The combustion-powered era of the überwagon is coming to an end. The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is reportedly dead, the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG E63 S is on its way out, and the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon is so far a memory, it appeared in an era before Apple CarPlay. Someone needed to send this ultra-niche enthusiast segment out with a bang, and the Audi RS6 Avant GT is here to do just that. It’s a pumped-up retro throwback that looks awesome, but it has a serious price tag to match its serious performance.
Under the hood of the RS6 Avant GT is a four-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine making exactly the same 621 horsepower as the RS6 Avant Performance. Still, that doesn’t stop it from doing the zero-to-62 mph dash in 3.3 seconds, precisely one tenth of a second quicker than the RS6 Avant Performance. Could the standard Continental Sport Contact 7 tires play a role here? Perhaps.
Speaking of similarities and slight differences, this ultra-wagon gets the same eight-speed automatic transmission and the same locking center differential as the RS6 Avant Performance, but the Quattro Sport electronically-controlled rear differential gets special tuning, which Audi says promotes “neutral” handling. If you’re used to most Audis, this claim might raise your eyebrow.
The big news under the skin is the presence of a set of old-school adjustable coilovers with three-way adjustable dampers, threaded bodies, and stiffer spring rates than on the regular car. Add in stiffer anti-roll bars, and when specced right, the RS6 Avant GT might stand a chance of taming the big wagon’s weight. For some reason, Audi’s also made the ultra-wagon available with air suspension or interconnected dampers, but if a special suspension system is on offer, take it. This thing has carbon-backed seats for a reason.
While the list of additional performance goodies on the RS6 Avant GT is short, there’s a chance that a handful of highly optimized tweaks can transform a car. Just ask anyone who’s driven a BMW M5 CS. Besides, the big bonus of the RS6 Avant GT is how it looks, because Audi’s dipped deep into its heritage cauldron to dole out some motorsports-inspired sauce.
If you were into late-’80s road racing or have iRacing on your computer, you might be familiar with the Audi 90 Quattro IMSA GTO. This tube-framed racecar was a box-flared turbocharged sledgehammer which proved astonishingly fast on a racetrack yet troubled by development delays. The car won seven races in the 1989 season, but it didn’t run at Daytona or Sebring, and Audi ultimately wasn’t able to close the gap with Ford to win the season.
This little slice of madness is exactly what Audi is looking to emulate, from a subtle double-spoiler on the back to some 800-decibel graphics in black, red, and grey. Even the front fenders feature massive extractors that hint at the racecar’s rear fender vents, and a new front bumper with massive grilles features a deep chin spoiler that suits the car nicely. Mind you, the wheels aren’t inspired by the 90 Quattro IMSA GTO, as those are 22-inch reinterpretations of Avus wheels seen on the B5 S4, D2 S8, and B6 S4. So far, so good, until we get to the price.
The Audi RS6 Avant GT stickers for €219,355, and that’s an awful lot of money. More than a Porsche Tacyan Turbo S Cross Turismo, or if we want to go fully mental, a second-hand Ferrari GTC4 Lusso with the full-whack V12. On a more sensible note, that’s €82,355 more than what an RS6 Performance Avant starts at, and that’s money you can buy and run a dedicated sports car with. With the departure of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and the demise of the V8-powered Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon, you get the sense that Audi is charging so much for the RS6 Avant GT simply because it can. If you can justify the stiff price of admission, you’ll be in an exclusive club of 660 owners. If you can’t, plenty of brilliant options exist.
(Photo credits: Audi)
Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.