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Parkers overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 4.8

The Parkers verdictShould you buy an Audi RS 6 Avant?

Yes, because if you're in the market for a seriously fast estate car, then the Audi RS 6 Avant remains the benchmark. Spacious, brutally quick and now with significantly improved handling, it's hard to think of a reason why you'd be tempted elsewhere.

Why would you choose an RS 6 over its rivals from Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes-AMG? Chances are that you'll be seduced by its 600hp maximum power output, Quattro all-wheel drive security, and supercar-slaying performance. But one area where early pictures of the RS 6 don't flatter it is in terms of its appearance – the old RS 6 was actually quite a stealthy-looking thing. It didn't shout its intentions, and it really was a car that signalled its intent to people who know.

This one's a little bit more shouty - the front and rear bumpers are aggressive, while the rear diffuser looks overdone. Do RS 6 customers really want this? Given how much of this car has been shaped by buyer feedback (you can now have ventilation in the tombstone-style sports seats, for example) it's likely that the last car's under-the-radar looks were a bit too subtle.

There are also questions over the ride quality in the UK that will need answering in the form of a comprehensive shake-down on our less-than-perfect roads, and it's likely that the air set up will cater better for this than the incredibly taut steel suspension. That's a shame because the Dynamic Ride Control system gives the RS 6 spookily good handling.

It's also amazing to talk about a car packing so much technology as being old school, but in this case, Audi's decision to stick with its existing V8 (albeit with mild hybrid technology) would seem to be a laudable one for enthusiasts. Whether this proves to be the right decision in the face of mounting environmental concerns will be interesting to see play out over the coming years.

For now though it's a seriously charming powerplant, full of low-down torque and fullsome bass from the tailpipes that leaves passers-by in no doubt that you're in an RS 6, not a diesel version. The most convincing aspect of this car in reality though is how easy it is to live with, despite that big power on tap. The boot and rear seat space remain enormous, just like and A6, and in its more comfortable drive modes it does a good impression of the standard car too.

Add to that a hefty dose of new-found driver enjoyment and the result is a car than answers a lot of questions. Just expect to pay six figures for the privilege.

Audi RS 6 Avant rear three quarters 2020

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