Here’s Why the 2009 Audi RS6 V10 Isn’t as Good as We Think

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Audi just brought out a brand new, 600 horsepower RS6 Avant, which looks set to compete with the AMG E63 over the tiny American wagon market. So it’s the perfect time to get nostalgic over a model from two generations ago, back when you could have one with a mighty V10 engine.

Mat Watson from Carwow has already shown us this legendary RS model multiple times by drag racing it. But it’s always interesting to look at much older performance cars in detail and compare them against others from that era or their modern counterparts.

The year is 2008, and Audi is completely crazy. Not only does it profit from its access to the Lamborghini V10 engine technology, but it decides to install twin turbochargers for good measure. At roughly the same time, BMW has an M5, the E60, that’s also powered by a 5-liter V10 while the E63 was like a German muscle car with a 6.3-liter V8. However, those naturally aspirated.

So how isn’t the RS6 more famous? Well, as you probably know, it wasn’t seen as particularly exciting to drive in an era where sports sedans were also drifting machines. It also doesn’t help that it’s super-understated, barely more exciting than a conventional A6.

Of course, you could also say that it’s a more honest car too, an engineer’s wet dream, not that of a designer. For example, the wheels are 19 inches wide, so about 3in smaller than on the current model. Also, while the exhausts are smaller, there’s nothing fake about them. Likewise, it’s not trying to be an iPhone and a Prius at the same time, just the fastest wagon Audi could build at the time.

How fast? Try 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 4.6 seconds (officially), which isn’t amazing for a V10 bi-turbo pushing 580 horsepower. The modern version makes only 20 hp more but needs 3.4 seconds for the sprint. Still, this could eventually become a cult car if people find something interesting to do with it.

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