Intro to the buyers guide:
Fontain has been Specialising in Audi since 1995, sharing the information we learn along the way. We have put this series of written and video buyers guides together, as we believe buying carefully helps you get the best value car when buying.
Being an informed buyer helps avoid unexpected costs and plan future maintenance!
For the full video form of this buyers guide, check out our YouTube channel or Facebook page. @fontainmotors
Hello, I am Alex from Fontain Motors, welcome to another one of our buying guides, and today we are going to be talking about the third generation C7 model, Audi RS6 Avant, that ran from 2013 to 2018, facelift model in 2015 and the performance variant launched in 2016. Mechanically it’s a very similar car to the RS7 Sportback, but for the purposes of this video, we are going to stick to the RS6, as that made up the volume of sales in the UK.
All versions of the C7 RS6 use the same 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8, with cylinder on demand. They all use the 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, Quattro four-wheel drive and UK cars are fitted with a sport differential, that’s the torque vectoring diff in the rear axle as standard.
The basic RS6 has 560 ps, the performance version has 605 ps. Facelift cars from 2015 on didn’t have any power than they did before the facelift, but there were some improvements to emissions and fuel economy, that as a pleasant bonus, got you slightly cheaper road tax too.
Driving and Performance:
Even the standard RS6 has 560 ps, metric horsepower, 62 in 3.9 seconds, I won’t go on too much on performance figures because they are pretty well documented, videos, recorded elsewhere, chances are you know them already. Suffice to say, if it isn’t quick enough for you, I don’t know what is.
The noise, and for a lot of people, reason enough to buy the car all on its own. All RS6s sound pretty good. It’s a beautiful sounding engine, even better still with the factory fitted sports exhaust, which a lot of people did choose as an option.
Gearbox and Four-Wheel Drive:
As I said, all RS6s use the 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, it does a lovely Jekyll and Hyde impression. Beautifully smooth under normal driving, very refined and quiet on the motorway thanks to tall gearing. But also plenty quick when you’re pressing on.
Quattro four-wheel drive fitted as standard to all cars, it is a full-time four-wheel-drive system and UK RS6s all get the Quattro sport differential in the rear axle, which gives torque vectoring contributing massively to the car’s agility. That is one of the reasons why this car is, despite being quite big, really does feel like it shrinks around you. It is not unwieldy, it’s not a daunting size, you can use it and it does work well in the UK.
Comfort and practicality:
First and foremost, this is an A6 Avant. It has a massive boot. It can fit 4 full size grown-ups in it comfortably and it comes very well equipped. The memory foam electric Super Sports seats are standard, they’re very supportive, they’re great on a long journey and help you get out feeling relaxed. Rear seat passengers won’t complain about knee room and the ride quality is really very very good indeed, particularly in comfort mode as they do have adaptive air suspension as standard.
For a holiday or for a road trip, touching back on the gearbox again, they’re pretty tall geared. So at sensible motorway speeds, they are barely doing 2000 rpm. When you are cruising, the cylinder on demand means that the engine is running on just 4 cylinders, so even fuel economy is very very good. Everything you might like about an A6 is here, but with awesome performance on top. It is a very very easy car to use, every single day should you choose to.
Equipment and Options on RS6:
What came as standard? At launch, the 2013 RS6 was actually pretty well equipped as standard for an Audi. All cars got twenty-inch wheels, adaptive air suspension, Bose speakers, electric memory Super Sports seats that were heated as well. In 2015, in the facelift, they gained some styling tweaks as well as the distinctive LED Matrix headlamps. And the performance variant launched in 2016, took that a little bit further with twenty-one in wheels as standard, sport exhaust, carbon and Alcantara inside with blue highlights and a bit more power.
Colours for an RS6:
Starting with the inside because that’s quick and easy. They were available with black or Lunar silver, which is like an off-white sort of magnolia colour. Most people in the UK went for black.
Paint colours, pretty traditional RS colours really. The most desirable ones are blacks, dark blue, particularly Sepang and Daytona grey. Red and white cars, fewer round, tend to be a little bit cheaper and if you were really feeling flash when ordering one, you could go to Audi Exclusive and have an Audi paint from a different car, or if you found something else you liked, Audi will probably even colour match a shoe.
The Internet’s favourite arguments on RS6:
Do you need DRC? Do you need Dynamic Pack? Standard suspension on a C7 is Sports Adaptive air-suspension. It does work really well, it does give you great body control, it does give you great comfort. I really like it, a lot of other people do as well, but you can upgrade it further. If you did choose Dynamic Pack, that included a raised limiter from 155mph to 174mph.
Dynamic steering, which is the variable-ratio rack and also DRC Sport Suspension which is a hydraulic system, rather than the air-system as standard. Road testers when the car was new, said pretty much unanimously that it offers the best body control, some people find it slightly firm. I think it’s a personal thing, both work well, both have a comfort mode. I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely essential to have.
One above Dynamic Pack, you could also add Dynamic Pack Plus, which is very very easily recognised and also very rare in that it gave you carbon-ceramic brakes.
Desirable optional extras for RS6:
The one that we get asked about most commonly is probably the panoramic glass sunroof, it was an option on all models and remains very desirable on the used market. You tend to find that you don’t have the glass panel open all that often, but it is really really nice because it fills the cabin with natural light, makes it feel bright, airy and spacious.
Another one people really want, in fact, most buyers seem to prefer twenty-one-inch alloy wheels, rather than the standard twenties. They fill out the arches well and give the car a lovely stance, finishing off the look of it.
As standard, RS6s got a few sorts of matt silver highlight pieces around the body, you had a choice of an additional styling pack that added to the front bumper, the grills, around the exhaust, really highlighted the styling of the car. You could have that either in matt aluminium, which as the name suggests gave you those trims in a matt aluminium finish, gloss black, which as the name suggests, gave gloss black trims. Carbon styling, that replaced a few of the black pieces with carbon and on the performance edition, you could even have Titanium Styling Pack, although as that had a slightly yellow champagne colour a lot of people with the performance did switch it to one of the other trims.
Sports Exhaust System on RS6:
All RS6s do have a switchable exhaust system as standard, but the standard one is a little bit quiet, for what is a really lovely sounding engine. Most people wanted and did go for the factory sport exhaust system. Lets the engine sing, gives it lots of nice bangs and crackles on the over-run or when you are letting off the throttle.
There was also the option of the Audi Sport system, but that was an all-titanium system made by Akrapovic. Very expensive, very rare, but does sound lovely if you can find it.
Option packs of RS6:
By the time you had a panoramic sunroof and twenty ones and the sports exhaust, you already had yourself a really nice RS6. But being an Audi, there is, of course, quite a long options list of additional features a lot of people liked. Some key ones being Assistance Pack, which gave you adaptive cruise control and a few other driving assists. And 2 different parking packs, one giving you just a reversing camera and one giving you 360 cameras.
Faults and Problems:
The C7 RS6 might very well be the most reliable RS car that we see. Not to jinx anyone or anything, we see very very few problems with them. That’s not to say nothing happens, and if you have a little look around yourself, throw it into Google, there are 2 maybe 3 things that do come up.
The first two main ones, they kind of relate to each other. Wheels and brakes. As we were saying before, most buyers did opt for the 21-inch wheels, they look really really good. But, being a very big and wide alloy wheel, if you hit one of a curb, on a bump, on a pothole, run something over, it can buckle the wheel. This is one of those problems, that quite how bad it is, the internet makes it sound a lot lot worse than the reality. Unless the wheel is severely damaged, so if it does just pick up a minor buckle from hitting a pothole, it can be repaired, there is no need to replace it. And, repairing alloy wheels by a qualified professional doesn’t need to be all that expensive.
You will know if a car has a potential problem in this area. Generally speaking, driving at motorway speed, you’ll get a little bit of vibration through the seat, through the pedals, through the steering wheel.
That ties onto the second fairly common issue, brake vibration. Miss use of the brakes, so getting them really really hot and then sitting in traffic with your foot on the pedal is not very good for the brake disks. Incorrect installation, so not cleaning the mating faces when the disks are put on, or even installing new brake disks on a car that already has a buckled alloy wheel. These can all cause a distortion in the brake disk that manifests itself as a nasty vibration through the pedal.
If you have an RS6 or you are looking at buying one that you think might have a problem with vibration, as I say, the alloy wheels can, in the vast majority, of cases be repaired. Brake disks, if they have good material in them, can even be skimmed to avoid the cost of replacement.
The third small issue that crops up very occasionally, and really is a very small issue and is probably another than that the internet has blown out of proportion, towards the back of the engine there is a water hose that’s reasonably near a metal clip, there have been a couple of stories where the owners have reported that the clip rubbed through the hose, caused a water leak and the hose is tricky to replace.
In many C7 RS6s and RS7s coming in here through sales and service, we’ve never seen the leak. If it something you’re worried about, or it bothers you, moving the clip a little bit further away from the hose is a 30-second job you can do yourself.
Now just because the RS6 has proved itself such a good quality car, that’s no reason to be complacent when you’re looking at one. It is still very important with a big, heavy, high powered car to carry out your due diligence. Make sure it hasn’t suffered from neglect or a lack of maintenance. Make sure it hasn’t had poor quality modifications that might cause you warranty or repair issues down the line.
Maintenance and Running Costs:
Again, not too painful on an RS6, pretty standard Audi stuff. 10,000 miles for an oil change or one year, 20,000 miles for inspection service, or 2 years. Then at 40,000 miles, you do the major service. Major service on an RS6 is an oil and inspection, as a normal service with the addition of a set of spark plugs, air filters and Audi do also schedule at 40,000 miles, but separate to the service, changing the oil in the rear differential.
If you have an RS6, thinking of an RS6, already have an RS6 and want to know what it’s going to cost you to run, you can visit Fontain.co.uk, click on Audi servicing, enter the registration number of your own RS6 or other Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda car, and you will get fixed menu prices instantly, you can even book it online.
Tell us, would you buy the C7 V8 engine car over the V10 that came before it? The big question, less power in the new car, more power in the old car. What would you buy?
At Fontain Motors we have been specialising in Audi for, at the time we wrote this, 25 years. We stock and sell really good, high specification well maintained Audi, including a lot of the S and RS cars.
If you are thinking of selling a really really lovely Audi, we are always looking to buy them for stock. We’d love to hear from you. We maintain them as well. We do all of our service and repair work in-house. As I say, you can quote and book it online. Loan cars are available free of charge and your digital Audi service records are updated with any work carried out by Fontain.