Once the first Audi RS6 launched in 2002, the RS badge is at its infancy. Just two cars had put it on formerly – the RS2 and RS4, both offered only as estates.
The ‘C5’ RS6 was offered as both a saloon and Avant, though fast Audis will always be intrinsically associated with the second body style. Within this model’s situation, you are able to thank pre-Bond Difficulties in Layer Cake for your.
It had been an ideal little bit of vehicle casting for any awesome gangster type, a hugely characterful and quite naughty vehicle dressed inside a crisp, subtle body. An entire 14 years after its introduction, we’d argue this RS6 is much more appealing than ever before.
With prices of excellent C5s beginning at ￡10,000 – comparable as speccing ceramic brakes on the new Audi RS6 – it appears temptingly attainable, too. Continue reading to see should you resist or not…
The RS6 launched having a twin-turbo 4.2-litre V8, co-developed with Cosworth within the United kingdom, producing 444bhp. Which was enough for any 4.9-second -62mph some time and the de rigueur 155mph limited top speed so connected with German performance cars.
It had been also enough to honestly outmuscle the contemporary BMW M5 and Mercedes E55 AMG. The ability wars between RS, M and AMG had truly began. And in those days, Audi was your main option should you wanted your German sports saloon or estate with four-wheel drive.
It launched being an Avant, using the four-door saloon following later. Prices began below ￡60,000 – nowadays you are able to spec an RS3 as much as that much cla.
For the finish from the RS6’s existence, Audi saw fit to improve its output, launching the 473bhp ‘Plus’ version, that you simply see here. Its -62 is identical, nevertheless its top speed a far more Autobahn-friendly 174mph. There is also decreased suspension, sharper steering and a few nice anthracite 19in alloys.
The RS6 wasn’t only a hotrod with a few boot space, though. There’s lots of interesting tech beneath its irresistible wheel arches.
Quattro AWD having a proper Torsen differential. A 5-speed (wow, an entire five!) tiptronic automatic gear box. An intricately set-up Dynamic Ride Control hydraulic suspension system.
And, if you would like some interior ‘connectivity’, the supply of the television with Teletext. You might laugh now (or perhaps ask what Teletext is), however in 2002 this could have struck me as witchcraft. All in, the entire factor capped 1.8 tonnes, which may appear heavy now, let alone then.
The way it feels they are driving today
I woudn’t express it feels heavy, though. Actually, this factor flings itself lower a road having a pace as indecent-feeling because the current, 600bhp RS6. Seriously.
Glance lower in the speedometer and also the figures aren’t quite up to they’d maintain the newer vehicle, however the experience of relentless acceleration is identical. For any vehicle that’s so mature in premise, its kicks are brilliantly childish.
There’s the smallest little bit of turbo lag when you initially prod the accelerator, a huge rush of power. And it’ll happily rev up to 7,000rpm, an elegant eight-cylinder burble supplying a backdrop into it all. Regardless of your previous performance vehicle experience, it’ll cause you to smile.
Don’t go thinking you have to heave around the brakes and shed everything speed to possess a vague hope of creating it around a large part, though. RS Audis might not have probably the most prolific hit-rate of dynamic success, however this isn’t a vehicle that immediately flops into understeer.
Actually, obtain the nose tucked right into a corner and, as you become back around the throttle, it feels similar to a larger, fatter Impreza. You are able to sense power visiting the rear axle to direct you out sleep issues.
Really ambitious cornering speeds will discover a flicker from the traction control light, as well as on the tight, leafy lanes of england, I think of the moments I’d feel man enough to obtain the ‘off’ switch inside a vehicle this huge could be couple of.
However for its size in the outdoors, you do not feel it inside. A present RS6 maybe have you thumping within the cats’ eyes to help keep a pleasant distance in the kerb, however in comparison, this feels impossibly narrow. Consequently, I’d argue you’ll use much more of its performance, a lot of time.
A unique mention for that steering. It’s super: quick, intuitive and fairly well weighted. Whether or not this felt this good when new I do not know – vehicle journalists have a tendency to enjoy moaning about steering greater than other things (myself incorporated) – but given how light on feel modern electric systems have grown to be (said!), this now feels fantastic.
It rides well, too, that Dynamic Ride Control system doing wonders to get rid of a few of the worse road surfacing Britain provides. There’s a little more squidge in the tyres than the usual modern fast German stuff, too, because of its 19in wheels. Though they fill the RS6’s (sublime) arches wonderfully.
Complaints? The automated transmission doesn’t react rapidly enough whenever you by hand pull the paddles, but neither is it quite clever enough when left to the own devices. It might feel as exciting like a current-gen RS6, but by God, have gearboxes arrive because the early 2000s. Though the simplicity five speeds as opposed to the modern trend for 8 or 9 is really a surprise pleasure.
If you are considering frequently driving this factor quickly, you could also wish to upgrade the brakes. It just required a couple of passes for that cornering shots within this gallery to allow them to begin to whiff a bit, which what food was in appropriate road speeds. All of the weight it shrugs off inside a straight line still must be slowed down…
Overall, though, it’s an absolutely beguiling vehicle. Also it feels so relevant today. Its performance hasn’t been hugely outstripped, it’s still best to drive, and also the interior is organized in a manner that – obsolescence of Teletext excluded – doesn’t feel wear and tear.
With all this generation of Audi A6 debuted within the mid-1990s, that’s seriously impressive. The types of materials are first class, too. This Plus boasts some superbly-weaved carbonfibre and ace suede and leather seats.
Do you know I truly loved it? Actually, it had been probably the most spoken about vehicle within the TG carpark all week…
What to take into consideration
Without stating the apparent, it’s essential that a vehicle such as this continues to be cared for correctly. Which means something every 12 several weeks, using the cambelt altered every 5 years, or 40,000 miles. Water pump needs to be altered simultaneously.
The gear box needs its oil and filter altering every 40,000 miles, too. And because of the work they’re given the job of, expect brake pads to last 10,000-15,000 miles around the front. There’s some considerable mass to slow lower, in the end. Some dvds and pads measures around ￡1,000.
Audi’s ‘Dynamic Ride Control’ product is an analog undertake adjustable dampers, accustomed to combat pitching and moving during cornering. Great if this works, however the system can leak.
Opposite corners from the vehicle (so front left and rear right, and the other way around) work off one another, so you have to replace both, though Mike Townsend of VAGTech states it’s also wise to update sleep issues of every axle. In a nutshell, one fails, you replace all. That is ￡2,000 before fitting, in a dealer with specialist equipment.
“I put Bilsteins on mine,” he states, citing them as a substitute, aftermarket fix. “You improve handling and it is all adjustable, and you receive a lifetime warranty.”
“Run it on Covering V-Power, grow it with Castrol Edge, just use genuine parts and make certain you let somebody that knows what they’re carrying out work onto it,Inches states Mike. “They also eat tyres!”
Mike states the tyres you fit really needs to be reasonably limited brand, too. Cheaper alternatives can rub from the suspension.
Every other advice? “Make sure you reside near a gas station!” We are able to concur. Our couple of days within the RS6 saw the trip computer read 12mpg, which incorporated a couple of stints around the freeway. An 82-litre gas tank causes it to be more manageable, but additionally ensures fills won’t be cheap…
Just how much to pay for
The least expensive C5 RS6s sit below ￡10,000, and can have in all probability north of 100,000 miles in it. No real issue if they’ve been cared for and appropriately serviced, obviously the quality here’s strong. Pay ￡11k upwards and you ought to obtain a vehicle having a full background and sub-100,000 miles.
Just remember that the VW Up cost does not necessarily mean similar running costs. “Maintenance costs happen to be astronomical on mine, expect 1000-pound bills every year,Inches states Mike.
If you would like an RS6 Plus, these start around ￡15,000, using the best touching ￡20,000. Once we visited press, there have been a couple of C5 RS6s priced greater than this, however these really should be fine examples, as ￡25,000 or more goes into second-gen, V10-powered RS6 territory.
And make preparations you to ultimately have patience: Audi offered 870 C5-generation RS6 Avants, 271 saloons, and 77 Avant Pluses. So figures around the second-hands market are pretty small.
“Why I really like mine”
Mike Townsend bought his RS6 Avant this year.
“I wanted something fast, practical and fun, and boy did this tick every box. I selected the Avant since i love estates, and happily, insurance was half the cost from the saloon version! The very first time I switched the important thing I fell for each other, there’s nothing much better than the seem of the V8. Following a short try out I had been offered, some cash exchanged hands and that i had purchased my first RS Audi.
“It was completely stock after i got it. For reassurance I’d a significant service and gear box flush inside my now employers VAGTech (it’s require me to pay much money I needed to obtain a job here!) after being told it had been among the best examples they’d seen, I had been given a clear bill of health insurance and was going.
“I think I’d it for around per week before I had been back for any Revo Stage 1 power map. A Milltek exhaust came next, making it seem incredible, adopted by downpipes and Stage 2 power. My Dynamic Ride Control unsuccessful, that was the right excuse to place the vehicle on coilovers and provide it setup it deserved from the factory.
“There happen to be further mods since. I’ve driven it everywhere and tried on the extender for everything, including camping, transporting twelve lengths of 6”x4” and sheets of ply for any work bench, and transporting a large block towards the engine reconditioners. However, the best memory is a visit to the Nürburgring, where we lapped five-track of luggage but still put ‘fast’ cars to shame.
“I did 46 miles on that day and used 43 litres of fuel. Yes, this vehicle includes a consuming problem! Make certain you reside near a gas station and also have shares inside it. However when it’s running sweet, burbling away and eating in the miles like it’s made to, there isn’t a location I’d prefer to be. It’s so comfortable and delicate, yet savage and crazy when you wish so that it is. I really like it and can never market it I plan for doing things as my hearse when time expires.Inches