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2007-07-24 09:52

Mike Brown

I own a 2004 Audi RS6 which has completed 29 000 km.

This is one of only 52 RS6's imported from Germany during 2003 and 2004. I understand that only about 8000 units were manufactured in total.

The RS6 is based on the C5 (1998 - 2004) and was built separately at the Quattro GMBH division of Audi.

The external differences from the A6 are subtle but visually very menacing.

The wheel arches are flared significantly to accommodate the 255/40 Pirelli P Zero Rosso tyres on 18 inch rims (19 inch five spoke alloys were an option).

The front air dam is typical RS with honeycomb air intakes above and below the bumper.

At the rear two black oval RS exhausts peer from the rear honeycomb apron, with a spoiler on the boot lid. Subtle RS badges are placed front and rear.

The interior has heated leather Recaro seats front and rear, with electric adjustment.

The headlining and rear parcel shelf are lined with Alcantara suede and the dash and door facings have "carbon fibre" inserts.....but that is where the similarity with the A6 stops. This is a BEAST!

V8 power

Under the skin is where it all changes, apart from Quattro and Tiptronic transmission the engine is a 4.2-litre 40-valve V8 with twin turbochargers.

This enables the engine to develop 330 Kw at about 6 000 r/min with 560 Nm of torque from 1 900 r/min which stay with one up to 5 000 r/min.

Not the same high revving RS4 motor but a helluva pile of grunt.

The engine apparently was developed with Cosworth a previous subsidiary of Audi.

The sound from the exhausts is "turbo-muted" but is spine chilling and at higher revs will give any petrol head goose bumps.

It is on the road that the RS6 comes into its own. Riding on a lowered suspension, wide tyres and Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) and Quattro this is a four door sports car which will out-perform many multi-million rand exotics.

Many road tests indicate 0-100 times of between 4.6 and 5 seconds and a governed top speed of 250 km/h, however a local motoring magazine timed the RS6 at 267 km/h in 2003, and an American magazine claims 177 mph (277 km/h) and a quarter mile time of 13.3 seconds.

All pretty awesome, but its not only about acceleration and speed.....its about how the RS6 carries it out and once at the limit how it stops.


Braking is nothing short of eye watering with 4 piston Brembo's up front on 365 mm vented discs which translates into a 100-1 km/h time of about 2.6 seconds.

Quattro is imperative in a vehicle with this amount of power and torque and whilst it may be older generation Quattro it is almost impossible to get the tail out, under steer is prevalent but only at the limit...if there is such a thing.

Fuel consumption is not a strong point as you can imagine, but then who cares.

The RS6 is scarce and when it was introduced in 2003 it was sold at R785 000.

Currently models with low mileage and a full service history are changing hands at between R450 000 and R600 000.

Who would buy such a car?

Audi fanatics like myself who can't justify R900 000 for the new S6 or over a million rand when the New RS6 eventually arrives with its turbocharged 500 kW V10 motor.

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