The most powerful RS6 yet looks better than ever – especially at little more than £50k
By Matt Bird / Wednesday, January 5, 2022 / Loading comments
Sometimes, it can seem that the great power war between the German car manufacturers is over. The new Audi RS3 has the same output as before (and less, in fact, that its main rival from AMG), the most powerful BMW M car ever made only has 10hp more than the second most powerful, and the most recent update for the Mercedes E63 did absolutely nothing to the powertrain whatsoever. Where once it seemed that huge gains were made with every model year, the pace of change is now slower.
Or rather, it is for internal combustion: Audi’s electric RS flagship boasts more horsepower than anything petrol powered, the hybrid BMW XM will be faster than an M5 CS, and the first E-Performance Mercedes is bringing almost 850hp. The power wars aren’t dying at all; they’re just moving to a new front…
We’ve been here before, of course. When the 560hp, C7 Audi RS6 launched in 2013 with 10hp less than its V10-engined predecessor, it seemed that a new era was upon us. In every conceivable way, the new car was better; it seemed there would never be any need for a more powerful wagon, such was the completeness of the package. Performance was more than ample, the handling was vastly improved, and the interior exactly what we’d come to expect from Audi. This was peak fast estate and – slowly but surely – ever increasing power totals would have to drop, reflecting how crushingly effective the new breed could be.
What fools. A couple of years from launch, Audi launched a 605hp Performance model, making it the most powerful RS6 ever. For many, it was the best RS6 ever as well. While the latter point is subjective, the Performance does retain the honour of most powerful RS6 ever: the current C8 RS6 makes 600hp from a mild-hybrid version of the 4.0-litre V8. And 605 is more than 600. With 553lb ft on overboost as well, the RS6 Performance was epically fast, scooting to 62mph in 3.7 seconds.
Unsurprisingly, it proved popular, the snazzy styling tweaks of the Performance (new wheels and titanium effect trim, plus a sports exhaust) probably appealing as much as the power. At the time of writing, dozens are available on PH, starting from £50k and rising to almost £70,000 for the lowest mileage examples. In an array of silvers, greys, blacks, blues and some more greys, an RS6 Performance looks mighty appealing.
Then there’s this one, the only red Performance currently for sale on PH. Maybe it won’t be to all tastes, but it’s true what your nan always says – the world would be duller if we all liked the same thing. Such is the cohesiveness of the RS6 design that the Performance still looks smart in a brighter shade, even if it doesn’t fit ideally with the car’s typically muted appearance. At least it isn’t camo wrapped, eh? With just 28,000 miles recorded and a full service history, the RS6 looks almost new despite half a decade of use. All for £54,950, or the price of a new RS3. It’s certainly not hard to see the temptation; just as it always was for the RS6 with the power we never knew it needed.
SPECIFICATION | AUDI RS6 PERFORMANCE
Engine: 3,993cc, V8 turbocharged
Transmission: 8-speed tiptronic, Quattro all-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],100-6,900rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],750-6,000rpm ([email protected],500-5,500rpm on overboost)
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
MPG: 29.4 (combined)
Year registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 28,000
Price new: £85,085 (before options)
Yours for: £54,950
See the original advert here
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