Wagons are a tough promote within the U.S. It is not as a result of most individuals need an SUV (though they do). Neither is it that the sight of a longroof triggers PTSD from years of sibling abuse within the side-facing third row of Dad’s Nation Squire (though it may). It is that the market does not make sense. Take the Audi RS6 Avant. It and the A6 Allroad launched for 2021, and the almost one-third pricier RS6 outsells the A6.
They seem to be a hardcore bunch, these wagon consumers. And whereas the RS6 is splendidly highly effective and dynamically competent, it was somewhat too quiet, somewhat too refined, and somewhat too delicate. They wished an much more sharp-edged machine. For the 2024 model 12 months, Audi listened to its prospects and rolled out the up to date model, now dubbed RS6 Avant Efficiency.
The brand new RS6 Efficiency loses some sound insulation and beneficial properties 30 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque. The bump for the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, now making 621 horsepower and 627 pound-feet, comes courtesy of a bigger turbocharger impeller and new engine mapping. Peak enhance is as much as 23.2 psi from 20.3. The added enhance comes with no further lag. The new-V engine immediately responds to throttle inputs, whereas the ZF-sourced eight-speed automated advantages from snappy downshifts which might be claimed to be faster. Audi engineers additionally reworked the Torsen limited-slip middle differential to assist squelch understeer. The discount of sound insulation on the firewall removes some isolation and offers the engine a bigger bark inside. If that is nonetheless not sufficient, there’s an accessible RS sport exhaust that is even louder.
The added energy ought to be sufficient to knock the 60-mph time beneath the three.0-second threshold—that will not fairly unseat the BMW M5 as quickest within the class, however the RS6 will now not be one of many slowest. We’re speaking a tenth of a second right here, possibly two, however bragging rights are vital.
Do not get caught up on this automotive’s numbers; the way it feels is extra vital. New 22-inch Y-spoke wheels and Continental Sport Contact 7 tires reduce 11 kilos versus the usual 21-inchers. And should you actually need to cut back the unsprung mass, go for the carbon-ceramic brake bundle, which takes almost 17 kilos off every nook. The trade-off is a sensitive brake pedal—or at the least they’ve a studying curve we by no means fairly mastered in our brief drive in Napa Valley, however primarily based on our expertise with ceramic rotors in different VW Group automobiles, we expect we might acclimate to them, ultimately.
With or with out the optionally available brakes, the lowered unsprung mass transforms the steering from pretty muted to one thing with real suggestions. The roughly 4900-pound wagon nonetheless carries its V-8 fully fore of its entrance axle line, and understeer is successfully restrained on a canyon blast. That’s till you are going too quick for the nook. The Continentals have a number of grip, and when stability management intervenes, it is a light nudge that does not kill the rhythm or make your passengers suppose you may’t drive.
Whereas the RS6 launched within the U.S. solely with air springs, the sportier Dynamic Trip Management (DRC) suspension quietly joined the choice sheet a 12 months later for 2022. It resists pitch and roll with hydraulics, however when a person wheel strikes, equivalent to in a pothole, the hydraulics do not enhance compression resistance. Solely when each wheels on an axle (equivalent to throughout acceleration or braking) or on one aspect (throughout cornering) transfer in part do the hydraulics preserve the physique plum. In case you’re planning to trace an RS6, DRC is definitely worth the upcharge, however the stiffly sprung metal coils do not come near the consolation of the usual air springs.
Visually talking, the RS6 Avant Efficiency is not that totally different from its predecessor—the bumpers are tweaked a bit, and the outside trim parts are actually completed in matte grey. What you may discover extra are the visible choices: 4 totally different wheel finishes, three totally different mirror caps, three inside stitching colours, and three brake-caliper colours give loads of combos. A Bronze Version, restricted to only 75 examples, combines bronze-colored wheels with pearl black paint that delivers a putting curb presence.
It’s price noting that the mechanically equivalent RS7 Sportback Efficiency can be accessible, however for some cause, it is $2000 extra. Even at $126,895 for the RS6, Audi will certainly promote as many because it cares to ship over. However how a couple of reasonably priced sporty wagon for the center class? Possibly that may be too rational for this market.
2024 Audi RS6 Avant Efficiency
Automobile Sort: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct gasoline injection
Displacement: 244 in3, 3996 cm3
Energy: 621 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2300 rpm
Wheelbase: 115.3 in
Size: 196.7 in
Width: 76.8 in
Peak: 58.5-59.6 in
Passenger Quantity, F/R: 53/48 ft3
Cargo Quantity: 30 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4950 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 2.9 sec
100 mph: 7.5 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.1 sec
Prime Pace: 155-174 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 16/13/20 mpg
Ok.C. Colwell is Automobile and Driver’s govt editor, who covers new automobiles and know-how with a eager eye for automotive nonsense and with what he considers to be nice automotive sense, which is a humblebrag. On his first day at C/D in 2004, he was given the keys to a Porsche 911 by somebody who did not even know if he had a driver’s license. He additionally is among the drivers who set quick laps at C/D‘s annual Lightning Lap observe check.