steel rotors are standard. Similarly beefy carbon-ceramic brakes are available for an extra $9,000 (or $8,500 if you want black calipers instead of red), and while I would normally advise skipping the carbon brakes on a road car like this, the RS 6’s immense power combined with the hefty curb weight make them seem like a good buy – if not exactly a good value.
The RS 6 offers typical Audi steering, which is to say accurate but numb. At least the ride quality on those 21-inch wheels and summer tires is surprisingly good.
The interior is typically Audi, as well. This means that the materials are of excellent quality and put together beautifully. The ergonomics are phenomenal, with all controls in easy reach of the driver. Seat comfort is exceptional, too. The big sport buckets hug you while managing to promise all-day comfort, and seat heating and cooling are standard, which is great.
Infotainment is another classic Audi stronghold. The RS 6 Avant’s MMI software is sensibly laid out, very nice to look at and extremely responsive to inputs. Of course, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, and connect wirelessly. My test car’s optional $4,900 Bang & Olufsen stereo is also pretty good, but gets put to shame by the Burmester sound systems offered by Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
This being the flagship of the A6 line, the RS 6 has plenty of available tech on hand for safety. Unfortunately, even at its six-figure price, a lot of the good stuff is hidden in expensive add-ons, like the $2,250 Driver Assistance Package that gets you adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. (If you can live with just the rear automatic emergency braking and the blind-spot monitoring, you can buy the $500 Audi Side Assist package instead.) Audi also offers a $2,500 night vision package, but I’ve yet to use one of these systems that actually feels like it provides a real benefit in the real world, so save your money.
The odds are good that if you’re shopping for a very fast station wagon, the Porsche Panamera Turbo S Sport Turismo And Mercedes-AMG E63 on your list. The Panamera Turbo S starts at $191,850 including destination and offers less room for goods and people, while the Mercedes wagon will start at $121,100. The Audi RS 6 Avant starts at $122,995, including a $1,095 destination fee, but my fully loaded tester costs $154,090.
The RS 6 Avant is an incredible car that seems to do everything well, but at over $150,000 for a loaded one, it’s not exactly the car most people buy for their kids. It’s a die-hard niche enthusiast car that unfortunately celebrates all the best aspects of a brand known for building fast and practical cars. And for that reason alone, I love it.