But which wagon will reign supreme?
After years of begging and pleading with Audi North America, we finally scored a win when the company announced the 2020 RS6 Avant, which will be sold in the United States for the first time ever. Europeans have been able to enjoy the RS6 - and its smaller sibling, the RS4 - for several years now but it's finally time for US wagon lovers to get in on the action.
Wagons are not very popular in the US but the RS6 isn't going into battle completely unopposed. The RS6 is generating a ton of hype right now but people may be forgetting another fast wagon that is already on sale in the US, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. Not only is the E63 S an amazing vehicle, but it could also potentially be as good (or better) than the new RS6.
Pricing for the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon starts at $108,850, though it can easily skyrocket from there with options. CarBuzz tested the sedan version of the E63 S and our tester rang in at $137,880. Audi hasn't announced how much the RS6 will cost in the US but we can only assume it will be over the six-figure mark. Audi has confirmed, however, that the RS6 will be special order-only, meaning obtaining one won't be easy. At this price range, the specifics don't really matter, it will just come down to which brand buyers prefer.
The RS6 is propelled by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with mild-hybrid assist producing 591 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Audi claims 0-62 mph takes just 3.6 seconds and the top speed is limited to 155 mph. The AMG is also powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 but is shells out 603 hp and 627 lb-ft. On paper, the AMG has the RS6 pegged but Audi has a habit of underrating performance. We'll have to wait to see how these two perform in a real-life drag race and on a race track to determine which is the more potent wagon.
Mercedes' styling is simply beautiful with elegant lines and a timeless design language. Audi, by contrast, tends to have more sedate styling. Even the A6 on which the RS6 is built looks rather boring but Audi Sport has dialed up the aggression with the RS6. Those massively flared wheel arches and silver accents on the bumpers give off a DTM race car vibe and we absolutely love it. The Mercedes will fly under the radar while the Audi will be a show-stopper.
Both Mercedes and Audi have brought their A Games with these interiors. Audi has differentiated the RS6 from lesser models with red accents, a sportier gauge cluster, and sport seats. Mercedes has similarly dressed up the cabin of its AMG model with optional carbon-fiber trim and optional bucket racing seats (though we'd recommend the base seats with the optional massage function). Both companies have top-tier interior technology but the E-Class has yet to be updated with Mercedes' latest MBUX infotainment system, giving Audi the slight advantage in cabin technology.
Since many people will look at the RS6 and E63 wagon as SUV replacements, cargo capacity is of the utmost importance. Audi hasn't released US-spec cargo figures for the RS6 but the Euro-spec A6 Avant is rated at 20 cubic feet of storage or 59.3 cubic feet with the seats folded (note: these are European measurements, not SAE, meaning they could differ in the US). Strangely, this is less space than what is quoted in the new A7 Sportback, so we'll have to wait for the US figures. The E63 offers 35 cubic feet, which folds to a massive 64 cubic feet with the rear seats down. If practicality is your main concern, the E-Class appears like the better option but they should be quite close.
If you have the means, choosing between these two cars won't be easy. We have no doubt the RS6 and E63 wagon will continue to sell in very small numbers in the US but we are happy to see some competition in this space. Perhaps in some alternate universe, both cars will bring attention back to wagons and more automakers will offer them instead of SUVs. We can dream, can't we?
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