2016 Audi RS 6 Review

Exciting doesn’t quite describe it…

Friday in Ingolstadt was quite busy for me. After my tour of Audi Tradition, I was to arrive at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt. “We meet on the Audi Piazza. Look for a yellow car. I will be waiting there”, my Audi contact said to me. Walking across the Audi Piazza, I immediately noticed the car in the sea of black, silver and white Audi’s. The RS 6’s Speed Yellow paint job stood out especially on this overcast day. Elli handed me the keys, and I had to take a moment to take it all in. In my hands, I had the keys to an RS 6! The exterior on this RS 6 was beautiful; the Speed Yellow Paint, carbon fiber front & rear splitters, Blacked out trim and wheels. It’s a work of art. But yet, I couldn’t waste too much time admiring as I needed to make it to the Audi Driving Experience Center Neuberg — but that’s a story for another day.

C7 Audi RS 6 Interior

I open the door to the RS 6, and there was a crowd of people standing around the car by then. They asked me to start it up as they wanted to hear the RS 6 roar alive. I put my foot on the brake and pressed the red-ringed ignition button. The RS 6 roared to life, and so did the people around me. The RS 6 is a real crowd pleaser — It was a beautiful sound, to say the least. I’ve spent time in the RS 7 and was familiar with the noise these cars were capable of producing. But it’s different when you are sitting in the middle of the Audi Piazza surrounded by the Audi Forum, Museum Mobile, the other beautiful buildings, and loyal Audi fans. It was an unreal experience for me. It was time to say goodbye to my new friends and head off to Neuburg.

IMG_2412

I did what any reasonable person would do and immediately switched Drive Select into the dynamic mode. The sound of the exhaust immediately opened up, the throttle response sharpened and the suspension stiffened. When I pressed the accelerator, and I wasn’t prepared for cars reaction. Only minimal inputs are necessary for the throttle, brakes, and steering. The massive carbon ceramic brakes stop the car as quick as it accelerates. The RS 6 is no road car, it’s a race car, wearing estate car camouflage. But the best part about the RS 6 is that Audi Drive Select transforms it into a car that you can enjoy in any situation.

IMG_2422

Inside Audi Exclusive, went to work and matched the interior stitching and seat belts to the exterior paint job. As expected with an RS-car there was carbon fiber everywhere. The seats felt incredible and are supportive. The interior suits this car well.

IMG_2374

The RS 6 is in a whole other category of the automobile, and I was in car heaven. The 20-minute drive to Neuberg consisted of single lane Staatsstraßen. Luckily, along the way, there were a few passing zones that I could take advantage to maneuver around some slow moving construction equipment. The RS 6s acceleration bordered on warp speed — even for the short burst to the speed limit.

IMG_2394

After an incredible lunch and some hot laps in the new Audi R8 V10 Plus, I departed Neuberg and headed for the autobahn. I was on a short timeline as I needed to have the car back to Audi, but I wanted to see what the RS 6 could do on some open sections of the infamous highway. The first thing that I noticed is that in at autobahn speeds the dynamic mode the amount of feedback you get from the suspension is astonishing. It’s something I expect from a race car but not an estate car. You feel every imperfection in the pavement, and the car was undulating up and down. I had to switch the suspension back into auto as I will admit it was making me feel a bit seasick. I’m sure the dynamic suspension mode is fantastic on a smooth race track or other stretches of highway. But on uneven pavement, it’s best to dial it back.

IMG_2397

Continuing. Unfortunately, mother nature and Friday night traffic had other things in mind. Audi was gracious enough to loan me this beautiful machine and It was an incredible privilege to be able to spend even 4 hours behind the wheel. I wanted to make sure Audi received their car back in one piece, so I set my destination back to the Audi Forum.

IMG_2337

Arriving back at the Audi Forum I snapped some more photos and returned the car back to Elli. Looking back, I immediately felt grateful for being able to cross driving an RS 6 off my bucket-list.  I had a few thoughts: America is missing out on this car — apparently. While the RS 7 is just as capable, there’s something wicked about an estate car having this much capability. The RS 6 is a race car and not an estate car. Road cars are not supposed to have suspension, brakes, engines this powerful.

IMG_2444

The Verdict: 2016 Audi RS 6 Review

The RS 6 was one of the hardest cars to hand back to Audi. It’s fast, hellacious, has lots of storage room, seats five comfortably, your local gas station owner will become your best friend, and you will always find yourself talking the long way no matter where you are going and whatever the driving conditions it will perform to the highest standard every time. At the end of the day, I find myself disappointed that North America doesn’t even get a shot at this car. But business is business at the end of the day Audi of America couldn’t justify a business case to sell this car in America. So for now, you will need to live vicariously through me.