It has always been a conundrum – how to make a supercar a family estate. We have a plethora of SUVs making the attempt, such as the Lamborghini Uras, Range Rover SVR, Porsche Macan Turbo and the like but these are hulking great high-riding SUVs and not stan-dard estate cars. Mercedes have certainly cracked it with the AMG E93 Estate.
Ever since Audi collaborated with Porsche in 1992, as they are all a part of the same Volkswagen Group, they have got the formula spot on for fire-breathing estate cars. This thing is full of attitude, 80mm wider than the ‘tame’ version, furious grill and exhaust pipes that play the music from heaven. It is hunkered down on the ground and is always ready to go. And go it certainly does, with their fourth generation power plant – a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that offers 592bhp and 0-62 in a blistering 3.6 seconds via an eight-speed box and AWD. The top is limited to 155mph but the Carbon Black pack takes this to 174mph, and the Vorsprung option pops it up to 190mph.
That said, it is important to remember that this is a five-door family estate car that can move house, take a rugger team to the pitch or do an IKEA run, with 1680 litres of space. It does absolutely everything a normal large estate does - it just does it rather quicker and in enormous style. Switch everything off and it is calm and docile – really, your Granny could drive this.
The cabin is beautifully trimmed and engineered with everything at your finger tips and a mountain of tech wizardry. The quilted leather is superb, the world-beating virtual cockpit is here and the heads-up display works brilliantly. Then you get double glazing (although why you want to block out the sound of the engine is quite beyond me!), haptic glass, the MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system and a further screen for all the dial info. Add this to the £6,300 B&O stereo and you are hot to trot for a trip around the globe - with a wardrobe in the back. I guess l should also mentioned the lap time and drag run meter!
"Driving is a joy but taming
your right foot is a challenge
as it invites you to floor it"
Driving is a joy but taming your right foot is a challenge as it just invites you to floor it. The Quattro system will send 85% of the power to the rear wheels when you push it hard and this does help cancel out the previous model’s ‘nose heavy’ feeling. The Sports Differential will aid the stupid to stay on the road and, if that doesn’t help, then there is the optional four-wheel-steering that greatly aids the turn in.
One thing to be aware of are the suspension options. Adaptive air suspension
is fitted as standard and has 40mm of travel through the various driving modes. It goes from a raised variant for bumpy roads, to a hunkered-into-the-arches (30mm lower than a standard A6 Avant) if you’re over 75mph. But if you’re serious about going quickly, the optional sports suspension might be more up your alley.
To give you a clue of its constant pulling power, it will give you 124mph in under 12 seconds - and with the new launch control, it will get you there with ease and a slightly startled look on your face. Select the ceramic brakes and see the astonished face in the car behind you as you stop on a dime and he continues into the back of you.
For the first time in its 20-year history, the RS6 is about to launch in the US and they are eagerly awaiting it. With all their stone-age, muscle metal, it will be a joy to show them what the Europeans can do with a fast car that will also be competent at going around corners. There could not be a more obvious counter point to what the Yanks are used to than this rocket.
OK, it’s not cheap but then is anything of quality cheap? There are three specs. The ‘standard’ car starts at £89,900, the Carbon Black at £100,650 and the top of the range Vorsprung package that offers you nearly 200mph, the B&O stereo, sports suspension and monster 22-inch wheels. In standard spec, it is cheaper than the AMG E63, BMW M5 and the Panamera Turbo Sport.
As far as residuals go, it is predicted that it will hold 45.1% of its purchase price after three years, bettering both the Merc and the Beemer.
In summary, this car has that magical ‘something’. Could be the sheep in wolf’s clothing, could be the joy of what mankind can do with engineering, could be the speed is just such a turn on. Whatever it is l don’t care, the RS6 is right up there as one of the best all-round cars on the planet.
As they rip it out of my hands at the end of the week, they quell my sobbing with the delivery of a Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD. Rear wheel drive and it’s raining. Oh my Aunt Mary, this will not end well.
Model tested: 4.0 TFSI V8 Quattro
Power: 593 bhp
Speed: 0-62 3.6 seconds
Top: 155.3 (limited)
Economy: 22.6 mpg
Price from: £89,900
As tested: £134,655