The Audi RS 6 is an example of beautiful excess

Audi RS cars are powerhouses. They're brutish, powerful, comfortable, and excessive to the fore, so why should the latest RS 6 break tradition?

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The family estate car (or station wagon) has to be a multi-faceted tool. It has to transport parents to work and social events; it needs to be good looking so its owners don't have a metal monolith on the drive reminding them that their choice of car is dull; its boot needs to swallow plenty of 'things' so children and dogs won't get bored; and it really should be a giggle to drive.

Most people will probably look at the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes for their estate kicks and, somewhat predictably (in Europe at least), end up going for a quick-but-oh-so-frugal 2.0-litre diesel.

For those seeking something a little extra, Audi's got a car with more than a little extra 'go' up its sleeves -- the RS 6.

This isn't the first generation RS 6, it's the third. Naturally it's the quickest of the lot, too. I'm not talking quick in Golf GTI terms, but in Ferrari terms. See, the guys in the RennSport division take your average Audi and push it as far as it can possibly go; in the case of the RS 6 that means 189 mph. Faster than a Porsche 911.

It's powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V-8, a far cry from the 2.0-litre diesels that make up the bulk of A6 sales, and pushes out 550 bhp. That amount of power isn't out of place in a supercar, a fact noticed by the UK's Daily Mail.

The RS 6 made headlines in the UK's most controversial rag, which asked whether it was too much and whether we needed a family car with near 200 mph capabilities on UK roads. For that reason alone, the RS 6 put a smile on my face.

To drive, the RS 6 is a heavy beast but hides it well. It wears vertical stripes made of sheer power and lag-free throttle response. The RS 6 was made for the Autobahn, not for twisty country lanes, so its power is punishing and instant, while its handling can be a little off -- its steering is its Achilles heel, though not by any great measure.

If you want something that changes direction like a stuck pig, get an M or AMG. If you want a 155mm artillery shell with fine upholstery and an interior that'll outlast your entire family, get an RS 6.

The RS 6 has one job to do: get you places quickly with minimum fuss. And it manages it, all while pinning you to the back of your seat and making you grin like a loon. A loon with 550+ bhp under their right foot. Perfect.

Specs
Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power 553 bhp
Torque 516 lb. ft.
0-62 mph 3.9 seconds
Top speed    189 mph (optional)
 

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