Let’s wish a big happy birthday to the Audi RS 6, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.
Not that you’ll need reminding, but the RS 6 is Audi’s bruising, thunderous, low-slung variant of the regular A6.
What makes the RS 6 so special? Simple - you get almost supercar-like performance in a package that’ll still take the wife, kids and dog on holiday to Cornwall.
An Audi spokesperson said:
“Across four generations, the Audi RS 6 has set the tone for high-performance station wagons with impressive performance and outstanding everyday usability. It owes the success of its underlying concept from 2002 to its double-charged engine and all-wheel drive.
The basic concept has been the same across every generation of the RS 6. Again and again, it sets new standards in its competitive environment as well.”
So, let’s take a look at those four generations of Audi RS 6 in a little closer detail.
First generation - the C5
By 2002, Audi had already given the ‘RS’ treatment to the A4. And the A6 was next in line. The engine was adapted, the suspension and transmission tinkered with, and it was given aggressive new skirts, wider sills and a spoiler. At the time, no other Audi had more power - 450 PS and 560 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-62 mph took just 4.7 seconds.
And - yes, you might have spotted this from the pics - there was also a Sedan version as well as an ‘Avant’ estate.
Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) suspension was a big deal, and brand new for Audi, controlling the roll and pitch of the RS 6 so that it stayed glued to the road.
Second generation - the C6
Fast forward to 2008, and Audi was hellbent on giving the RS 6 more power. It resulted in a 5.0 litre V10 unit, 580 PS and 650 Nm of torque. At the time, that actually gave it more power than the 560 PS Audi R8 supercar which had been launched a year prior in 2007.
Audi describes the engine in the C6 as a ‘force of nature’, and took its inspiration from Audi’s success on the track.
With the RS 6 ‘Plus’ model, top speed hit an eye-watering 188 mph and it reached 63mph in 4.5 seconds.
Audi also calls the C6 ‘visually subdued’ - but we’re not sure we believe them!#
Third generation - the C7
By 2013, Audi was trying to figure out how to make more power from fewer cylinders in the engine. And so the old V10, twin-turbo engine in the RS 6 was replaced with a 4.0 litre, 8 cylinder unit instead. And that meant crucial reductions in weight could be made.
Hence, more oomph was up for grabs.
It was at this point that the ‘Sedan’ RS 6 was also jettisoned - making it purely an estate from here on in.
Overall, the shift in approach to the engine meant the C7 was down 20 PS on power compared with the C6. But it didn’t matter - it was still the quickest RS 6 yet, accelerating from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds.
There were other nice new touches, too. Fuel economy was better, air suspension became standard, and it sat lower to the ground.
And, as the years progressed from 2013 onwards, Audi managed to up the power to 605 PS and 750 Nm of torque.
Fourth generation - the C8
The fourth gen RS 6 rolled off the production line in 2019. The engine remained the same as before - a 4.0 litre unit, now with 600 PS and 800 Nm of torque.
But new to the RS 6 came efficiency-boosting mild-hybrid technology.
It means the latest RS 6 can zoom to 62mph from a standstill in 3.6 seconds - which is as quick as a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S.
New all-wheel steering improves stability at high speeds and when manoeuvring at low speeds.
It’s also noticeably wider than previous RS 6 models and boasts stonking 21 inch alloys.
If you’re thinking about leasing an Audi RS 6, have a chat with the expert consultants in our Specialist team.
Enjoyed this? Read our latest news:
Electric Alpine A110 E-ternite unveiled
Lean, mean Honda Civic Type R launches
Best ‘Hot Hatches’ to lease right now
Renault Arkana get gold-trimmed new range-topper
- Love Island's Chris Hughes takes Tesla challenge
Where To Next?
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to our newsletter.
Looking for a great leasing deal? Check out our incredible range of special offers.
Read our latest reviews and find the right model for you.
Want to know more about leasing? Take a look at our comprehensive leasing guides.
Interested in everything motoring? Why not catch up on all the latest car leasing news.