Iconic Audi RS6 Super Wagon turns 20 this year.
With four generations spanning these two decades, the RS6 has become a cult hero for delivering breakthrough performance in a family-friendly package, and it’s an icon for buggy enthusiasts the world over.
Here, we’ll celebrate the RS6’s 20th anniversary by stepping back in time and remembering each generation of this celebrated insignia.
2002-2004: C5 . generation
After winning the world with the RS2 Avant and the first generation RS4 Avant In the 1990s, quattro GmbH (now Audi Sport) embarked on engineering the next chapter in the passenger car performance story.
Saw the first generation of the regular Audi RS6 A6 Sedan and Avant It goes through a series of improvements, including tweaking the engine, suspension and transmission to make the German mid-size car a proper performance car.
According to Audi, new side skirts, wide sills, 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, as well as two large oval exhaust pipes, “emphasize its sporting ambitions.”
Originally, the new engine did not fit into the A6 engine compartment, so quattro GmbH extended the front of the base car to provide 4 cm more mounting space.
Developed in partnership with UK-based Cosworth, a subsidiary of Audi AG at the time and until 2004, the 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 450 hp (331 kW) and 560 Nm made the first RS6 the most powerful Audi in the world. . time.
The C5-generation Audi RS6 features a five-speed torque converter automatic with five driving modes, and it cited an impressive 0-100 time of just 4.7 seconds, with a top speed limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). As you’d expect, the RS6 came as standard with the Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system.
In order to help the RS6 achieve the perfect balance between comfort and sportiness, even in everyday driving conditions, Audi has used newly developed Dynamic Drive Control (DCC) suspension technology which “reduces slip and roll movements in sporty driving, both on direct roads and in curves”, According to Stefan Reil, the former RS6 development lead and currently head of technical development at the Audi Neckarsulm facility.
The DRC consists of steel springs with two radially opposite hydraulic shock absorbers that neutralize the body of the vehicle without any “time lag” and without electronics.
All C5 generation RS6 modules are manufactured on the production line and by hand. Partial assembly will be completed on the production line and then the suspension, components for the RS and interior decoration elements will be installed in a hall adjacent to the Neckarsulm plant, where quattro GmbH workers spend about 15 hours finishing each unit on the hydraulic lift.
The first Audi RS6 was the only generation to have a racing version, in the form of the RS6 Competition. The 475 hp (349 kW) version of the 4.2 V8 successfully beat the “equal displacement” competition in the 2003 World Speed GT Challenge.
In the final stages of its life, the RS6 ‘plus’ offered a more powerful 480 hp (353 kW) version of the bi-turbo V8, with torque remaining at 560 Nm.
Audi has upgraded the RS6 plus with more standard equipment that was previously optional, and the top speed can be raised from 250 km/h to the 280 km/h supercar competition.
2008-2010: C6 جيل generation
Six years after the launch of the first generation, Audi faced another crack in the RS6 formula and once again offered versions of the Avant sedans and wagon.
This gave the second generation RS6 a power of 580 hp (426 kW) and 650 Nm, which exceeded even the most powerful R8 GT (560 hp, 412 kW).
For the C6 generation, Audi used a “significantly reworked” six-speed automatic transmission to handle the massive power on tap, including improvements in cooling, shift speed and power distribution.
The RS6 can sprint from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds, with the Avant marginally slower at 4.6 seconds. At launch, the RS6 came as standard with a limited top speed of 250 km/h, which can be raised to 280 km/h as an option. Later, the RS6 plus achieved more than 300 km / h.
The Audi V10 engine weighs 278 kg and features a motorsport-inspired dry-sump lubrication method that allows the large engine to sit low in the body and lower the center of gravity, and can deliver up to 1.2g of oil for “longitudinal and lateral acceleration”.
The C6 generation offered 420mm front and 356mm carbon ceramic brakes as an option, and DRC suspension was offered as standard, with adjustable shock absorbers available as an option.
Like the original, the 2008 Audi RS6 had a “dim” design although it distinguished it from the regular A6 models with its enlarged fenders as well as 20-inch alloy wheels shod in 275/35 tyres. The vehicles were partially assembled on the production line and then finished in the adjacent hall by quattro GmbH workers, again like its predecessor.
Audi knocked out the C6 generation with the RS6 plus Sport or RS6 plus Audi Exclusive, depending on the market. Only 500 units were taken out of Neckarsulm with a numbered interior panel, special alloy wheels, leather instrument panel and floor mats bearing the RS6 logo.
2013-2018: C7 generation
As a follow-up to the impressive 5.0-liter V10, the C7 Audi RS6 went from the largest engine in the model line ever to the smallest engine ever, reducing capacity to a 4.0-liter, eight-cylinder, but again twin-turbocharged.
Not only has capacity been reduced, but the RS6 sedan is no longer with the C7 iteration, with the Avant wagon being used as the only available alternative. However, Audi created the coupe RS7 Sportback as a spiritual successor.
The power of the new engine was reduced by 20 hp to 560 hp (412 kW), but the torque increased to 700 Nm. The C7-gen RS6 also used a number of weight saving measures that made it weigh up to 120kg lighter than its predecessor, and the rear weight distribution was improved to 55:45.
This is achieved through a high proportion of aluminum in the construction, including all the RS parts included, and the lighter 15cm bi-turbo V8 in the engine bay.
A new eight-speed automatic transmission sent grunt to the quattro all-wheel drive, with 0-100 taking 3.9 seconds – half a second faster than its predecessor. The third generation RS6 can reach 305 kilometers per hour as well.
The lighter body combined with new cylinder deactivation technology meant the C7-generation RS6 was up to 30 percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the latter feature allowing up to half of its cylinders to be shut off under reduced engine load, making it an efficient four-cylinder .
For the first time, adaptive air suspension was offered as standard equipment. The RS model’s system was 20mm lower than the other models and featured “sport tuning,” with a hitch also available for the first time in the board’s history.
Once again, carbon-ceramic brakes (420mm front and 365mm rear) were available as an option, and like every iteration before you swapped halls during assembly at Neckarsulm.
Audi says the C7 has become a best-selling and market leader in the performance wagon segment, and has resonated all over the world.
2019 to present: C8 generation
Now we get to the current generation.
Launched globally in 2019, the C8-gen Audi RS6 Avant is built on the foundations laid by all of its predecessors.
Once again, the RS6 features a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 engine under the hood, now pumping out a whopping 600 hp (441 kW) and 800 Nm and is being boosted for the first time with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.
Additional grunt enhances the slight weight gain over its predecessor, since the car needs only 3.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h, and 12 seconds to reach 200 km / h.
In addition to the fuel-efficient 48V MHEV quick setup, the C8 RS6 Avant generation debuted a number of new technologies.
All-wheel steering has become available for the first time, not only to enhance stability at higher speeds by turning the rear wheels in the same direction as the fronts, but also makes cornering and low-speed maneuvers easier by turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts, reducing the turning circle.
There is also the availability of Matrix LED headlights with laser headlights combined with the RS7 Sportback.
The previous generation’s move to offer a towbar as an option resonated with customers as well, with Stefan Riel saying “more than half of our European customers order a trailer hitch.”
Unlike its predecessors, which all featured a quieter design compared to their non-RS counterparts, the C8 RS6 Avant generation really sets itself apart from the regular A6 family.
Audi says that only the roof, front doors and tailgate are the only exterior elements in common with the regular A6 Avant, with other components changed specifically for the RS and as a result the car has been widened by 8cm. The current car features a model-specific hood for the first time as well.
Depending on the market, 21-inch wheels with 275/35 tires are standard, with 22-inch units fitted with optional 285/30 rubber. In another bloodline change, the two-stage C8 RS6 is no longer manufactured in separate halls, but is taken off the assembly line in Neckarsulm in a show-ready form.
The current iteration of the RS6 Avant also marks a nameplate return in the US for the first time since the original.
In Australia, the current Audi RS6 is arguably the most expensive ever – incredibly.
With a starting price of $226,891 plus on-road costs (originally launched at $216,000), the 2022 Audi RS6 Avant is significantly cheaper than the previous-generation RS6 Performance ($248,355 for the MY18), not far from The number dialed by the original RS6 Avant that went on sale in 2003 ($225,100) — inflation factoring, isn’t bad.
It’s also only one of two Avant versions of the current A6 on sale in Australia, the other being the A6 allroad.
Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Legende!
more: Everything Audi RS6