Audi Unveils the 571-HP RS6 Sedan

Audi’s high-performance RS models have come a long way since the storied debut of the RS2 Avant in 1994, but its mission remains the same: Steal the thunder of BMW’s M cars. To that end, the company is set to unleash its most fearsome RS model yet—the 2009 RS6 sedan, a car engineered with the singular goal of quashing Munich’s vaunted M5. The sedan (which joins an equally sinister RS6 wagon) features a 5-liter V-10 with a host of racing-derived modifications, including direct fuel injection, dry sump lubrication, and twin turbochargers. Belting out a startling 571 horsepower and 479 foot-pounds of torque, the engine meets a six-speed Tiptronic manu-matic transmission and, naturally, Quattro all-wheel drive. Sixty miles per hour arrives in about 4.4 seconds, and top speed is electronically governed to 155 mph—or, optionally, ungoverned to 174 mph. Visually, there’s no mistaking this über A6: Swollen fenders contain wide performance tires around unique 19-inch wheels (20-inch alloys are optional, as are Audi’s huge carbon ceramic disc brakes), and a restyled rear bumper accommodates a pair of gaping oval tailpipes. On sale exclusively in Germany for about $155,000, Audi has no plans to grace its American showrooms with either RS6 model, so speed mongers will have to make do with the more restrained S6 ($72,350), which packs a normally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 producing “only” 435 horsepower. (www.audiusa.com)

—Matthew Phenix

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