Audi Australia has announced pricing ahead of the return of the big-bad station wagon – the RS6 Avant – after a two-year hiatus from Aussie shores. The RS7 Sportback will also join the wagon in July as a sleeker alternative.
Of the pair, the RS6 is more affordable at $216,000 (driveaway pricing TBA), while the dearer four-door coupe RS7 lists at $224,000 (driveaway pricing TBA).
Both fast Audis share a 441kW/800Nm twin-turbocharged four-litre V8 – certainly adequate in our books – and the same Quattro all-wheel-drive system sends the power to the tarmac.
Normal driving sees a 40:60 front to rear power bias with the ability to send as much as 85% of power and torque to the rear axle, though there will be no drift modes here.
The RS6 and RS7 are both automatic only and employ an eight-speed torque converter gearbox – no dual-clutch here – which helps propel the pair of cars to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds, and 100km/h in just 12 seconds.
While power is high, the Audi options aren’t as potent as the other German rivals like the refreshed BMW M5 Competition and Mercedes-AMG E63 S, but in typical Audi style, everyday usability is high on the list for the RS6 and RS7.
That also means Australian cars get adaptive air suspension as standard, which should ease the ride from the massive 22-inch alloy wheels, and a four-wheel-steering system, which forms part of the dynamic package standard on both cars.
Managing director of Audi Australia, Paul Sansom, said: “The idea of a high-performance sports car that is also refined and versatile enough for everyday driving is one that Audi has excelled in over the last 25 years”.
That sums up the fast-Audi MO well, but don’t think the everyday usability translates to ‘boring’. From the outside, in fact, it seems quite the opposite.
Both cars share an imposing front end – the oversized grilles look ready to swallow wombats whole – but its the extra bulk of the RS6 Avant which makes the big wagon appear lower, flatter and meaner than the daintier RS7 Sportback.
Puckered arches and panels appearing stretched thin over bulging inner-workings – the RS6 is 40mm wider than an A6, the RS7 20mm – give way to a minimal and carefully appointed interior.
Both the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback share identical specifications and inside get with the brand’s excellent MMI infotainment system seamlessly melding dual central touchscreens with a configurable digital drivers display and wireless Apple CarPlay.
The standard-fit sports seats are finished in premium Valcona leather, the rest of the interior appointed with Nappa cow-hide. There’s also a 705-watt Bang and Olufsen stereo, panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors and heated mirrors.
Active safety systems are all present on the RS6 and RS7, highlights include adaptive cruise with stop and go, tyre-pressure monitoring, loose wheel nut detection, and a 360-degree camera with kerb view, so you don’t scrape the expensive alloys.
Those alloy wheels are so big because they have to fit some monstrous 10-piston front callipers which clamp 420mm steel discs as standard, though optionally Audi will sell you a larger set including 440mm carbon-ceramic front rotors.
As for which blisteringly quick Audi is the better choice? It’s hard to go past the looks of the wagon, and it promises the same turn of speed as the more svelte RS7. Perhaps a stiffer body will give the RS7 the upper hand in performance driving, though.
Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little longer to find out, with the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback reaching Audi dealerships on the 24th of July.