The first car to wear the RS badge – a nameplate that adorns the highest-performing members of Audi’s model range – was the RS2 Avant, a car from the early 1990s that was built with input from Porsche. It had 311bhp, could sprint to 100km/h from a standstill in 4.8 seconds and could hit a top speed of 262km/h.
This might not seem like a whole lot today, but back in those days, it was properly rapid, with the RS2 packing performance figures comparable to a Ferrari. It was doubly inconceivable that the RS2 had that biblical performance being a station wagon, the only bodystyle it was ever offered for sale in.
So with such a long history producing load-hauling bahn-storming cruise missiles, it’s safe to assume Audi knows a thing or two about shoehorning monster engines into its most practical cars. Which brings us to current RS6 Avant, a worthy successor to that legacy.
As with the RS2, the RS6 Avant is available only as a wagon, and like its forebear, it has enough performance to rival most supercars. Its twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 develops 560bhp, will hit 100km/h from rest in 3.9 seconds and will go on a top speed of 305km/h. This is complemented by a clever all-wheel-drive system that can send power to where it’s needed most.
Again, as with the RS2, this monster performance comes with monster practicality – it will happily ferry the brood and up to 1,680 litre of luggage (with the rear seats folded down). It’s said you can’t have your cake and eat it, but clearly, it seems the RS6 Avant didn’t get that particular memo.