It didn't take long for Audi to officially unveil its new super-station wagon model after the first images of the 2014 RS6 Avant started circulating around the internet earlier this afternoon.
With the RS6 Avant, it's mostly about the numbers, be that for performance or the sheer size of the car and especially, its humongous load area. We'll start with what will likely pique your interest the most, and that's none other than the beast hiding behind the framed "quattro" logo on the front grille.
Out goes the previous RS6's 571hp (579PS) and 650Nm (479 lbf·ft) 5.0-liter bi-turbo V10, in comes a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine shared with other Audi's like the S8 as well as the Bentley Continental.
In this application, the V8 unit is said to produce 552hp (560PS) between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm and a constant 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,750 and 5,500 rpm, though, as one of readers pointed out in our previous posting, Audi may very well be a tad modest about these numbers…
It's worth mentioning that the new V8 features a cylinder on demand (COD) system, which at low to intermediate loads and engine speeds, allows the 4.0 TFSI to run as a four-cylinder engine to reduce fuel-consumption until the driver accelerates.
The eight-cylinder unit is paired to an eight-speed tiptronic and Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring.
And now the moment you've been waiting for, that is, if you haven't read our previous story:
Audi quotes a zero to 100km/h (62mph) time of just 3.9 seconds, which makes it 0.5 seconds faster than the older RS6, 0.4 seconds quicker than the new BMW M5 sedan and only a mere 0.2 seconds slower than the latest Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4!
As far as top speed is concerned, Audi customers will have three options. The base model will be fitted with the customary 250km/h (155mph) speed limiter, while the optional Dynamic package will allow you to hit 280km/h (174mph) and the Dynamic Plus, 305km/h (190mph).
Again, let us remind you that we are talking about a station wagon that measures 4,979 mm (196 inches) in length, features a luggage compartment that can hold up to 1,680 liters (59.33 cu ft), and comes equipped with all the luxury and comfort appointments one could ask.
Another thing we learned about the new RS6 Avant from the press blurb is that, while longer than the previous model, it actually weighs roughly 100 kilograms (220.46 lb) less than its predecessor, partially thanks to the extensive use of lighter materials. For example, around 20 percent of the body is made from aluminum.
This not only helps to improve handling, but also does its part to reduce fuel consumption by around 40 percent over the previous RS6 Avant at 9.8 liters per 100 kilometers (24.00 US mpg) on the combined cycle.
Audi's super estate also sports a heavily tweaked chassis featuring a standard, specially tuned air suspension or alternatively, a tauter sport suspension with steel springs and Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). There's also an electronic stabilization control (ESC) with a Sport mode that can be deactivated entirely.
Braking power is provided by four internally vented discs, with the front units measuring 390 millimeters (15.35 in) in diameter and gripped by black or red, six-piston calipers. Carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs measuring 420 millimeters (16.54 in) in diameter are offered as an option.
Audi's Quattro GmbH division made sure the RS6 Avant stands out from its lesser S6 sibling with a unique aero kit accentuated by the bulbous wheel arches that house 20-inch forged wheels as standard, or 21-inch cast wheels as an option.
The interior has also been upgraded, with Audi offering the RS6 Avant with two sportily molded rear seats as standard, or a three-person bench seat as an option.
European sales of the RS6 Avant will begin next year. And no, we do not know yet whether Audi will offer its super estate model in North America.