2008 Audi RS6 Avant

2008 Audi RS6 Avant

The Lamborghini-derived V-10 in the Audi S6 is already pretty extreme, but the RS6 adds two turbochargers to create the most powerful roadgoing Audi ever. A quicker-shifting six-speed automatic backs up the V-10, so you can just stomp your foot for a 4.6-second sprint from 0 to 62 mph. Optional 16.5-inch carbon-ceramic brakes squeezed under the available twenty-inch wheels can help haul down this 4465-pound bruiser. All this hardware would never fit under stock bodywork, so Audi looked to the past when making accommodations; the widened fenders feature flat-topped flares reminiscent of the original Audi Coupe Quattro. Top speed for this superwagon is said to be capped at 155 mph, but rest assured, autobahn lovers, Audi RS models are known for their liberal speed limiters. Unfortunately, America's aversion to wagons means that we won't get this car. All we can do is hope that Audi will give us the RS6 sedan due next year.

With the introduction of the RS6 Avant's 5.0-liter, direct-injection, gasoline V-10, the Volkswagen Group now makes two twin-turbo V-10 engines--the other is the VW Touareg's 4.9-liter diesel. The two engines have little in common other than cylinder count, their two turbochargers, and the ability to produce torque in spades. The RS6's 479 lb-ft of torque (74 lb-ft fewer than the oil burner's) is available from just above idle--1500 rpm--to a lofty 6250 rpm, and its 580 hp trumps the Touareg by 270 hp. More important, the Audi V-10 bests the BMW M5's 500-hp, 5.0-liter V-10 and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG's 507-hp, 6.2-liter V-8.

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