Audi’s 2023 Audi RS6 Avant throws insane performance and power figures together in a luxury wagon package that will snap necks, inside and outside the vehicle.
I tested the RS6 around some rural Pennsylvania roads and drove it as it was intended — to be a daily driver. Hitting grocery stores, the great outdoors, but of course, putting my right foot down wherever space would allow. The straight bits of roadway are just as fun as the curvy bits in this car — no matter what mundane household errand I was on. I did make up reasons to go on errands often — with and without my giddy kid in the back seat.
In short: The 2023 Audi RS6 Avant is one of the best, if not the best, luxury wagons money can buy. It has the performance to topple most supercars and has luxury and technology sprinkled from corner to corner. What more do you need? A big bankroll is what you’re going to need, both for the car’s high upfront sticker price and the copious volume of premium unleaded it gulps quickly.
2023 Audi RS6 Avant
- Engine Twin-turbo 4.0L V8
- Transmission 8-speed automatic
- HP/Torque 591 horsepower / 590 lb.-ft.
- Mileage 15 mpg city / 22 mpg highway / 17 mpg combined
- Starting MSRP $121,900 (as tested $158,000)
- Big twin-turbo V8 power
- The theater of RS models
- Top-tier luxury and tech
- Wagon utility
- Large price tag
- Gulps premium fuel quickly
2023 Audi RS6 Avant Review
Packed under the 2023 Audi RS6 Avant’s hood is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine. That V8 gives the RS6 Avant 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on tap. All that power is sent to the Quattro all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
With great power and luxury, the RS6 Avant cannot help but be thirsty. It achieves just 15 city, 22 highway, and 17 combined mpg. That, of course, is based on relaxed driving and not having a heavy foot. I can attest to how difficult it is to not use the skinny pedal to hear this beast bark.
The RS6 Avant sits just a smidge under 5,000 pounds, but that near 600-horse powerplant is still able to propel the vehicle to 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds. All the performance isn’t just under the hood, as all that go needs a way to stop the heavyweight.
The particular RS6 Avant I tested came equipped with optional Carbon Ceramic brakes. They are a must-have option, as they help slow down the 2.5-ton beast from whatever stratospheric speeds you may have attained.
If being under 600 horsepower is a unique problem you have, you should opt for the RS6 Avant Performance trim. It ups the power from 30 horsepower to 621 horsepower, and from 37 pound-feet of torque to 627.
The RS Experience
I am a big fan of what Audi does with its performance vehicles even with the S-models. The jump from A-models to S-models is less noticeable than the jump from S-models to RS-models. The RS models are really where Audi turns the dial on performance up not to 11, but to like 15, while also providing you with a unique RS experience behind the wheel.
With the RS models, like the RS 6 Avant, you, of course, get the best engine Audi can fit under the hood. Along with the best engine, you also get a unique Audi Virtual Cockpit theme (RS Runway). Part of this virtual cockpit system is RS Performance Monitoring pages in the infotainment to highlight which performance components are up to temperature, still cold, or if you took it to the track making the components way too hot.
You also get the RS button on the steering wheel, which can drop you right into one of two customizable drive modes. You could, in theory, set each drive mode option to the most comfortable, but you won’t. You will more than likely set everything in Sport and the angriest, most high-performance settings. This makes the RS button into the big smiles button, at least for performance car enthusiasts.
The Performance Reels You In, but the Interior and Tech Hook You
Sure, the engine bay will likely bring the Cars & Coffee brownie points. But, the driver’s seat and the comfort options sprinkled throughout the cabin are really why you want the 2023 RS6 Avant.
The driver gets a 12.3-inch full digital Audi Virtual Cockpit display. This is supplemented by a central 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display. An additional 8.6-inch lower screen is mostly on climate control duty.
In between the three crisp clear displays are only the best materials. Carbon twill interior pieces, Valcona leather seats with RS branding, and a black Dinamica headliner are just a few of the unique touches you will get in the interior.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are wireless, which I am finding a rarer option than it should be nowadays. A Bang & Olufsen audio system is sprinkled throughout the cabin. On the dash, speakers will literally pop up like sprinkler heads. The system sounds as good as it looks.
Sportcar Aggressive Styling in Wagon Form
Many car enthusiasts have an infatuation with wagons, and rightly so. If you can take a high-performing sedan, and add some space in the back, you can likely forgo having to opt for a crossover or SUV — utility without losing performance and looks.
In fact, the whole 2023 model line of Audi just looks good. The body lines, the wheels, the interior, everything just comes together. But, the RS model lineup just maxes out the aggressive level. The RS6 Avant even looks fast when standing still.
RS6 Avant Sticker Price Is Hard to Swallow
The 2023 Audi RS6 Avant starts at $121,000 before you check any options boxes.
The car I tested had quite a few boxes checked. This included things like the $8,500 Carbon Ceramic brake package, $6,350 Carbon Fiber optic package (which includes carbon fiber mirror caps, carbon fiber sprinkled throughout the exterior front and rear, and unique 22” wheels), and $4,900 Bang & Olufsen audio system.
It also included the $3,000 Black Dinamica headliner, $2,750 Executive package (highlighting heads up display, heated rear seats, among other comforts), $2,500 Night Vision assistant, $2,250 Driver Assistance Package, $1,250 Dynamic ride control suspension, and $1,000 RS sport exhaust system.
With all these boxes checked, the 2023 RS6 Avant I tested had a sticker price of $158,000, the exact price of an Audi R8 starts at. A well-appointed performance family hauler or mid-engine sportscar is a tough choice. But, I think for my money, I’d buy an R8. With that said, the better option, if you had the money, is to have an RS6 Avant daily and R8 for the weekends.
2023 Audi RS6 Avant Review: Conclusion
The 2023 Audi RS6 Avant is a monster of a vehicle. It really attacks what you need and want in a daily do-it-all performance car from all angles. It provides you with an insane level of performance while wrapping you in the best luxury and technology money can buy.
Sure, the cost is way up there and it can’t stop drinking fuel, but if you have the wallet, it’s hard to find a better wagon on the U.S. market. The only real competitor in this space is the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon, which doesn’t look nearly as aggressive.