First Drive: 2020 Audi RS 6 Avant

Modern wagons have faced an uphill battle to capture the hearts and minds of American buyers, and that goes double for high performance models. Just ask Dodge, who built fewer examples of the Magnum SRT8 in its final year than Ferrari produced of the $700,000 Enzo supercar, or Cadillac, whose CTS-V wagon didn’t last more than a generation despite the fact that it enjoyed near-universal praise.

With the recent shift in American consumer tastes away from passenger cars in favor of high-riding crossovers and SUVs, Audi probably isn’t expecting a massive windfall from their decision to bring the all-new, fourth generation RS 6 Avant to the North American market for the first time in its eighteen-year history. Still, enthusiasts tend to be an vocal bunch, and addressing their demands can be seen as a long-term investment.

“We can’t comment on the volumes,” Audi’s director of communications, Mark Dahncke, told us in regards to the number of RS 6 Avants they plan to bring to North America. “But I will say that in my time with Audi, I’ve never had more people contact me about a car. People have been begging us to bring this over for a while.”

Fast wagons have always had a strong cult following, and over the years the RS 6 Avant has served as a great example of why. It’s a pragmatic choice that isn’t boring, it offers performance capability without the hassles of a sports car, and fast wagons tend to have more character than their sports sedan equivalents.

But does the all-new RS 6 Avant continue that tradition, or has something been lost in its journey across the pond? We headed to Malibu, California to find out.

Inside And Out


Part of the allure of a fast wagon is often tied to the sleeper vibe – for many, the idea of dusting the flashy roadster in the next lane with a vehicle that looks purpose-built for schlepping kids to soccer practice has a certain appeal to it. It’s something that past iterations of RS 6 Avant have exemplified, but with the fourth generation car, Audi wanted to take a different approach.

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