The Audi RS6 Performance replaces the old version of Audi’s sporty estate, and it’s joined by a pumped up RS7 too.

We love a fast estate car. So, you can imagine how pleased we were when BMW unveiled its brand new M3 Touring recently. Let’s be honest though, it’s Audi who really set the trend for fast estates back in the nineties with the RS2 Avant, so it’s only right that they came back swinging with their own new challenger to replace the regular RS6.

In its normal configuration, the Audi RS6 Avant was already quite a formidable machine, but now, with this new ‘Performance’ evolution, Audi has seemingly turned everything up a notch.

The headline is the powertrain. Still making use of the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, the new Audi RS6 Performance – and its platform-sharing RS7 Performance twin – comes tuned with an extra 30 horsepower and 37 lb ft of torque, achieved thanks to an extra 0.2 bar of boost. That lifts the respective output figures to 630hp and 627 lb ft. You’ll be able to hear those extra horses a bit better too, thanks to reduced sound insulation between the car’s engine bay and its driver.

The side profiles of the two new Audi Performance cars.

There are two options when it comes to wheel choice. Audi will fit these cars with either 21-inch or 22-inch lightweight alloys, which (in 22-inch form) weigh 20kg less than the set found on the outgoing standard RS6 and RS7. Their Y-spoke design is not only visually attractive, but also supposedly aids brake cooling. For a further degree of customization, black, grey, or gold finishes can be applied depending upon whichever style takes your fancy. Naturally, these high-end rims come wrapped in an equally performance-focused set of tyres, supplied by Continental, and specified at a rather large measurement of 285/30.

The car’s driving modes have also been tinkered with to provide what Audi describes as improved ‘emotionality’. One tangible example of this is quicker shift times. What’s more, the RS Dynamic Package – which was an optional extra on standard RS6s and RS7s – comes as standard with these new Performance cars. What that means in practice is that the top speed is raised to 180mph, and you get all-wheel dynamic steering too. Of course, this is the modern car industry we’re talking about, so not everything comes included. Ceramic brakes, for example, remain only an option on the Audi RS6 Performance and its RS7 Performance counterpart, and if you want the top speed raised to 189mph, that’ll cost you extra too.

The rear end of the Audi RS6 Performance and RS7 Performance.

On the road, Audi promises that this new duo will provide a more rewarding handling experience, but it’s fair to expect this to be an incremental change rather than a total reversal of character. Speaking of incremental improvements, the two cars’ 0-62mph times are down to just 3.4 seconds – an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the cars they replace.

All in all, a new Audi RS6 Performance will set you back £112,650 (or more than £130,000 when fully loaded), while the RS7 sportback variant will cost you a few grand more. Got some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? Then how about the modified Abt version instead…