Audi’s fourth-generation (C8) 2020 RS6 Avant has arrived in Malaysia, which makes its local availability fall to about a full year since the car made its international premiere in August 2019. They’ve kept the formula, but have added so much more sex appeal.
The 2020 Audi RS6 is simple enough to explain: take a rather plain A6 Avant and endow it with supercar-levels of performance while retaining its SUV-slaying practicality. Job done. With 565-litres of boot space and a crazy 1,680-litres with the seats folded, this car honours its core values well.
Until now, the RS6 had always been a car that leaned more toward function than form, but with this C8, Audi have loosened their tight collar and allowed their designers to realise one of the best looking wagons to ever exist. That alone should be cause for celebration.
Available now from RM976,309, this newest 2020 RS6 wears some very broad shoulders, significantly wider than the base car. Within those wheel arches are a set of 22-inch alloys wearing 285/30 tyres. It also sits about 20mm lower than the standard A6 Avant, but is also able to lower itself by an extra 10mm for extra high speed stability. Neat.
At its heart is a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 that’s able to produce 600hp and 800Nm, that latter figure accessible from as low as 2,100rpm. The car also receives some extra grunt from a 48V electric motor (or more accurately called belt starter-generator) that’s able to output 12kW, technically classifying the RS6 Avant as mild hybrid. Drive is sent through an 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Efficiencies aside, this car is about pure muscle. It would still need to prove itself worthy of that very aggressive exterior, of course. To that end, Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive ensures epic levels of grip, able to launch itself from a standstill to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds. Keeping your right foot buried means the 0-200km/h sprint can be done in 12 seconds - no mean feat considering it weighs just over 2 tonnes.
In this Malaysian-spec, the speed limiter cuts in at 280km/h, helpful for sailing past some Volvos next year. With the limiter removed, though, the car is claimed to reach its true top speed of 305km/h, but for that you’d need to pay extra for the Dynamic Package Plus.
Speaking of options, examples sold locally are already equipped with niceties such as the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi’s laser lights, an RS Sports Exhaust system, RS Sports Suspension with Dynamic Ride Control, and the somewhat contentious progressive-rate steering system.
Inside, the RS6 features a dark grey motif that blends anthracite accents and aluminium flourishes. Naturally, there are plenty of ‘RS’ logos about the place. The heated, ventilated, and electrically adjustable front seats are specific to Audi Sport but features Valcona leather upholstery and a very nice honeycomb pattern stitch work.
The touch-activated MMI infotainment system is Audi’s newest and comes with Navigation Plus - which also powers the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster - as well as quad-zone climate control. Unfortunately, the RS6 misses out on the premium Bang & Olufsen sound system (even on a car pushing on RM1 million, really?) which does come as standard on its sister model, the 2020 RS7 Sportback.
Luckily, what is identical across both models is the list of safety kit included, which does feature Audi Pre Sense for both the front and rear with emergency braking, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Park Assist, and a 360-degree camera system.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.