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2021 Audi RS 6 Avant Overview
For 2021, Audi adds to two of its niche lineups—wagons and performance models—with the all-new RS 6 Avant. The RS 6 Avant builds on the A6 wagon with jaw-dropping looks and performance, while retaining some semblance of practicality and functionality. There aren’t many other wagons of this caliber on the market, so the RS 6 Avant is perhaps best considered as a rival to performance crossovers from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche.
The RS 6 Avant is a sharp-looking wagon—literally. Crisp body lines project confidence while sharp corners, particularly along the grille, bumpers, and lighting, add plenty of aggression. The honeycomb grille design is exclusive to the RS line, and the wide body (1.6 inches wider than a regular A6 wagon) communicates power. Standard wheels are 21 inches in diameter and fitted with summer tires. The Black Optic and Carbon Optic exterior packages add 22-inch wheels, a black grille, and different trim in either black or carbon. The brakes are available with red or gray painted calipers. The Nogaro Package, available on just 25 RS 6 Avants, adds 22-inch trapezoid design wheels over red brake calipers.
The RS 6 Avant features a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine rated for 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive (AWD) and an eight-speed automatic transmission with launch control complete the setup. The Audi Drive Select system with selectable driving modes also comes standard. An adaptive air suspension system optimizes comfort or performance.
The centerpiece of the sophisticated cabin is the heated and ventilated front sport seats, which feature Valcona leather and a distinctive honeycomb pattern that recalls the front grille. RS embossing completes the look. The RS sport steering wheel features perforated leather and new, RS-specific, aluminum shift paddles. Options include upgraded leather, massaging front seats, and heated rear seats.
The infotainment system features a pair of touchscreens—10.1 and 8.6 inches—that can also be controlled via handwriting recognition. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. The 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit customizable information display also comes standard. RS-exclusive displays alert drivers to information such as lap times and acceleration measurements. For options, Audi offers night vision and a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
The RS 6 Avant comes with Audi’s Pre-Sense Basic system, which preps the vehicle and its occupants when a collision is imminent. Safety options include adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, intersection assist, traffic-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert, vehicle-exit warning, Pre-Sense rear, and a head-up display (HUD).
Audi fans in the United States have been waiting a long time for the RS 6 Avant’s arrival, but you don’t have to be a brand loyalist to appreciate this wagon’s design and performance. If you’re shopping for a premium crossover in the six-figures-and-up price range, the RS 6 Avant is also worth a look.
Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.
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