VIDEO: Carfection’s History of Audi RS Avants part 3/6 — Audi C5 RS6 Avant

The C5-generation Audi A6 wasn’t always the best car Audi’s ever made. Sure, it looked pretty good, had good engines and was very luxurious. But it never really handled all that well and was a bit dull looking. So you might imagine that a faster version of it won’t be that interesting. Except it is. Welcome the C5 Audi RS6 Avant, the very first of its kind.

In this third part of Carfection’s History of Audi RS Avants series, we’re looking at the first ever Audi RS6 Avant. Under the hood of the standard RS6 was a 4.2 liter bi-turbo V8 engine that made 444 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. When paired with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic, it could get from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is quick even by today’s standards.

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However, the car in this video is no standard RS6 Avant. It’s the Audi RS6 Plus Avant, which had its engine tuned by Cosworth and its suspension upgraded. So this specific car packs 469 hp, though the same amount of torque, which dropped the 0-60 mph time to 4.4 seconds and gave it a top speed of 174 mph. So it’s properly quick, this car. It also looks very good.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver as well in the handling department. Its steering is kind of vague and numb and its brakes are a bit squishy. But that’s really to be expected. RS6’s have never been scalpels for the road, they’re luxurious straight line bruisers with enough cargo space to take the family on a week-long vacation.

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Older Audi RS cars are becoming more and more charming and this C5 Audi RS6 Avant is no different. It looks great, is genuinely fast and has a great-sounding V8. Plus, it has seating for five and a huge trunk. It’s really hard to beat that package. Maybe it’s why the new one is so good.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.