In the mid-to-late 2010’s, the entire VW Group was out of its mind. The German execs in Wolfsburg, Ingolstadt and Stuttgart must have all been huffing paint, as some of the cars that were coming from VW during that time were flat-out insane. The V12 TDI-powered Audi SQ7, the S-Class-rivaling Volkswagen Phaeton, the wonderfully unhinged Porsche Carrera GT and the C6-generation Audi RS6 Avant are all examples of that.
RS6 Avants weren’t anything new at that time but the C6-gen car was special, all thanks to its engine. Under the hood of the relatively unassuming C6 Audi RS6 Avant is a monstrous 5.0 liter twin-turbocharged V10, pulled from the Lamborghini Gallardo and given some turbos. That made it good for a very healthy 571 horsepower and 479 lb-t of torque.
In a recent review, Car Throttle not only tests the C6 Audi RS6 Avant but brings along the new, current V8 version for good measure. So what’s it like to revisit a V10-powered RS6 from over a decade ago?
Honestly, surprisingly underwhelming. Not because it’s a bad car to drive but because it’s actually a bit too calm and civilized. Its engine, while incredibly powerful, doesn’t make a great noise with its stock exhaust and actually sounds a bit muted. Also, while it’s a great long-distance cruiser, it’s not exactly brilliant in the corners.
Contrast that to the psychotic Audi RS6 Avant that’s on sale right now, which is loud, brash and very good through corners, and the old car seems a overly tame. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its charms. It’s a very comfortable grand tourer with a brilliant engine and an interior that reminds us that Audi really was the best at sophisticated cabins back then. Additionally, if you give the old car a spicier exhaust, it will provide a V10 soundtrack that simply cannot be replicated.