Praise the Wagon Gods, the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant is Coming to America

Wolfe

Physics Critic
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SUVs can tackle offroad terrain just as well as trucks can if needed. Though station wagons are for people that want the handling characteristics of a car while still having cargo space similar to the other 2 vehicles.
An AWD wagon with a modest ride height can also tackle most unpaved drives, easements, or access roads most of the time, combining limited offroad ability, all-weather confidence, and cargo space with the handling characteristics and fuel efficiency of a car. That's how my wagon sold me on Subarus. :)

Of course, that doesn't apply so much to performance wagons with low-profile summer tires and low ride heights. And thirsty engines.

Personally though, I never understood the visibility argument. I've been in both trucks and SUVs, I never felt like I had a better view of the road than in a car.
I think it's a matter of drivers one-upping other drivers, because like you mentioned in your post, driving a tall vehicle prevents other tall vehicles from blocking your visibility.
 
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It'll be interesting to see how a new version of the RS6 compares to a similarly-priced used AMG E63. I have been kicking around the idea in my head of picking up a 4-6 year old E350/400/450 wagon or E63.
 
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TenEightyOne
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They are way too heavy for enjoyable sporty driving, they have bad weight distribution and a bad center of gravity.

There's no practical weight difference between a saloon model and an estate model, surely? A quick googling suggests that there's a 30kg difference between the A6 estate (wagon) and saloon. I always thought (can't find the figures) that the Volvo 850 estate was actually lighter than the saloon.

As a car they're more practical, you can get a lot more in them and they're great for doing actual touring car stuff.
 

Wolfe

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In terms of performance/track-oriented penalties compared to a sedan, a wagon generally loses out on some chassis rigidity. I got curious and found some data:

BMW E46 3-series Limousine -- 18,000Nm/degree of torsion
BMW E46 3-series Touring -- 14,000Nm/degree
Cadillac CTS Sedan -- 19,143Nm/degree
Cadillac CTS Wagon --18,416Nm/degree
Jaguar X-Type Saloon -- 22,000Nm/degree
Jaguar X-Type Estate -- 16,319Nm/degree
 

Danoff

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I find it so strange that in performance SUV and wagon threads we go down this bizarre "why do people want this" experiment. The very first answer to that questions is "because you get wet in the rain on motorcycles" (and also die in an accident). And it sorta naturally extends adding more and more practicality and comfort until you end at a bus-sized RV.

It's not a motorcycle, ergo you do not care about driving experience, ergo you should not want the performance package? How does this type of thinking get past anyone's brain-mouth filter? Why are people justifying the performance of wagons? They're more practical for some applications than sedans, therefore you might want a performance wagon. End of story.
 

Joey D

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I always thought (can't find the figures) that the Volvo 850 estate was actually lighter than the saloon.

The turbo sedan weighs more than the non-turbo wagon, but the turbo wagon weighs more than the turbo sedan. Although, it's not by much and these are figures from North America.

850 sedan 3120-3250 lbs (1415-1519 kg) 1385-1520 kg
850 wagon 3230-3460 lbs (1465-1569 kg) 1465-1570 kg

#volvonerd
 

Duke

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I think it's a matter of drivers one-upping other drivers, because like you mentioned in your post, driving a tall vehicle prevents other tall vehicles from blocking your visibility.
Ride height is an arms race that ends at the upper limit of acceptable handling and practical ingress / egress. Then we are all back in exactly the same boat of not being able to see over traffic - except now we're all 2 feet farther off the ground. It's idiotic.
 

Danoff

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Ride height is an arms race that ends at the upper limit of acceptable handling and practical ingress / egress. Then we are all back in exactly the same boat of not being able to see over traffic - except now we're all 2 feet farther off the ground. It's idiotic.

I don't think it has that much to do with being able to see over others, although I do think people get annoyed when they are below the average height for vehicles on the road.

As I'm sure you and many people in this thread are aware, ride height of course has advantages for clearing snow, rock, mud, and water.

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Part of the reason I like to have at least one vehicle with decent ride height, is because occasionally I want to get around in large amounts of snow, and I like having an SUV that can plow through a snow drift that comes up to the hood and still make it through. I'm only willing to chase that dragon so far. Some people (like the guy in the photo) chase it a lot further, because they want to be prepared for hurricane level floods.

I think a lot of people who go after the extreme ride height, especially pickup truck types, do it because they want to convey the sense that they're doing hardcore off-road stuff. Even if they are not. I try not to get super judgey about that though, since I like driving fast cars and not taking them to the track.

There is a degree of "I like to be prepared for unusual events, therefore I have this compromise all the time" that people seem to tolerate well, and another degree that they don't. My neighbor has a monster truck like the one in the photo here in CO where there will be no hurricane floods. As best I can tell he doesn't take it off road. He has also made the bed of the truck virtually unusable because it is too far off the ground. I judge, a little.
 

Duke

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I don't think it has that much to do with being able to see over others, although I do think people get annoyed when they are below the average height for vehicles on the road.
I'm referring to stock, consumer vehicles. When I ask people why they want an SUV as opposed to a car, 90% say "I want more space." When I point out that any minivan has much more usable interior space than an SUV, 99% of them say "Well, I like to sit up high so I can see over traffic."

When every idiot like this drives an SUV, will they be able to see over traffic? Berking NO, they won't. Traffic will just be higher than it used to be.

I judge, a lot.
 
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Wolfe

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Ride height is an arms race that ends at the upper limit of acceptable handling and practical ingress / egress. Then we are all back in exactly the same boat of not being able to see over traffic - except now we're all 2 feet farther off the ground. It's idiotic.
I've read that part of the reason crossovers and SUVs are so popular now is because of easier ingress/egress. Given the economic and cultural/generational factors at play these days, car buyers have skewed older, to people who find it more comfortable to slip onto/off a seat around hip height and don't feel like dropping into or climbing out of a car.
 

VXR

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I know it's a different era and car design is far more maximal now, but this and the previous RS6 along with the last two RS4s just don't have that taught, rippling body that the 2001 and 2006 RS4 avants did. It helps that those two had more upright tailgates and squarer rear side windows.
 

ROAD_DOGG33J

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holyc0w1
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I'm referring to stock, consumer vehicles. When I ask people why they want an SUV as opposed to a car, 90% say "I want more space." When I point out that any minivan has much more usable interior space than an SUV, 99% of them say "Well, I like to sit up high so I can see over traffic."

When every idiot like this drives an SUV, will they be able to see over traffic? Berking NO, they won't. Traffic will just be higher than it used to be.

I judge, a lot.

Sliding doors are also a very convenient feature. Lots of good reasons to get a minivan over an SUV, but they just don't get bought. Maybe they're not cool enough?

I've read that part of the reason crossovers and SUVs are so popular now is because of easier ingress/egress. Given the economic and cultural/generational factors at play these days, car buyers have skewed older, to people who find it more comfortable to slip onto/off a seat around hip height and don't feel like dropping into or climbing out of a car.

I thought part of the reason for SUV popularity was safety. When you get far enough along, Joe Shmoe can drive over Joe Miata without even noticing. And they'll be ready for the 0-10 good snow days in the winter even though they're on all-season tires.
 

Danoff

Who is John Galt?
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Sliding doors are also a very convenient feature. Lots of good reasons to get a minivan over an SUV, but they just don't get bought. Maybe they're not cool enough?

They get bought a lot. I think (based on quickly looking) that minivans in total may out-sell all 2-door cars.

I think that if I did not have little kids I would go SUV over minivan just for the additional ride height (for snow capability) and towing. My Sienna is better in the snow than most vehicles, and it does tow (a little), but I'd go bigger on both of those if I could trust the kids to open doors without hitting the other cars. Power doors is just an insanely handy feature for little ones too, but not as helpful for adults.

I love my van, but I think I could love an SUV even more, if it were the right one.
 
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RS6 Performance Edition unveiled.

This flagship trim features the same 4.0L V8 but with a larger turbocharger, allowing for 30 more horsepower, making for a total of 621hp and a 0-60 time 0.2 seconds quicker (3.2 seconds compared to 3.4). Also included are dynamic all-wheel steering, a rear quatro sport differential, the elimination of all insulation, and an increased top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h). Customers seeking more performance can opt for the RS Dynamic Package Plus, which includes a carbon ceramic braking system that is 75 lbs (34 kg) lighter than its steel counterpart. The optional package also increases the top speed to 190 mph (305 km/h).

On the styling front, the performance variants ride on 21-inch aluminum wheels that feature a ten-spoke star design. Customers can also opt for larger 22-inch wheels that are available in a variety of finishes – ranging from matte black to matte gold – and feature a motorsport-inspired design that helps to aid brake cooling. Furthermore, each of the 22-inch wheels is around 11 lbs (5 kg) lighter than the 22-inch wheels found on the standard models.


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Moglet

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Moglet85
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One of my neighbours has a 2021 RS6 Avant with an Akrapovic exhaust and not once when it has thundered down my road sounding like the end of the world is coming have I ever felt like it needed more power, but here we are.