The Best of the Best 2003: Sedans - Audi RS6

  • Mike Nolan

At first glance, the restrained styling of the Audi RS6’s exterior—along with the interior’s gray poplar woods, matte aluminum accents, and leather seating—speaks of grace and elegance. The second time around, you notice the gulping air intakes in the front grille and the chrome-tipped exhaust pipes in the rear—two features that hint at the 450-hp RS6’s not-so-subtle power.

A bi-turbocharged V-8 powers the two-ton beast from zero to 60 in
4.6 seconds, while a bundle of technology keeps the audacious Audi from hurtling off the road. Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system works with the car’s Dynamic Ride Control system to flatten body roll and pitch.

 

When it comes time to fulfill its duty as an ultrahigh-performance vehicle, the $85,000 RS6 aces the cardinal test: a surging pass of two or more vehicles across double yellow lines designed to prevent such foolish antics by lesser cars. Such a maneuver also shows the best side of the RS6: its blunt, broad, flared, and very purposeful butt, which disappears down the highway with the rolling snort and growling snarl of pure power under pressure. This is a sight and a sound that drivers of competitors’ cars will become accustomed to experiencing.

Audi, www.audiusa.com

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