Audi RS6 Avant and RS6 Performance review - the reason you need to never buy a fast SUV - Ride and handling

Audi’s most powerful, fastest estate car may lack ultimate involvement and dynamics, but it’s still one of the best in its class.

Evo rating
Price
from £79,545
  • Pace, space and impeccable build
  • Not the most involving of drives

Ride and Handling

UK market RS6 Avants all come fitted with Audi’s air suspension as standard, but you can also specify sport steel springs with the Sport Suspension Plus package. Audi’s MMI control centre allows you to delve into chassis options available: Comfort, Dynamic or Auto. The former is perfect for journeys that don’t involve any kind of dynamic challenge, the Dynamic setting is perfect for the track (so pretty much redundant in the UK). The MMI also allows you to adjust the steering, engine map, differential and exhaust. Our preference is Auto damping and steering, with the dynamic engine, differential and exhaust.

The ride is remarkably quiet for such a large car with 20-inch wheels and 30 profile tyres. It always feels tightly controlled and keyed into the surface without being fussy over every surface imperfection, but when those ridges and expansion joints get larger the tyres thud and thump their way over them and let you know about it in the cabin.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

 21-inch wheels are fitted to the Performance model as standard and are the only size available. And even with the optional, stiffer RS suspension fitted the ride isn't adversely affected and it's remarkably compliant considering the 30-profile Pirelli tyre.

Dynamically the RS6 is one to understeer before it does anything else. To avoid the front axle from being overwhelmed you need to moderate throttle and steering inputs in the early phase of the corner, get the nose tucked in than lean on the chassis’ colossal grip to power you out of the corner. There’s good mid-corner balance and when hooked up the RS6 will flow through a series of corners without embarrassing itself.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

With the optional RS Sport suspension and limited slip differential fitted, the Performance model improves on the standard car's impressive dynamic performance. The RS Sport suspension is designed to counteract roll and pitch by linking diagonally opposed dampers hydraulically. A central valve varies the dampers' characteristics according to steering inputs and lateral and longitudinal loads, and like the standard air suspension this set up retains Comfort, Dynamic Auto and Individual modes - the latter allowing you to select comfort, auto or dynamic settings for the engine, gearbox, steering, suspension, differential, and exhaust. 

Evo comment

The chassis works on smoother sections of road, where the Audi is defined by control, traction, security and predictability, with understeer at the limit. It’s a more one-dimensional device in dynamics terms with out the layers of a complexity of its rivals.

Naturally it covers ground at an alarming rate, but it does so without the sense of engagement and adjustability of rear-drive alternatives. Shot through with stability, it might just be the most effective day-today car in its class.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/maserati/granturismo/201792/maserati-granturismo-zeda-run-out-model-revealed
Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo Zéda run-out model revealed

It’s out with the old, in with the new as the final GranTurismo paves the way for Maserati’s ambitious electrified future
12 Nov 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019