Why the Audi RS6 is logically the best car ever made
It had taken me a good year or so to get to this point. It was a Tuesday afternoon on one of the higher points of the Exmoor national park, and I’d just had to catch my phone as the fierce wind attempted to blow it out of my hands. I was trying to catch a snap of the Audi RS6 looking all pretty with the sea behind it, and struggling.
Of course, it hadn’t actually taken me a year to drive to Exmoor in the RS6. You don’t really need much time at all to get anywhere in Audi’s monstrous super-estate - especially in this particular car, the aptly name ‘Performance’ model which provided, well, more performance.
Some 605 horses live under the bonnet, safely enclosed in a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that would normally have no place being stashed inside a 2,600kg estate. Yet it does, and the results it gives are quite staggering. 62mph in 3.7-seconds, and 200mph would be easily obtainable with a few simple modifications. Audi makes the sensible choice of limiting the RS6 to just 155mph though.
Looks lovely doesn't it? Didn't feel it. The weather that is...
When you talk about the RS6, you have to get the engine and performance figures out of the way first. They dominate the car. In something that powerful you can get anywhere you like in pretty much any time at all, but it had actually taken me a year to get to Exmoor because I’d been thinking. Thinking can take a long time, you see. About a year or so prior to the wind attempting to nick my phone up on Exmoor, a conversation had broken out on Twitter about what the best car ever made was.
Now, it’s probably easy to point at feats of engineering like the Bugatti Veyron, works of art like the Jaguar E-Type, peaks of driving pleasure such as a Lancia Delta. You get the idea. The thing is, the best car ever made can’t be just something, it has to be everything. Let us not forget that for something to be judged as ‘the best ever’ there has to be a high degree of human achievement involved, but that shouldn’t mean it comes at the cost of being completely unobtainable for the majority of humans.
Beauty and the beast. Not sure which is which where this environment is concerned.
There are many cars that can be mentioned as having - at one stage or another - sat at the top of the pyramid of human achievement. Ferrari’s LaFerrari and Porsche’s 918 successfully manage the calibration nightmares of marrying combustion technology to electric technology, as does the McLaren P1 - who’s ancestor, the F1, achieved what many regard as driving perfection. That’s all well and good, but they can’t take your family and friends out for dinner, and unless you’re the Count of Dubai or a celebrity chef, you can’t buy one either.
And there has to be that aspect to a car we regard as the best ever. It has to be practical, it has to be obtainable. Cars need to be looked at from a logical standpoint. As for the human achievement aspect, the ability to use satellites to find our way, the ability to pre-sense collisions to deploy safety measures, even the ability to control the cabin temperature automatically - surely they all count as great achievements in the world of personal transport? All-wheel drive is also a fairly modern invention, and the RS6’s ability to move torque around between its wheels helped it reel in more than one BMW M car during my time spent with it. Hopefully you’re getting the picture here - the RS6 does everything.
You don't have to be precious about an RS6. Get it muddy, drive it madly.
Up until this point I haven’t covered one of the more crucial aspects when discussing a car: how fun it is to drive.
For those of us who love driving, exploring, having a car that makes us feel good is absolutely crucial. Ordinarily, a 2.6-ton estate car isn’t going to tick any pleasure boxes - and for some it still might not - but the RS6 has a character somewhat reminiscent of a muscle car.
That in part clearly comes from that powerful V8 upfront, but it’s also present in the way it looks and the way it drives. Its muscular stance sits fairly low and broad, a handsome, slightly intimidating posture. It looks heavy, and obviously, being the weight that it is, you can’t fly around corners without a care in the world. You need care, you need awareness.
Despite the size and weight, how the RS6 takes corners is genuinely surprising. It moves with a certain sharpness for a big lad, and corner exit speeds are naturally really bloody fast, given that the 600+ horsepower is put down by all four wheels.
Unfortunately, this RS6 has just gone out of production. But nevertheless, hear me out. This is a car that seats four, is safe, is practical, goes like stink, is jam-packed with technology to make our lives easier, is comfortable when you want it to be, incredibly fast and fun to drive, and was available during its production run for under £100,000.
From a logical standpoint, has a better car ever been produced? Not for me, at least - the outgoing RS6 is about as good a car as there has ever been and I hope upon hope that Audi decides to roll out a new generation of RS6 when the time is right. The thought of improving upon this car is surely an area they won’t leave unexplored.
Naturally, this is a topic where there will be a rich selection of opinions and ideas. Can you see where I’m coming from on this? Have I missed anything logical from my journey to this point? Is there an alternative I’ve not considered? I’ll jump in the comments sometime to have a chat with you all!
Sadly, the RS6 has just gone out of production... let's hope another one is in the works.
Do you agree that the RS6 is logically the best car in the world? Let us know in the comments.