The wildest production wagon the Australian dollar can buy, the RS6 Avant is now $229,000 plus on-road costs, an increase of $4500 over the outgoing version that debuted in 2013.
Boasting an identical powertrain featured inside a five-door liftback body style, the RS7 Sportback is similarly subject to a small price rise, its $242,000 plus on-road price now up $3500 over the first-ever version released locally in 2014.
As with the rest of Audi’s updated A6/A7 large car family, key exterior changes to the Rennsport-badged flagship models include Audi’s revised ‘single-frame’ grille and sharpened styling front and rear. Both RS versions get wing mirror housings and trim details in matt aluminium, which also features on the RS6 Avant’s roof rails.
Audi’s all-singing all-dancing adaptive Matrix LED headlights are standard, replacing the outgoing model’s all-LED units, while the aggressively styled front fascia boasts revised air intakes. LED tail-lights adorn the rear fascia, which incorporates a diffuser insert and carries over signature large oval tailpipes.
The RS6 Avant retains the wider front guard treatment and discrete rear roof spoiler of the 2013 model.
An electric glass sunroof is standard on both RS models while acoustic glazing, featured on the windscreen and side glass, is said to reduce noise penetration into the cabin by eight decibels.
The off-the-rack handling package includes twin-five-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels (in a choice of matt titanium look or gloss black), adaptive air suspension and a quattro sports differential.
Inside, updated infotainment and high-resolution driver information systems, as featured across the A6/A7 range, are the most notable changes. Audi Connect, a 14-speaker 600-watt Bose audio system, digital radio, digital TV and MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch functionality are standard fitment in both models, as are electrically adjustable RS sports front bucket seats featuring honeycomb patterned leather facing, a flat-bottom multi-function wheel with paddleshifters, driver’s head-up display and four-zone climate control.
The RS7 Sportback remains strictly a four-seater. And while the RS6 Avant is a five-seater as standard, the wagon can be optioned as a four-seater, adopting more shapely RS sport seating in the second-row as a no-cost option to create a two-plus-two configuration.
At 565 litres, the Rennsport wagon offers 30 litres of extra of luggage space over the five-door liftback.
The epic 4.0-litre direct-injected twin-turbocharged V8 retains outputs of 412kW at 5700-6600rpm and 700Nm from 1750rpm through to 5500rpm. Designated the 4.0 TFSI COD, the engine offers cylinder-on-demand fuel-saving functionality that shuts down four cylinders on light throttle conditions, delivering a claimed 10 per cent reduction in fuel consumption.
Both the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback boast startling acceleration claims of 3.9 seconds to 100km/h from a standstill. Combined fuel consumption is 9.6 and 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres for the Avant and Sportback respectively.
Drive is, of course, sent through all four wheels via a performance-focused quattro system featuring a crown gear centre differential and wheel selective torque vectoring – or electronically controlled individual wheel braking – as keys to both cars’ dynamic armoury.
The transmission of choice is an eight-speed automatic.
A Dynamic package, at $4900, adds an adaptive dynamic steering system, a more focused suspension package (which trades the standard air set-up for steel springs) featuring bespoke Dynamic Ride Control functionality and a lift of the electronically governed top speed from 250 to 280km/h.
A higher-grade Dynamic package plus, at $25,840, adds carbon-ceramic brakes and a further top speed lift to 305km/h. Alternatively, the exotic braking package, with massive 420mm front rotors said to save 10 kilograms per corner over the 390mm steel units, is available as a standalone option for $20,940.
Other options include the Black styling ($2200) and Carbon styling ($8500) appearance packages, the Audi Exclusive Design ultra-premium interior enhancement pack ($13,900), red brake calipers ($980), Night Vision assist with pedestrian detection ($4890), crystal effect paint ($1190), power assisted soft door closing ($1400), privacy glass ($1100), aluminium/Beaufort black interior inlays ($3400) and a Bang & Olufsen 15-speaker 1200-watt audio system ($12,000).
2015 Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback key specifications:
21-inch alloy wheels
Adaptive ‘sport’ air suspension
quattro sports differential
LED Matrix headlights and LED taillights
Quad-zone climate control
Eight airbags (dual front, front side, rear side, full-length curtain)
Front and rear parking cameras and sensors
Electric folding mirrors with auto dimming
Valcona leather upholstery
Electric front seat adjustment, driver’s side with memory settings
Flat-bottom sports steering wheel with paddleshifters
8.0-inch MMI navigation plus with touchpad
Digital television and radio reception
Dual USB inputs
High resolution driver information screen
Smart key entry and push-button start
2015 Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback pricing (plus on-road costs):
RS6 Avant $229,000
RS7 Sportback $242,000