2021 Audi RS6 Avant Review: Prices, MPG, Performance and Specs

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John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

July 22, 2020  at 4:07 AM

One of the most awaited cars in recent history, the RS6 Avant is finally here. It has been duking out with its arch-nemesis the Mercedes AMG E 63 S Wagon in the European market for a long time. Now for the first time, the RS6 has come to the US and we get to judge which is a better Sports Luxury Wagon. The price tag for the Avant will start at $109,000 undercutting the E63 wagon with similar performance, comfort, luxury and handling. This will certainly affect the market share predominantly held by the Mercedes AMG E63 S Wagon. We will have to wait and see who will win this heavyweight fight. Apart from the E3 the RS6 will face competition from the Porsche Panamera GTS.

Since Audi announced a year back that they would be finally bringing the RS6 Avant to our shores for the first time to rival against its arch-nemesis, AMG E63 S Wagon, fans have been going crazy about it. A high-performance station wagon is such a rare specimen in the U.S. that you are more likely to come across a 6x6 G wagon on the road than a performance station wagon today. Years back Cadillac did take a shot at the segment with their CTS-V and created an insane monster with the heart of a Corvette engine and a stick shift.

Audi has stayed out of the game in the U.S. market since the beginning but has decided to start off the decade by bringing joy to the hearts of their hungry fans in the States longing for some taste. While the SUVs are being largely favored by most consumers, wagon sales are up on the rise making this the best time for the RS6 Avant to hit the American streets. It will compete against the Mercedes AMG E63 S Wagon and the Porsche Panamera Sport and give them a run for their money, which is a very high possibility, so they better watch out.

What’s New?

  • Mind-blowing performance
  • Aggressive looks
  • First time the RS6 lands in our land
  • 591 bhp engine

What to expect in the engine department?

The RS badge on this wagon already tells you that there is a monster sitting under the hood of this wagon just waiting to unleash itself and tear up the road like it is made of paper. It may not be one of Audi’s most powerful engines in the lineup, but it sure is powerful enough to get you into some serious trouble on the road with the police. The 2021 RS6 comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 sitting in the bay along with a familiar 48-volt mild hybrid system found in other Audi cars like the A8 and Q8. The RS6 pumps out just under 600 horsepower to all four wheels via Audi’s brilliant Quattro all-wheel-drive system leaving no room for tire slip.

Almost everything under the skin of the 2021 RS6 is carried over from the previous model of the RS6 Avant offered in the European market, like the superb gear banging eight-speed transmission. But who really cares, at this point, we are just thrilled to be able to get our hands on the RS6 at last, regardless of anything new or old. A big powerful turbocharged V8 and an impeccable all-wheel-drive system along with a quick-shifting gearbox equal some serious off the line performance. Audi claims that their 2021 high-performance station wagon will launch to 60mph from a dig in 3.5 seconds. 

Models

2021 Audi RS6 Avant (Expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

2020 Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo

MSRP

$109,000

$112,745

$135,500

Engine

4.0L twin-turbo V8

4.0L twin-turbo V8

4.0L twin-turboV8

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power (hp @ RPM)

591 @ 6,000

603 @ 5,750

453 @ 5,650

Torque (lb.-ft @ RPM)

590 @ 2,050

627 @ 2,500

457 @ 2,000

0-60 MPH (seconds)

3.5

3.3

3.9

Quarter Mile (seconds)

N/A

11.6

12.3

As quick as the RS6 Avant is, the others in its class prove to be quicker with the added power, but only with a small margin. The monstrous torque that the AMG engine spits out in the E63 wagon propels it to 60mph faster than most of the two-door sports cars out there that cost more than this station wagon. The GTS might be more than 100 horses down than the RS6, but its lightning-fast dual-clutch transmission and launch control execute the job better than anything else you can find.

Will it offer good Ride and Handling?

Ride quality in the 2021 RS6 is as planted as ever. The intelligent Quattro all-wheel-drive system does a brilliant job in sending power to the right wheel to maintain complete control, especially while cornering. Speaking of cornering, the rear-wheel steering system allows the wagon to rotate around the tight corners making you forget the size of the wagon while driving hard. Other than that, the RS6 can behave when it needs to be. 

On daily commutes, the ride is so soft you forget that there’s almost 600bhp on tap. Steering and suspension deliver great comfort and feedback making it a beautiful wagon for long road trips. There is also an all-wheel steering system in the Audi RS 6 Avant that turns the rear wheels to help reduce the turning radius, improve handling agility and help improve stability at highway speeds.

How many miles to the gallon will this Wagon return?

A station wagon stuffed with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 does not sound like something that would give you great mpg figures. Especially from a 600 horsepower RS6. That is because Audi knows that their RS6 customers have deep pockets for such things and would most likely be favoring power and performance over mpg. Having said so, the RS6 Avant is expected to give adequate gas mileage. Audi is yet to officially announce the fuel economy figures and the EPA is yet to rate the car. The figures we have mentioned are based on the European spec RS6 and it may vary for the US version.

Models

2021 Audi RS6 Avant (Expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

2020 Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo

MPG (city)

16

16

15

MPG (highway)

23

23

22

MPG (combined)

N/A

19

18

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

19.3

21.1

23.7

Range (City/Highway) (miles)

N/A

338 / 485

356 / 521

Compared to its rivals the RS6 is giving similar mpg figures as its arch-nemesis the Mercedes E 63 S Wagon. However, The RS6 has a smaller tank than the E 63 and in turn, will give a lower range than the E 63. The Porsche Panamera gives you lower MPG figures than both Merc and Audi. However, it has a better range than both of them thanks to the largest fuel tank in the comparison. Considering the fact that all the cars have a 4.0-liter V8 tuned for performance rather than efficiency, they all give a respectable fuel economy 

How is the Audi RS6 Avant’s interior?

On the inside, this high-performance station wagon retains the same interior we all know and love in the A6 with some additional sportier trims in the name of RS. You get a flat-bottom steering wheel housing the “RS” badge to remind you what you are in as you sit in the RS bucket seats that do a great job in keeping you in one place as well as in comfort for long drives. Keeping with its sporty theme the screens that have seemingly endless menus and configuration are driver-centric.

Space is abundant in a station wagon and the RS6 has just as much of it as it does power. The rear seats provide ample room for even a 6-footer. Even though it might not look like it has the most spacious cabin in the comparison. Adding to the Luxury is genuine materials that fill up the interior such as premium leather and faux suede as well as upscale features such as the heads-up display and Touch MMI interface. It also has one of the best NVH levels in the comparison but, it also does mute that thumping V8.

Models

2021 Audi RS6 Avant (Expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

2020 Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (inches)

41.2/59.0/45.8

37.5/57.8/41.3

40.0/58.0/46.2

Second Row(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (inches)

38.7/NA/NA

38.2/57.1/36.1

38.4/54.1/34.8

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

N/A

35.0

18.3

Overall, the cabin is a great blend of comfort and performance. Although the Audi may have the edge over its competitors with its spacious cabin it is only second best in cargo space in this comparison. The worst in this comparison is the Porsche with its sub-par 18.3 cubic feet of space. Audi is yet to officially announce the stats for the US version of the RS6 Avant. All the figures are based on the 2020 European spec RS6. However, we are not expecting many changes in the interior dimension, which being said if there are any changes, we will keep you updated. 

Does it come loaded with tech inside?

The Audi RS6 Avant is not just all about going fast while your entire family sits in comfort with all their luggage in the cargo. The Audi comes well equipped with plenty of techs to keep you entertained while you blast down the highway. Just like any other vehicle in Audi’s line-up today, the center stack of the RS6 gets the double touchscreen treatment, 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, and an 8.6-inch for climate control and vehicle settings. To add to it, you get a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster screen. There are barely any physical buttons which could be a turndown, it looks like a really big smartphone built into the center stack.

Accompanying the infotainment system are lots of connectivity features. It comes with features like Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Being the flagship wagon from Audi you can expect the car to come with a ton of tech as standard and to have a ton of options. Nonetheless, if you find yourself sitting inside the RS6 and the double screen disappoints you, just remind yourself that you are inside the RS6 at last or maybe just bury the throttle and leave all your worries behind. If you feel like 

How are the exterior looks of the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant?

When Audi brought us the A6, the design was rather too vanilla and lacked the sportiness essence. The same can be said for the S6, it received barely any cosmetic upgrade that would differentiate it from the lower model. But when the RS6 came out, it made us restore our faith back in the Audi design team. The 2021 RS6 has never looked so aggressive. Groves flow across the hood leading from those gorgeous headlights of Audi that sit firmly above the bumper with larger cut out intakes and grilles. The massive wheel arches on the side are not just for the looks, Audi has widened the car by 1.6 inches to improve stability and cornering. 

The rear of the wagon is just as aggressive as the front, with large oval-shaped chrome exhaust tips on both ends of the diffuser and a set of gorgeous looking tail lights, the RS6 can never be boring to look at. The RS6 is one of the very few head-turning Audi’s you can find in the market which makes it even more tempting to get your hands on one. Dimensionally the wagon is the same size as its competitors. Even though it might not look like it, the Porsche Panamera is the longest car but only by a very slight margin. 

Models

2021 Audi RS6 Avant (Expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon

2020 Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4,960

4669

4606

Length (in.)

196.7

197.1

198.8

Width (in.)

76.8

75.1

76.3

Height (in.)

58.6

58

56.2

Ground clearance (in.)

4.5

5.0

8.4

Wheelbase (in.)

115.3

115.7

116.1

Compared to its rivals RS6 Avant is the heaviest of the bunch, which is followed by the E63 S Wagon. The Panamera has a bigger size on paper but the AMG has a more spacious cabin than it. Despite being the heaviest Audi manages to give the AMG a run for its money when it comes to performance and handling. The RS6 is no longer the blunt wagon that it was in the past, with its aggressive styling and the power to go with its looks, the RS6 is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Will the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant be worth my money?

Seriously? Is that even a question? The RS6 gives you everything you could want from an SUV while having sports car driving dynamics, something the SUV will never be able to match. And if it is off-roading, who would ever want to take their $100,000 SUV in the dirt in the first place? Do we really need another 600bhp family wagon? Probably not, but boy are we glad! To conclude, yes, the Audi RS6 Avant is worth every dollar. We admit that the AMG looks better on paper but in reality, the Audi RS6 Avant looks better in person and offers a better value for money compared to its rivals.

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