How Does The All-New Audi RS 6 Avant Compare To Its Predecessor?

Even though its wagon-styled performance models didn’t go unchallenged forever, Audi were the first to popularize these types of vehicles and among them, the RS 6 Avant reigned supreme. Yesterday, Audi unveiled a new generation of the RS 6, which – wait for it, if you haven’t heard, will be offered in North America (yay!).

Prior to this latest model, there have been three generations of RS6s (C5, C6, C7), each more powerful and quicker than the last, not to mention more technologically-advanced. Such is the case with this latest RS6 Avant, even though on paper, it’s not considerably faster than its predecessor.

From handsome to overly aggressive

As far as the previous C7 RS6 Avant was concerned, people generally found it to be good-looking in an effortless kind of way. The new model, while keeping true to Audi’s DNA, features a different design language, one that embraces aggressive-looking angles and creases. It almost looks like it’s constantly on the offensive – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some customers might prefer that type of aesthetic.

You get a much more prominent grille at the front too paired to a busier hood, and a larger rear diffuser. Its body has been widened by around 1.6 inches (40 mm) on each side thanks to the flared wheel arches, making the new car wider overall than the previous-gen C7 model.

While we could debate on whether the 2020 RS6 Avant looks better than its more elegant and subtle predecessor for hours on end, Audi apparently believes that a more “in your face” design was the way to go this time around.

It’s quicker though, right?

On paper, undoubtedly so. The 2020 RS6 Avant is powered by a 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8 engine, good for 595 HP (600 PS) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. It puts that power down with the aid of an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a quattro all-wheel drive system, enabling you to rocket to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.6 seconds.

The older C7 RS6 Avant also packed a 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 (with an 8-speed auto and quattro AWD), but with 553 HP (560 PS) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque, needing 3.9 seconds to get you from 0 to 62 mph. The RS6 Avant Performance version was a bit more capable thanks to 597 HP (605 PS) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) on tap, reducing your 0-62 time to 3.7 seconds.

Also read: Audi RS6+ Nogaro Edition Tuned By ABT Comes With An Impressive 735 PS

One has to wonder how those figures really translate in real world scenarios. It’s unlikely that you’d be able to appreciate differences of 0.1 seconds or even 0.3 seconds when accelerating off the line. The 2020 model’s 590 lb-ft of torque however should make themselves felt in the mid-range. We’ll definitely know more on this front once reviews start coming in.

Finally, let’s talk tech, because this is one category where new models always one-up their predecessors. Inside the latest RS6 Avant you’ll find Audi’s new MMI touch response system, plus the Audi Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster with special RS displays for tire pressure, torque, power output, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration and g forces.

The cabin of the old RS6 is a little more rudimentary, from its design to its functionality. So while the old model also comes with a flat-bottom steering wheel, carbon fiber trim, allow pedals and special badges, it certainly can’t do anything to compete with the new car’s ambient lighting setup or 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1-inch infotainment display and 8.6-inch lower display.

Then there’s comfort. While Audi didn’t get into any specifics, we do know that the all-new RS6 Avant has a longer wheelbase than the C7 version (2,928 mm / 115.2 inches vs 2,915 mm / 114.7 inches), meaning rear seat passengers should enjoy a little bit more legroom. At the same time, headroom could be better in the older model since it’s taller – but again, we’ll have to wait for reviews or at least a more detailed press release from Audi in order to know for sure.

In the end, one could say that the 2020 RS6 Avant is here to let the whole world know that large family cars, especially wagons, can no longer be considered inherently boring – in how they look or how they perform in a straight line. It’s a wake-up call of sorts, and come next year, it’s arriving in the U.S.

  • eb110americana

    There’s too much grille to the front of the new one, and too many corners. Inside, the glass dashboard does not look good. Audi has mastered the art of making their cars look simultaneously newer, more modern, and worse with each generation.

  • driv3r

    For my liking – and the general idea of being a quick and sporty long hauler (for families) – it features a way too aggressive styling. Its RS-design over done. While such an appearance might work for an TT RS or R8 or even RS7 Sportback it surely lacks a huge portion of elegance which the AMG E63 S and the BMW M5 despite their similar sporty-focused styling still have. The predecessor had that kind of elegance the new C8 doesn’t and that’s why I think it’s over done, Audi Sport.

  • DM

    Haters gonna hate! People complained that current RS models were not distinct enough compared to “regular” S cars. This definitely screams I’M THE BADDEST AND FASTEST OF THEM ALL and I’m guessing this is what the buyer wants.

  • illogicalPotato

    Better in every way. The volumes are compressed on the body and gives a much nicer stance; the silhouette seems much more refined. I like the extra fenders. Everything feels new and turned up to 11; bigger design features, trying to get the design cues to make the car feel wider and sportier. The lights are more 3d in form and feel more aggressive; love it.

  • filetx

    while I agree that the past few RS models weren’t as fitting as older ones, this one is just perfect. It brings Audi back on track where it should be.

  • chris

    this car is stunning, the last generation seemed more like a sport appearance package

  • Rimas Kurtinaitis

    The new model is simply better in all respects, especially the appearance. The normal C8 was a stunner compared to the dated-since-2015 C7, but the RS 6 just takes it one notch further. If only that stupid diffuser didn’t wrap around the exhausts and was kept the same shape… But tuners are here to help.

  • Javed Bustamante

    Front: OK
    Rear: Looks like a s-line TDI, bad job with the lights

  • Alduin

    The last generation by far looks better. Why didn’t Audi bring it here to begin with is a mystery. Hopefully we get the RS4.

    • because… nop can’t see why

  • Paulbe

    Bit garish compared to the older one.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Better in every way, because it’s coming to the US.

  • Ary Wisesa

    I like the older one much more. It looks neat and elegant.

  • Matt

    Dream daily driver.

  • ace_9

    What’s the advantage of this over a still very good family car for half the price and some sports car for weekends? These overpowered big cars are childish.

    • botornot387

      They are really not. Whats wrong with having everything in one car? Why wouldn’t you want a fully capable car on any road or performance orient, if you can afford it.

      • ace_9

        I guess I enjoy more things in a car than just violent acceleration, braking and cornering allowed purely by heavy use of electronic control systems… It’s not only about “capability”. I don’t believe this car is able to replace a feel of a mazda mx-5, far less something more capable.

        • botornot387

          Have you driven it? Have you driven the previous RS7? E63 AMG S? You don’t know what you’re missing until you have. Yeah a MX-5 might dance, but its not a luxury car, so you make a sacrifice to drive one; as you really do in any car. This just makes less sacrifices to provide a lot!

          • ace_9

            No, I didn’t even drive mx-5 (I would love to btw.). I however don’t need to drive RS 6 to know it’s not for me. If I would have to, I would simply buy a standard A6 avant (I doubt that it’s so noticeably less luxurious) and then maybe gt86 or something like that. I’m probably too self-centered but RS 6 (and other similar cars) screams to me that it’s made for rich(ish) older people that want to beat everyone into submission on a highway. It’s simply a little disgusting for me… Besides who really drives so fast with their family inside? And please don’t tell me that a person having money for RS 6 cannot scratch that “driving like a lunatic” itch in any other way than going from work to pick-up children… That’s just stupid and I insist it’s childish.

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