Photo Comparison: Audi RS6 Avant — New versus Old

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Now that the new Audi RS6 Avant is here (and coming to America!), it’s already being called one of the best looking wagons on sale. It’s a looker that’s for sure. But I’ve actually been surprised by how much praise it’s been getting. Not that it’s a bad looking car or isn’t deserving of praise but it’s a shocking thing to look at. It’s so aggressive and muscular looking that, upon first glance, I immediately thought it would be panned by critics. Especially when you compare it to its predecessor, which was the king of understated styling.

So I decided to take a look at both cars, the previous Audi RS6 Avant and the new one, to see which approach is better. Is the older, subtler look preferable or is the newer, angrier look better? Let’s find out.

There’s no denying that the new RS6 is just so much more butch than before. For better or worse, the new Audi RS6 Avant looks like it wants to punch all the faces. Its headlights are angrier, its hood is more aggressively sculpted, its grille is lower and wider and its front air intakes are far larger. There’s no question — the new car is the sportier looking car. That said, the previous car is still handsome. It’s just that, now that we’ve had a taste of this more aggressive Audi Sport design, we can’t go back to the old car.

The same goes for when you look at both down the side. The previous generation Audi RS6 Avant is a masterclass is sophisticated styling. It’s so handsome and so elegant, yet hiding so much performance. However, now that we’ve see the uber-aggressive RS6 of today, it’s almost impossible to go backward. The new car’s boxy rear fenders, reminiscent of the original Audi Quattro, are just so brutally seductive, they’re hard to resist. It’s like watching Scarlett Johansson kick everyone’s ass in the Avengers; gorgeous yet intimidating.

Out back, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between previous RS6 Avant and its standard A6 counterpart. To be honest, the large exhausts are the only giveaway. However, this new car, with its enormous rear bumper and trim that sort of wraps around its exhaust pipes is a dead giveaway.

When looking at both interiors, it’s a bit hard to pass judgement. The new Audi RS6 Avant interior is so much nicer than the old one, simply because it’s newer. The very same can be said about the old Audi A6 and the new one. So we won’t say that it’s more aggressive or more brutal because it’s really just a flashier, more modern cabin because it’s a newer car. It does look better but time is the reason why.

Overall, it’s hard to not give the victory to the new Audi RS6 Avant. In the past, car enthusiasts have often bemoaned the fact that Audi Sport cars are barely differentiated from the standard Audis on which they’re based. Now, we have an Audi Sport product that finally looks significantly more aggressive than its standard sibling and that needs to be celebrated. The new RS6 Avant not only looks great but it’s a stepping stone for the future.