Square Mile
Menu Search

The rebirth of cool

The latest in Audi’s line of sportscar-crushing estates has a lot to live up to. Jon Hawkins says the new RS6 Avant is a born icon

Plenty of people have tried to pin a definition on ‘cool’, and most of them have failed. There’s a good reason for this – the moment you even use the word, any semblance of cool immediately vapourises. See, I did it there. Twice.

So I appreciate that by saying I think the RS6 Avant is one of the coolest cars on the planet – and has been since Audi launched it a little over a decade ago – I’m ultimately condemning it, but I hope you can see what I’m getting at.

And just in case you don’t, here are the basic facts: it’s a practical, luxurious estate car that thinks it’s a supercar. It is, if you like, a car of two ends: at the rear, enough space to carry almost everything I own; at the front, a twin-turbo four-litre V8 engine pumping out 552bhp. In between, the RS6 can seat five adults in luxurious style, and then catapult them to 62mph in 3.9 seconds (half a second quicker than an Aston Martin V12 Vantage) and on to a top speed of 189mph (1mph faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera S) if they’re so inclined.

Like all the best style icons, the RS6 doesn’t look like it’s trying too hard, even if under the skin lies the work of some seriously clever and purposeful design. It’s the paradox of effortless cool, and just as Steve McQueen had his jeans tailored to fit, so the RS6 is a technological and mechanical marvel.

The arches are flared, but not too much. It’s low-slung and mean-looking, but it hasn’t sprouted in-your-face wings and a Fast and Furious body kit. The wheels are enormous and the twin oval exhausts give the high-speed game away somewhat, but then it doesn’t hurt to show some teeth if you’ve got the bite to back it up. The RS6 certainly has bite – plenty of it – and an awful lot more besides.

Loading