At Audi they are celebrating: Two decades have passed since the launch of one of the most exciting family sports cars on the market: the RS6. For such a special occasion, the brand has organized a grand tour of the Canadian Rockies, featuring each generation of this iconic model as a hero. At CAR we have crossed the pond to live the experience, and this has been the result.
A dream line-up and over 500 kms ahead. It is 7 a.m. local time, the scheduled start time of the program. I’ve barely slept for 5 hours, after traveling over 24 hours, to get from Barcelona to Calgary via Madrid and Toronto. But the exciting panorama I have at the hotel door, Any fatigue completely disappears, A dream lineup stands in front of me, With built-in battery for each Audi RS6In addition to several units of the existing model registered in Canada. The previous generations have German registration and are in immaculate condition. This is not surprising, as they belong to the Audi Tradition, and have been specially brought from Germany to Canada for such a special event.
it’s time to leave. The road that awaits us ahead is more than 500 kilometers long. Enough to thoroughly test all four generations as we delve into this incredible setting.
RS6 C5: First generation, beginning of the saga (2002-2004)
Like any beautiful story, the RS6 has a beginning. And that’s where we’ll start, with RS6 C5, the model with which this legendary saga began 20 years agoin 2002. Developed by the Department of Quattro GmbH (currently Audi Sport GmbH), the first RS6 was marked with a before and after.
Never seen a family car with such power before its launch, 450 CV extracted from mechanics V8 4.2 biturbo. A stream of energy that made it the most powerful Audi in the range in 2002. To put this in context, a Ferrari 360 Modena was offered that year.Solo ”400 CV, And a Porsche 911 Turbo, 420. From the point of view of current powers, this sounds like a lot, but 20 years ago it was a very grim number.
On an aesthetic level, its body function is the most discreet, Without much sharpness compared to the A6 from which it derives. It is 4 centimeters wide and tall, and has distinctive bumpers that, along with its oval exhaust outlet, its specially designed wheels and its aluminum mirrors, give it its unmistakable presence to the discerning eye. Inside, the passage of time is evident in its design, although this unit also has a screen for the browser. I take its bottom rectangular key, The early 2000s, and I start the mighty Biturbo V8 to start down the marked path.
I’m leaving Calgary for the Rocky Mountains. The route is mainly motorway, A terrain in which the RS6 feels like a fish in water, Derived from the quattro drive, and with excellent chassis tuning, it is very comfortable and enjoyable to drive. Power is noticeable, although the delivery is tremendous, but just as gentrified as the sound of its supercharged V8.
The automatic gearbox, 5 relationship and torque converter for its part, is quite fast., and although the car lacks driving modes, the compromise between sportiness and comfort highlights the excellent work done in tuning the model. In short, C5 is a member of a versatile and intelligent but very powerful family, a true wolf in sheep’s clothing that represents the beginning of the saga, and for which the passage of time has done so well.
RS6 C6: familiar and never-before-seen power from the V10 biturbo engine (2008-2010)
The first stop comes after about 100 kms along the C5. I want to change car. We stopped at a wonderful lakeside recreation area on our way to the Rockies. An excellent place to re-experience every RS6 with its successor, And the exact successor to the one I just drove is the one I’m about to get right now: the C6, the second generation. But first I look at its exterior to appreciate its design, also discreet and elegant, with an aesthetic that doesn’t suggest the power it hides. Once in the driver’s seat, it takes a huge leap in terms of design and technology. wherever you look Everything is of good quality, but in any case elegance is put ahead of sportiness, The interior is much more modern than that of the C5, but where the evolution between the two models is most noticeable is the one going on.
With today’s emissions regulations it would be impossible to do something like what Audi did with the C6: put a luxurious twin-turbocharged 5-liter V10 engine under the hood
With today’s emissions regulations, what Audi did with this generation would be unimaginable, but in the 2000s engineers in the RS department thought it was a good idea to introduce a wonderfully mechanical 5-liter TFSI twin-turbocharged V10 under the hood of this super family. This was the largest displacement RS developed engine ever produced.
A few years before the release, BMW has released the M5 E60 with 507 hp . The naturally aspirated V10 engine was released with, Now, with the mechanical V10 biturbo, With 580 hp 650 Nm of torque and quattro traction, Audi has given another twist to the segment within the spiral of power and displacement, placing itself on the highest pedestal again.
I see these reflections definitely driving this technological marvel on the streets of Canada, While I put the RS6 V10’s insane acceleration to the test over and over again, knowing that if I didn’t lift my foot it would exceed 300 km/h in total comfort, something no production family could ever see. Not seen., Soon I reach the Rockies, and the highway gives way to winding roads. On terrain, despite the C6’s great driving comfort and high technical level, I quickly realized one of its weak points: the bulky V10 block, with a very advanced spot on the front axle, especially on this model. Punishes for agility and cornering. When you want to go fast. However, the leap forward from the previous generation is, in every way, extraordinary.
RS6 C7: Paradigm Change (2013-2018)
After walking for another 100 kms comes the next stop. Of course, in a more beautiful lake surrounded by nature, which allows me to admire these beautiful techno beasts in a breathtaking natural environment. good combination. It’s time to move on from generation, so I move on RS6 C7 released in 2013, A version with a stunning aesthetic, which brought with it some controversy among those loyal to the model, Since it came with less power as standard than the previous ones (560 hp vs 580 hp).And with an engine that was once again a V8 biturbo instead of the pagan V10.
So, without wasting any time, I put myself in control of it, and we headed to Jasper Glacier to see if the C7 represented a step backwards; Nothing is further from reality.
He’s as wild as he looks: he’s one big bad wolf. And though from the start it allows itself to be tame and driven like any other A6, when we ask it to give it the best of itself, it’s capable of unleashing the prowess of a true sports car. Is. We’re facing the RS6 first which is more responsive and shamelessly exciting, something I’d check out right away. At each acceleration it emits a rumble, accompanied by an intoxicating backfire as the gas is released.
Not only this; With a very lightweight V8 twin-turbo engine positioned at the front, the C7 is incredibly more agile and efficient than its predecessor, especially in the curve. Let’s not forget that it has declared 20 CV low; However, despite being less powerful, it delivers a lot of speed. With the tuning of the chassis and its greater lightness, it is fast in any conditions.
In my case I’m in luck, because the unit I’m driving is the display, a special version with 605 horsepower, And it offers features that will bring out the color of many existing sports cars despite being almost 10 years old. my trek up jasper glacier in it “Super Toy” Makes Me Drunk, To be honest, I would never get off the C7. It transmits a lot to the wheel, and keeps you in a good mood without wanting to. At the wheel, my relationship with him is unbreakable. On the other hand, if we look at the consumption, the decrease is notable compared to its predecessors. 8-speed automatic gearbox with cylinder disconnection system, make you much more efficient. If those are all advantages, I’d almost wear it, though I don’t think the men at Audi would let me…
And the definitive machine arrived: RS6 C8 (2019)
After a journey of over 300 kms, it’s time to move on to the final part of the saga: the current RS6, C8which entered the market in 2019. If the C7 offers an attractive appearance, C8 Cheese is a cracker, Its design is so aggressive, so impressive that the C7 next to it looks like a kitten. With its 22-inch wheels, Its oversized air intake, its wide bodywork and various spoilersC8 forever suppresses the concept of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. more like a wolf on steroids, It is also clear to the lay public that this is no ordinary A6 S line.
I don’t want to waste time, so I get behind the wheel for the final drive to Banff Springs. Under the hood I have a V8 biturbo, this time with 48V light hybridization technology to improve efficiency. Again I am surprised to see another leap forward. Despite being heavier than the previous model, its 600 hp and 800 Nm of torque make it the most efficient RS6 ever. Being so fast, in addition to achieving a time of 3.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h—3 tenths faster—, it is more agile than ever in the curve. The steering rear axle is a unique advance, and the tuning of the chassis, along with the various driving modes and the most advanced DRC (Dynamic Ride Control), combined with the air suspension, make the current RS6 one of the deadliest. It’s fast, exciting, trendy and very technical. Driving it is addictive, because it makes everything easier for you. And without compromising on comfort and versatility, or any of its other distinguishing qualities. In short, the C8 is the most efficient and fastest RS6 of all. This is, without a doubt, the best of the saga, a supercar turned family car – or vice versa, depending on how you look at it.
With the C8 I arrive at my final destination, the legendary hotel in Banff Springs, in the heart of the Rockies, where I’ll digest what I’ve stayed at. For 500 kms I have been able to drive the entire pedigree of the RS6 into a memorable experience. I’ve seen the brutal evolution of the model over these 20 years, and I understand exactly what the slogan “at the forefront of technology” really means. And it is that, from the first and grand RS6, each new generation is vastly improving on the previous one. We can only wish that the next generation of this iconic model continues to write as great a story as the first 20 years. Surely that will happen, and we’ll be there to tell you about it.
The RS6 has always fascinated me. really, A few years ago I was about to buy an early C5. However, after trying them all, It’s the C7 that stole my heart. It has a more aesthetic look than the current model, but it is still impressive. And he is the wildest, or least domesticated, with his scandalous escape, his countdown, and his most nervous reactions when he is squeezed, It’s not as fast, techy, efficient or easy to drive as the current one, but that’s okay is that the purest point, the less perfect, which drives me madly in love. Yes, that will take me home, I am a romantic.