By on August 21, 2019

Image: Audi

Months of teasing gave way to an admission of intent late Tuesday. After dangling Avants wagons of yesteryear in front of social media watchers since the spring, Audi finally came out and admitted the beastly RS6 Avant wagon will make its way stateside.

Sporting all-wheel drive, a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, and endlessly customizable drive settings, the next-generation RS 6 Avant lands in America in 2020, but don’t expect to see many polluting showroom floors.

Indeed, the RS 6 is the niche model of all niche models, earning no shortage of online jokes about the number of so-called wagon fans who’ll actually put their money where their mouths are. Audi realizes the super wagon won’t garner a flood of buyers, however, which is why the model will only be available via customer order. The automaker wants to avoid a situation where a eyeball-grabbing-but-unwanted RS 6 loiters on the floor/lot, costing the dealer money.

Image: Audi

So, what can this small group of buyers expect from their new family hauler? 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, for one, split in a number of ways between all four wheels. Drivers can dial up their preferred front-rear torque split (full RWD is out of the question, sorry, but rear-biased is a given), while a sport differential funnels the right amount of grip to the proper rear wheel.

If you were hoping for a manual transmission, you’ve clearly been ignoring the product changes in Audi’s lineup of late. An eight-speed automatic is the only choice here, with a launch control function aiding drivers in their stoplight tearaway. Zero to 62 mph can pass in 3.6 seconds, though Audi stresses that U.S.-market performance stats are not yet available.

Image: Audi

Stretching 1.6 inches wider than your run of the mill Avant, the RS 6 temps passers-by with its pronounced fender flares and aggressive fascia/grille treatment, soon to become the norm for RS-badged models. Headlamps come on loan from the A7. Deep within those four wheel arches lurks an adaptive air suspension system that’s customizable by the driver. Shelling or extra bucks nets you a sport suspension with Audi’s Dynamic Ride Control; with that setup, oil lines connecting the shocks through a central valve allows the model to remain as flat and planted as possible as you take that on-ramp at illegal speeds.

Twenty-one inch wheels come standard, and Audi will be more than happy to accept an extra chunk of green in exchange for upgraded ceramic brakes.

Well-monied drivers have access to six drive modes (comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency, RS1, and RS2), the latter two of which can be configured to suite the driver’s individual tastes. Everything’s up for configuration via these modes, from throttle and transmission mapping, to suspension performance, steering weight, and so on. All-wheel steering sits on the options list. Ka-ching.

It certainly sounds like the sky’s the limit for the RS 6’s price ceiling, but we won’t know details on that until closer to the model’s 2020 launch. What is important right now is that a model which first appeared in Europe in 2002 will now be available in North America for the first time. It’s up to customers to keep it there.

[Images: Audi]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

62 Comments on “Forbidden Fruit No Longer: Audi’s RS 6 Avant Is Headed to America...”


  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    And all 7 people that buy one in The States will be very happy.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    With all apologies to Principal Dan, Audi will likely sell a few more of these than Buick sells TourX’s regardless of the availability of Norm’s TriFecta Tuning(tm).

  • avatar
    ajla

    Internet wagon fans are the foot fetishists of auto enthusiasm.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    And here I was thinking, “What we really need is a ridiculously expensive, unreliable station wagon.”

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    The interior is very beautiful.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    In the long run it would be cheaper to find an estate sale B-body wagon and restomod it.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Maybe a boxy…The later (91-96 I think) ones are just so ugly.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        If I had my dream it would be a 78-79 Custom Cruiser when you could still get the 403 V8 and THM 350 – prior to putting those fragile 4 speed THM200 transmissions in there.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Just like the one my buddy flew off the hood of while staging “Death Proof” 26 years early. Thankfully, the Olds was doing maybe 10 mph.

          (Sometimes I wonder how I didn’t die by 1985…)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @FreedMike

            My grandmother liked to say that “God watches out for children and dumb animals.”

            (I was usually in the “dumb animals” category.)

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Or, as Will Riker would say, “Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise.”

          • 0 avatar
            PeriSoft

            “Or, as Will Riker would say, “Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise.””

            Except in the movies. Then the ship is screwed.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            True. The bigger movie allowed them to do in the Enterprise – three times. In fairness, though, the second time around they only screwed half the ship.

        • 0 avatar
          bojac

          Like this one. A 77, but close enough, eh?

          https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1977-oldsmobile-custom-cruiser-station-wagon/

  • avatar
    bojac

    Just in time for the next global recession/depression.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Oh, yes, I want it.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Really greaT1. But if it costs more than $30K, why bother?

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Add $100K to that, +/-.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I can’t imagine this being anywhere near that $100k mark, there’s simply not enough here, if it was over that number I’m sure depreciation over 4 years would be enough to buy a new hellcat, which is a hell of a lot more exciting.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Count on this being $110K or better to start, it will be priced with the E63 wagon which is right there.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          You kidding? This thing will offer performance roughly on par with an early-2000s supercar, plus all the lux trimmings. That s**t costs, which is why a Hellcat doesn’t offer it all.

          My guess is 110K. Of course, the question is whether it’s worth that much to you. If I could drop that money on a car, this would be on my short list. YMMV, of course.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          What exactly here is worth $50k over a C8 or Hellcat? AWD certainly doesn’t cost $50k to implement. I’m not saying there aren’t people crazy enough to pay that much for a badge, there are, but it’s a bit out of hand to say something that is certainly not exotic by modern terms is worth $100k+ by basis of its badge, which seems to be what is being said here.

          Don’t get me wrong, the Escalade and Navigator are both in this same situation. None of these 3 vehicles offers something attention catching or worthy of not being a high trim in a lesser brand.

          • 0 avatar

            “something that is certainly not exotic by modern terms”

            Sorry, which other brands offer TTV8 wagons? Benz, that’s it. This is a special offering, and *is* exotic. It’s not comparable to a Hellcat or C8. Those don’t seat five and have big cargo room.

            If this exact car had a Cadillac badge you’d be praising the heavens.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            “What exactly here is worth $50k over a C8 or Hellcat?”

            It’s a 5 seat station wagon…obviously. The closest you can get to a Hellcat is a Jeep Trackhawk which with a few options is $100,115.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “What exactly here is worth $50k over a C8 or Hellcat?”

            Mostly an interior that doesn’t look like the one on a 2011 Charger SXT that went out the door for $19k. Also a bunch of luxury features and a better ride.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick_515

            Hummer, you gonna have to rev your Chevy a lot to keep up now. Turbos are coming to get you!

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “AWD certainly doesn’t cost $50k to implement.”

            EU’s regulatory design to price at least half of current car owners out of car ownership is costing VW all that and more. EVs and AVs are what you are buying when you get your throw-away hatchback for six figures.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Actually Corey if this were a Cadillac I’d be asking why they used such a tiny engine, since this is a euro it is expected.

            JMO, if being a powerful stationwagon was all it took to make it suddenly worth an additional $50k then the CTSV wagon from a few years back should have killed it.

            Dal, it shouldn’t cost $50k to make an interior better than a LX platform.

            Nick, if I wanted to go fast I would use a supercharger instead of turbos, this is America, leave the turbos for the diesel tractors.

            Apparently it is sacrilege to point out how bad of a value proposition a Euro car is that will likely be in a junkyard in 10 years. Pardon me for letting rational thought get in the way. High horsepower and fast cars is an Everyman affair in the United States, whereas in Europe it seems it’s saved for the richest of the rich.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “What exactly here is worth $50k over a C8 or Hellcat?”

            Fair question, and the answer is “the worth is in the eye of the beholder.”

            But I’d add two things:
            1) A Hellcat, no matter how cool it is (and, yeah, I’d take one), doesn’t compete with an exotic wagon. Sorry. This is like comparing a Mustang to a S-class Benz coupe because they’re both 2+2s.
            2) Optioned-up, I bet a C8 will get close to a hundred grand, and for that money, you still have a two-seat car with practically zero cargo capacity, and zero usability when the weather turns to s**t. And performance-wise, unless you’re on a track, I bet this wagon wouldn’t be too far off a C8’s performance envelope.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            A 4-liter V8 is “tiny?” Now you’re just trolling.

            “High horsepower and fast cars is an Everyman affair in the United States, whereas in Europe it seems it’s saved for the richest of the rich.”

            Only the richest of the rich can afford to fuel a 15 mpg car with $8/gallon gas, especially if they actually use any part of its performance advantage over lesser models, in which case it will get far less than 15 mpg.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “Only the richest of the rich can afford to fuel a 15 mpg car with $8/gallon gas, especially if they actually use any part of its performance advantage over lesser models, in which case it will get far less than 15 mpg.”

            Which only proves that expensive energy is about making everyday things the province of the rich, using bought politicians to lessen the condition of the common man.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The common man in Europe can afford an apartment in a walkable city, where driving to every single destination isn’t necessary. That’s something only the richest of the rich can afford in the USA, and its availability to most people in Europe is partly enabled by… taxes on gas.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Living like it’s 1890 and waiting for the plague to come back may be your dream, but stop trying to impose it on everyone else. Move to Europe if you hate your fellow Americans’ freedom. Seriously. You are beneath contempt.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “A 4-liter V8 is “tiny?” Now you’re just trolling.”

            Welcome to America, 4 liters is a medium sized 6 cylinder. A 6.2L small block is a small-medium sized V8, and Cadillacs peak V8 engine was a 500 cubic inch V8. (that’s 8.2L for those in Europe that have trouble with comprehending this measurement)

            Seems Europeans like being peasants without basic freedoms and opportunities Americans have. Too bad they don’t have representation that at least pretends to care about their livelihoods. As for America a 8MPG sedan is a perfectly acceptable grocery getter/daily driver. And we can enjoy these privileges without being forced to live in a city in a tiny 2000 Sqft apartment.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Welcome to America”
            “A 6.2L small block is a small-medium sized V8”

            By this scale most American V8s produced have been on the “small” side too.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            And for a long time! This thread has me thinking of pulling a 440 Polara out of a junkyard and doing a electronic fuel injection mod.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Funny how people of Todd’s ilk bray about “freedom” and then think everyone should live the exact same lifestyle they want to live.

            I’d love to live in the center of a big city. I don’t; I live in a house three miles away, where I have to bike or drive to everything.
            The reason is that I can’t afford the kind of apartment I want; there are very few of them and so they all cost $2M or more. Most of the reasons for the shortage are legal. We don’t allow construction of city-style housing in the vast majority of places. We don’t subsidize mortgages on apartments the same way we do on houses. And we require the construction of giant American-style streets even in the middle of downtowns.

            You can have your rural life. But trying to force it on everyone else while saying “MUH FREEDOM” is a joke.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Hummer, if we’re judging engines by their size in the ’60s, can we also go back to a few other things about the ’60s?

            – Unions that meant something
            – A tax structure that forced the top 0.1% to pay their fair share
            – Cities and towns that allowed houses to be built

            We can leave the legally enforced racism and the smog behind, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m sorry but it is “Muh freedom” if you want your 2 million dollar Cracker Jack box then maybe you should vote to allow new construction around the city or change where you want to live.

            Not many people want to live in the middle of a city, I’ve done it in college, having the ability to walk everywhere is only a small slice of a very poor lifestyle that my ancestors happily escaped to America to get away from. I will happily take my land, my house that I built for around $150k for 2,500 sq ft, (not accounting for the cost of additions and my barn I keep my vehicles in out back). And guess what? I’m only 30 minutes away from a major city so I can stay far away from the high crime and high taxes associated with that area, while having 100% of the benefits that are associated with a city, which, with the age of the internet the usefulness of a city is becoming lesser and lesser.

            At for your post about the 60s, I have no trouble agreeing with any of those things. Unfortunately I know without a doubt, if you vote, your only voting to worsen those things. I know I’ve been fooled by Rinos so I can only say so much on that.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The whole point is that if it wasn’t for people trying to force the suburban or rural lifestyle on everyone then that “cracker jack box” wouldn’t cost $2M. The whole reason it does cost $2M is that far more people with families want to live in center cities than there are family-size apartments available for them. That’s not the market talking, it’s government policy designed to make sure everyone lives exactly like you do. I’m quite active against it, but the majority in this country is suburban and so far is succeeding in enforcing their lifestyle on everyone else but the very rich and young single people.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The whole point is that if it wasn’t for people trying to force the suburban or rural lifestyle on everyone then that “cracker jack box” wouldn’t cost $2M. ”

            Where are you getting that from? Only about 20% of the country lives in rural places, they don’t have the numbers to set government policy. I live in a rural-ish area that is quickly becoming a suburban hellscape as developers buy up grasslands to build new apartments, Paneras, and mattress stores to accommodate hoards of people needing to commute 60 minutes (one way) because they are priced out of the urban housing market. I certainly don’t think the old residents are happy about losing the solitude and many of the new residents aren’t happy about the commute and lack of city culture. It is hardly a winning situation.

            I expect it is the people with the multi-million dollar real estate assets are doing the most to block new urban building, not people in Podunk.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            You and I may live in the same country but we live in different worlds, I’ve been to many large cities around this country on work and on pleasure. The only thing I’ve found to do that I couldn’t do in my living arrangements is get drunk, party, and walk to my hotel (which is a hell of a lot of fun in your early 20s in Nashville TN). I have no interest in walking to a Pub, taking my family across busy intersections, there’s only so many times I find interest in peering up through the sky scrapers of Dallas TX, and there’s only so much peace in a small grass island in the middle of NYC.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            As Ajla says, you may be upset by your living arrangement but my “secret” wooded shortcuts that have been replaced by townhouses, my property taxes, and my anxiety from traffic created from an ever expanding city isn’t my idea of paradise.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            ajla, you’re probably right that I shouldn’t blame rural people. It’s actually residents of close-in areas that are developed in suburban patterns and staunchly resist any expansion of housing in those areas. Like my neighborhood! It’s only 3 miles from the center of downtown, and 1.5 miles from the nearest area of urban density, but it’s all single-family houses on medium-size lots. My neighbors would treat building small apartment buildings as the apocalypse and will do anything to keep the ban in place. That also means we don’t get local businesses in walking distance, because the land use means there aren’t enough customers.

            Here are the reasons I want to be in the city:

            – Avoid a commute. The only jobs I’m qualified for are in the downtowns of large cities. It’s actually a lucky break that I have one in Seattle; the majority of jobs in my field are in Washington, DC or New York. I don’t want to spend what little time I have commuting.
            – Restaurants and bars. I don’t like Panera either. In the city, you don’t have to eat at chain places even if you don’t want to cook. There’s plenty of non-chain food of all cuisines, at all price points.
            – Cultural opportunities for my kids. I grew up playing classical music and occasionally acting. In the city, kids can do that kind of thing at will in a million different settings. In the suburbs, even when there are opportunities, you have to spend hours driving your kids all over creation to access them.
            – Independence for my kids. By the time they’re 10 or so, they’ll be able to take the bus all over the city on their own. (My 5-year-old already knows the network pretty well!) In the suburbs, they’d be stuck until 16 bumming rides from parents who probably don’t have time to give rides everywhere.
            – Not being prisoner to the car. I enjoy driving, except when I have to do it to get anywhere. I can walk to a lot of places, and bike to most parts of the city. I can exercise just by stepping out my front door, no gym necessary. I can also take the bus, although I’m doing so less often these days because biking is so much faster.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            “Independence for my kids. By the time they’re 10 or so, they’ll be able to take the bus all over the city on their own. (My 5-year-old already knows the network pretty well!) In the suburbs, they’d be stuck until 16 bumming rides from parents who probably don’t have time to give rides everywhere.”

            As far as this point is concerned my kids have access to my land and the surrounding farm lands, streams, ponds, and woods they can walk on, drive their dirt bikes through or take my side by side through. Most of their friends houses can be accessed by taking trails through the woods. I worry about my kids’ safety a lot less than I would turning them loose in a city where I know there are a high density of strangers that won’t be looking out for them or purposely mean harm on them. I know all of the land owners my kids ride trails on and I (and they) know plenty of people throughout the area that we trust if they need help.

            Expand your career options, change the scenery once in a while.

  • avatar

    The performance is beastly.
    The styling is overworked and too harsh.
    It’ll be too expensive for the vast majority of people to afford and they will sell very few, as planned.

    20 years from now they’ll be over on BAT, comments lamenting how short-lived they were

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Fifteen years from now Murilee will put up a Latest Junkyard Finds pictorial on one of these; a metallic brown one with a “LEGALIZE METH” bumper sticker on it.

      Okay, maybe ten years from now.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The conventional wisdom is that cars like this fall apart, and I don’t think that’s necessarily true – properly maintained, this car would probably last quite a long time.

      The real problem is finding someone willing to spend the money to keep something like this for the long haul, and I think owners like that are in short supply. I bet it’s not necessarily lack of funds – if you can drop six figures on a car, you can afford the maintenance – but the buyer for this kind of car is likely the kind of person who wants the latest, newest, coolest thing every couple of years. So it ends up in the hands of a second owner who may or may not have the actual means to keep up with the maintenance – which I’m sure would be astronomically expensive – and it gets dumped on a third owner. And so forth. The s**t rolls downhill until it ends up at “Quality Budget European Imports” 10 years down the line, where it fulfills the stereotype.

      But I have no doubt that if someone was willing to spend the time and money to keep this car up, it could be kept for decades. It’s easy to find folks who will do this with Ferraris, Porsches, and other exotics, and harder to find someone who will do it with a wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        No doubt, but even among rich people, the number willing to spend the price of a new Versa every year to maintain an old car is small. Most of them who are not committed car nuts would prefer to spend that same amount on a lease payment for something new.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I’d say that depends on the old car.

          If we’re talking about an “old” Porsche, Ferrari, Lambo, etc, I’d say it’s more likely, and less likely for a sedan or wagon, no matter how exotic/amazing it is.

          A good test case would be Corvette versus something with a Corvette engine, like the GTO, G8, Chevy SS, or Cadillac CTS-V. I bet you that the percentage of “surviving” ‘Vettes in any given model year is higher than the “related” vehicles. Why? The ‘Vette is sexy; the others aren’t.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        You’re totally correct. If you look at the post Demuro CarMax warranty prices they are proportionate to the MSRP of the vehicle. If this is $125k new then the warranty price is 5X that of a Camry. The problem, as you said, for those without a warranty is they think they bought a $35k car forgetting that it was built with $100k worth or parts.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Wake me up when there’s an electric one.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Don’t even bother if it’s just going to be another automatic.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    RS6 for the sex appeal, but Audi would sell more S6s.

  • avatar
    Chris from Cali

    I’ve been lobbying with several others on an internal Audi forum (even asked the Audi VP of Product) to bring RS Avants to the US. Finally we get one, but we get the most expensive, hardest-to-sell one. They should’ve primed the pump with the RS3 wagon and, most importantly, the RS4. It would have had ZERO competition in the market, whereas the RS6 competes with the E63S wagon and the Panamera Sport Turismo.

    I am a V60 Polestar owner, so I practice what I preach in terms of being a performance wagon buyer, but an RS4 would have made my decision so much easier. That said, I do have an interest in on the RS6 with Audi, but I have not fully committed until I feel comfortable dropping $125K. (And I would be one of those people who keep/maintain it for a long time.)


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • bojac: Like this one. A 77, but close enough, eh? https://bringatrailer.com/list ing/1977-oldsmobile-custom-...
  • NormSV650: Dead or alive it is still a losing proposition. Lexus loses it value just like any other luxury vehicle. ...
  • Jeff S: @TheDumbGuy-formerly JoeBrick–I respect that you put your money where your mouth is. Most goods are...
  • Jeff S: Hopefully the citizens rise up and rebell which is what has happened throughout history.
  • kurkosdr: …aaand the agenda is slowly revealed: Bureaucrats regaining their “right” to define how...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States