Audi Unleashes New RS6 Avant

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Have you and the kids outgrown your Audi R8? This is the car you'll want for the school run down the Autobahn.

First the good news: Audi's new RS6 Avant (that's Audi-speak for "wagon") has the same V8 engine as the S6, S7 and S8. It even has the same eight-speed automatic as the S8. It looks fantastic and, next to the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon, it's one of the coolest and most bad-ass family haulers on the market. Then there's the bad news: It's not coming to the US. That's a real shame because this wagon's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 produces 560 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque - considerably more than the S6 and S7 (420 hp) and S8 (520 hp).

With that much muscle on board, the new RS6 Avant can hit 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds. It's electronically limited to 155 mph, but the Dynamic package raises that to 174, and Dynamic Plus up to half a tick under 190. Equipped with Audi's signature Quattro all-wheel drive system, the RS6 Avant even returns a respectable fuel economy number of 24 mpg, partly thanks to the liberal use of aluminum and lightweight high-strength steel in its construction. Driving fast in snow has never been so much fun, and the RS6 combines supercar performance with wagon (sorry, Avant) versatility to make us wonder what anyone would want with a crossover.

Still not convinced? The RS6 Avant comes with an adaptive air suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, dynamic steering and Dynamic Ride Control. Exterior visual bits, like other RS models, include flared fenders arches to accommodate the 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels, bigger vents with metallic accents in the front bumper and a rear diffuser with integrated exhaust. The interior gets more aggressively bolstered seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, carbon trim, and upholstery with honeycomb pattern and constasting stitching. All those goodies just make us wish it was coming Stateside that much more, so here's hoping Audi of America has some surprises up its sleeve.

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