Audi made a shocking announcement near the end of last year. For the first time in 25 years, the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant is officially arriving in North America. However, it arrives at the party with another RS model in the form of the magnificent RS7 Sportback – a car which is mechanically similar to the RS6 Avant albeit with a coupe-like, rakish roofline. For all North American Audi RS fans, the year 2020 is the best in a long while.
The new Audi RS6 Avant is a lot of car
So, what’s all the fuss about the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant? Just look at it! If your eyes can’t appreciate the marvelous hunkered-down, station wagon styling of the RS6 Avant, then you need to know it’s more than just a tuned version of the A6 Avant.
It’s a family car to the core offering generous room for five while still having adequate cargo space. This car is as practical as an SUV, but it’s definitely more stylish and more engaging to drive. In fact, it offers up to 20 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats in the upright position. Fold it down, however, and you have 60 cubic feet of room.
The RS6 Avant is a full 40 millimeters wider on each side than a base A6 Avant. It has gorgeous 22-inch alloy wheels nestled under bulging wheel arches. The angry face is dominated by a wider and bigger Audi Singleframe grille and LED headlights lifted directly from the A7. You also get large air inlets under the headlights inspired by the R8 supercar.
It’s also packing tons of power
It’s hard to fault Audi for trying to make a big impression with the 2020 RS6 Avant. Since it’s the first time we’re getting an RS6 Avant from a local dealership, Audi made the car extra special by giving it a burly V8 engine.
The RS6 Avant is packing a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged FSI engine under that long and prominent hood. It produces 591-horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. More importantly, the engine is churning maximum torque from 2,100 all the way to 4,500 rpm.
The RS6 Avant is also equipped with a 48-volt mild-hybrid assist system. The engine is equipped with a separate belt-alternator starter and a small lithium-ion battery. But unlike other mild-hybrids that contribute directly to engine performance, the hybrid unit in the RS6 Avant is geared more towards fuel economy. It allows the engine to switch off for 40 seconds when coasting between 34 and 100 mph.
According to Audi, the system saves 0.8-liters of fuel per 62 miles – not exactly mind-blowing, we know. But with a large and thirsty V8, it helps to try and save fuel in any way possible.
And it’s a seriously quick station wagon
We can’t remember the last time America had the pleasure of a V8 station wagon, but the new Audi RS6 Avant fills the void quite well. And if you think station wagons are slow, then you obviously haven’t heard of the RS6 Avant before.
You see, it easily reaches 60 mph from a dead stop in 3.6-seconds, and you can do it tirelessly and repeatedly if so preferred. The top speed is rated at 155 mph but ticking the dynamic package plus option raises the top speed to 190 mph.
Editor-in-chief Vincent Nguyen was able to play with the 2020 RS6 Avant, and he was no less mesmerized by the RS6 Avant’s muscular performance. “You have to feel it for yourself,” said Nguyen. “It was able to repeatedly pin me in my seat as it rushed to 60 mph in no time at all.”
The V8 motor is mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox and Audi’s famed Quattro AWD system. The all-wheel drivetrain has a rear-biased feel as the system feeds 60-percent of power to the rear wheels in normal driving mode. But as you speed up and attack a corner, the system can route up to 75-percent of torque to the front and up to 85-percent of power to the rear axles.
Truth be told, the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant is a genuine GT sports car in station wagon guise.
But it won’t come cheap
Back in August 2019, we predicted base prices for the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant to start upwards of $110,000. As it turns out, we were right! The new RS6 Avant has a base price of $109,000. After factoring in taxes and destination charges ($995), you’ll need to fork over $100,000 to enjoy the guilty pleasure of driving the all-new RS6 Avant.
As we said, the Audi RS6 Avant is not cheap. But you get a lot of car for the $110k base price. Standard features include adaptive air suspension, six driving modes, RS sports seats wrapped in premium Valcona leather, and Audi’s MMI touch response system with a 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower display among many other things.