• New super-estate is available to order from early next year
• Around 100kg lighter than its predecessor
• Priced from £77,000

The new Audi RS6 Avant has been unveiled. Audi’s new super-estate will get the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that has already been seen in the Bentley Continental GT V8 and the Audi S7.

On the outside, Audi has added some performance accoutrements to differentiate the car from a standard A6 Avant, with the matt-black honeycomb grille, large rear diffuser, twin oval tailpipes and a large rear boot spoiler. Also noticeable are the matt aluminium detailing, deep chin spoiler and extended side sills.

Eight colours are available, including an exclusive ‘RS’ colour – Daytona Grey matte. Two optional exterior packages are also available, Matte Aluminium or Carbon. These give further opportunity for customisation, with the Carbon pack making the front splitter and rear diffuser even more prominent.

Audi says that the new RS6 is up to 100kg than the old model thanks to a smaller, lighter engine and extensive use of aluminium and high-strength steel in the body. This, along with a more efficient motor, has allowed the new car to return 28.8mpg on the combined cycle. The reduction in weight is also expected to aid the car’s handling and agility.

Inside, the RS6 benefits from some sporting touches to the traditional well-made and elegant Audi interior, with aluminium pedals, sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. RS badges also feature prominently around the interior, and the dials are white on black, with shift-lights to indicate the optimum time to change gear.

Under the bonnet, the RS6 gets a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 552bhp and 516ft/lb of torque. This sends its power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and makes this the first RS6 to be able to get to 62mph in under four seconds. There are three top speeds available, with the car limited to 155mph as standard but this can be raised to 174 or 189mph with the Dynamic and Dynamic plus options respectively.

To deal with this extra performance, both the brakes and suspension have been upgraded. The RS6 gets adaptive air suspension for the first time, although conventionally sprung sports suspension, which can be adjusted three ways can also be specified. The standard brakes are either steel discs, gripped by six-piston calipers, while carbon-ceramic discs are also available as an option.

The RS6 will be available to order from early 2013 and will cost from £77,000. First deliveries are expected in summer next year.

By James Richardson

Find a used RS6 here