2010 Audi RS6 | road test

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 by
Despite its monstrous power, the RS 6 looks rather understated

Despite its monstrous power, the RS 6 looks rather understated

AT A GLANCE

FOR

  • Astounding engine
  • Typical quality
  • Practical

AGAINST

  • Harsh ride
  • Too understated?
  • Expensive

SUMMARY

The RS 6 takes the refined A6 sedan, puts in some sports seats and an enormous engine and creates the best of both worlds. Here is a car with all the refinement and quality you would expect from Audi, but with enough brute force and performance behind it to take on virtually anything else on the road. Whether you’re on your way to a business meeting, taking the kids to the shops or heading for the racetrack, the RS 6 delivers and we love it.

Subtle exterior details mark the RS 6 out as being something special

Subtle exterior details mark the RS 6 out as being something special

PERFORMANCE

The RS 6 is hugely powerful and very, very fast thanks to its massive 5.0-litre V10 engine, which makes 572bhp. Audi’s ethos of refinement and comfort doesn’t always lend its cars an exhilarating or sporty feel, but the RS 6 has enough raw, visceral power, even though it’s delivered very smoothly, to set the pulse racing.

It’s happy to cruise around town at low revs but put your right foot down and the car will fire you towards the horizon, thanks in large part to the maximum torque being available throughout the rev range.

The gearbox is a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters behind the steering wheels and is quick to react in manual mode and smooth when set to Auto.

HANDLING AND RIDE

The RS 6 sits lower than its siblings in Audi’s ‘6’ range. Press the Car button on the dash and you have the option to enter Sports Suspension Plus mode, which lets you switch between Comfort, Dynamic and Sport modes. The difference between Comfort and Sport is marked, in contrast to many cars with similar options. You can feel the chassis stiffen up and become taut and it really holds on around the bends.

As such, it may be too stiff for general road use as any bumps are very clearly felt. Hit a speed bump in Sport mode and you’ll know about it, but Comfort mode does a good job of soaking up such obstacles. Having said that, the ride still remains fairly hard.

Handling in all modes is excellent – the chassis is designed for performance and doesn’t disappoint, even considering the bulk of the car. Audi’s famous quattro four-wheel drive gives excellent traction and some huge brakes provide more than adequate stopping power.

The interior is beautifully put together

The interior is beautifully put together

COMFORT

Audi is famed for its build quality and the RS 6 doesn’t disappoint. Everything inside the car feels rock solid, stylish and there’s plenty of carbon fibre inside to distinguish the RS 6 from its more stately cousins (wood inlays are a no-cost option). Having said that, the car is far from garish – more aggressive bumpers and a muscular stance can’t hide the innate refinement found in the A6 – it’s rather like a wrestler in a smart suit.

Being the sportiest model in the range, the RS 6 comes with leather-covered carbon fibre sports seats, which give plenty of lateral support while still being comfortable for long journeys. The whole cabin feels classy and like a premium product.

The exhaust note from the matte black oval tail pipes is always present in the car; even at low revs there’s a faint rumble to remind you of the RS 6’s power. But plant your foot and the sound warbles up through the car. It’s not loud, it’s just resonant.

PRACTICALITY

The RS 6 is virtually identical in size to the A6, which means plenty of space in the back for three adults and the boot – easily enough space for a golf bag or two. The rear seats fold down if you need to carry larger loads. There are two cupholders at the front and storage space under the centre armrest.

FEATURES

Plenty of kit is available in the RS 6 as befits its 450,000AED price tag. The car comes with a rear view camera and front and rear parking sensors as standard, as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system and automatic everything – wipers, lights and so on. Adaptive headlights, which move as the car corners to improve vision, can be specified for an extra 2,500AED.

Audi’s MMI system integrates features such as the excellent sound system and satellite navigation into one interface. You can also change the mood of the interior lighting.  Rear sunshades, dual zone air conditioning and adaptive cruise control are all standard. The RS 6 runs on 20-inch alloy wheels, which are available in three different styles.

A high-end Bose stereo is standard, but iPod compatibility is a 1,400AED option, which is a shame when much lower end cars now include it as standard. A TV tuner can also be added for 4,500AED.

2010 Audi RS 6

2010 Audi RS 6

SAFETY

Standard safety equipment includes ABS and electronic stability control as well as front and head airbags. Rear side airbags are a 1,500AED option. Ceramic brakes are available for a whopping 43,700AED, while a blind spot alert system can be specified for 3,200AED. There are ISOFIX child seat attachment points on the passenger and rear seats as standard.

COSTS

At 450,000AED the RS 6 is not cheap, but is a whole lot of car in all areas. With such a performance focus, official fuel economy is less than brilliant at 13.9l/100km on a combined city/highway cycle. From its 80-litre fuel tank, the RS 6 therefore has a theoretical range of around 575km per tank, although if you drive the RS 6 in the manner in which it’s intended, it will be far worse than that.

Audi offers a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty on the RS 6, which also comes with five years or 105,000km of free servicing and three years roadside assistance in case of a breakdown. Extended warranties are available for purchase.

2010 Audi RS 6

Engine: 5.0-litre V10
Max power (bhp/rpm): 572/6,250-6,700
Max torque (Nm/rpm): 650/1,500-6,250
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Driven wheels: Four wheel drive
Kerb weight: 1,985
Price (AED): 450,000

One Response to 2010 Audi RS6 | road test

  1. George Reply

    April 15, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Undoubtedly, the RS6 has a monster of an engine producing 580bhp, albeit…..it is force fed via twin turbochargers. Audi is not particularly renowned for putting 100bhp/ltr (specific output) naturally aspirated motors on their road cars…..except maybe the RS4.
    May that laurel rest with BMW, Porsche and Ferrari.
    BMW M5/M6 – 101.4 bhp/ltr
    Porsche Carrera S/GT3 – 101.3/114.5 bhp/ltr
    Ferrari Italia – 124 .4 bhp/ltr

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