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2004 Audi RS 6 Road Test

Mind-Blowing Power Delivers Mind-Bending Performance

Earlier this year I road tested the Audi A6 2.7T S-Line, which is mechanically motivated by an athletic 265 horsepower, bi-turbo

Nothing in Audi's lineup could have prepared me for the brutal onslaught of power that erupts from the 450 horsepower RS 6. (Photo: Rob Rothwell, American Auto Press)
2.7-liter V6. I also tested the raucous Audi S4 Cabriolet, which is a street rocket thanks to the 340 horsepower kicked out by its 4.2-liter V8. But neither of these admirable performers prepared me for the brutal onslaught of power that erupts from the 450 horsepower, bi-turbo 4.2-liter (256-cu in) V8 neatly wedged into Audi's RS 6, the rumble and snarl of which is capable of draining color from the faces of American big-block purists.

The RS 6 is an overachiever for sure, a special edition of Audi's highly refined midsize A6 5-seat sedan. It runs with a rarified crowd of super-performing sedans, which includes the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG, Cadillac CTS-V and Jaguar S-Type R. This group of V8 powered luxo-rockets each carries 4-doors and 5-seats, not to mention decent sized trunks. Soon BMW will launch its latest salvo into this market with a 507 horsepower V10-powered 2005 M5. Until then, however, only the 469 horsepower E55 is in a

With so much torque available at just 1,950 rpm, the burbling bi-turbo 4.2-liter (256-cu in) V8 beneath the hood of the RS 6 is in a constant state of readiness. (Photo: Rob Rothwell, American Auto Press)
position to kick sand in the grille of the RS 6, with a mammoth torque rating of 516 pounds-feet compared to the Audi's 415.

Still, the RS 6 is hardly lacking. With so much torque available at just 1,950 rpm, the burbling engine beneath the hood of the RS 6 is in a constant state of readiness. Pulling up the revs and launching the car from a standing position, it sling-shots it forward with amazing force sans wheel spin and related fanfare thanks to Audi's quattro all-wheel drive technology. None of the engine's torque is wasted spinning wheels and destroying expensive tires. No, just mash the throttle and the entire vehicle becomes focused on just one objective, bursting forward with alarming thrust.