The third generation RS 6 Avant will be available to order from early 2013 in Europe but not in SA - where the A6 Avant is not on the stock list.An Audi spokesman said if it were it would retail for about R1.5-million. That's too heady for local customers, a dealer said, but Audi promised "there will be another RS surprise due here in 2013 in similar vein to the Avant"Image gallery Whatever, here's what the RS 6 is all about...The Avant will be powered by a V8 biturbo petrol engine with cylinder-on-demand technology – 0-100kmh in 3.9 seconds, and with a top speed governed at 250km/h that can be increased on demand 300km/h, yet the car can still manage 10 litres/100kmEight-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro all-wheel-drive with sport differential, standard RS-specific adaptive air suspension with option of steel-sprung suspension incorporating Dynamic Ride Control also form part of the package.INTELLIGENT DESIGNThe two large twin-scroll turbochargers enable the RS 6 Avant to gather momentum with remarkable intensity. They are mounted together with the intercooler in the V of the cylinder banks. The exhaust side of the cylinder heads is also on the inside, while the intake side is on the outside. This concept allows a compact design and short gas paths with minimal flow losses.The RS-specific engine management and unthrottled intake system also contribute to the eight-cylinder engine’s dramatic response, delivered to the tune of a classic V8 soundtrack. Switchable flaps in the exhaust system will make the sound even fuller at the touch of a button and a sports exhaust system will be an option for greater amplification if required.VARIABLE TO SPEEDAfter catapulting to 100km/h from rest in a best-in-class 3.9 seconds, the RS 6 Avant in its standard form will be capable of continuing to an electronically limited 250km/h top speed where conditions allow. It will be possible to increase this top speed to 280km/h by specifying the optional Dynamic package/ and to go a step further with the Dynamic plus package, which limits top speed to 300km/h.Despite straying even further into the realm of the supercar, the latest RS 6 Avant manages to register a fuel economy improvement of about 40%, thanks partly to an engine stop/start system and innovative thermal management technology, but primarily to the new engine’s cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to intermediate loads and engine speeds, it shuts down the intake and exhaust valves of cylinders 2, 3, 5 and 8. The 4.0-litre TFSI then runs as a four-cylinder engine until the driver accelerates.ADAPTIVE AIR SUSPENSION A FIRSTThis RS 6 Avant will be the first Audi RS model with adaptive air suspension. The specially tuned set-up lowers the body by 20mm/ and incorporates controlled damping which takes into account road conditions, driving style and the mode chosen in the standard adaptive dynamics system, through which the driver can influence the function of key components in multiple steps.The brakes have also been engineered to take extreme performance in their stride. The four internally vented discs feature a weight-saving wave-like outer contour. The front discs measure 390mm in diameter and are gripped by six-piston callipers available in black or red. Also available as an option are carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs measuring 420mm in diameter. Their callipers are anthracite grey.100KG LIGHTERThe body plays a major role in the handling. It comprises roughly 20% aluminium, and a sizeable proportion of components made from high-strength steel. Through the more intensive use of lightweight materials Audi engineers have been able to reduce the weight of the new Audi RS 6 Avant by about 100 kilograms compared with its predecessor.The elegantly trimmed but highly focused cabin of the new RS 6 Avant is singularly tailored to the driver. The instruments feature black faces, white dials and red needles. The key, the flat-bottomed three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, the illuminated entry sills, the rev counter and the displays for the MMI and the Driver’s Information System (DIS) incorporate RS logos.NEW SHIFT LIGHTA new feature in the RS menu of the DIS is the shift light. Green segments are illuminated as revs increase. The bar turns red and begins to blink when revs approach the red line. Displays for the gear selected, boost pressure, oil temperature and a digital speedometer round out the RS 6-specific driver information system.RS sports seats with pronounced bolsters, head restraints and RS 6 logos will be standard. The seats are covered in high-grade, honeycomb-quilted Valcona leather in either black or silver. The seats can also be covered in an optional combination of black Alcantara and leather, and the centre sections feature diamond quilting.The boot holds up to 1680 litres with the standard split rear seat folded.