You might want to sit down for this bit. The standing start acceleration numbers the Audi RS6 recorded are genuinely staggering. This is a luxury estate car – five metres in length and more than 2.1 tonnes in weight with a driver aboard, remember – that could outsprint the last Porsche 911 GT2 we figured to 60mph. 2070 kilograms, 3.7 seconds, without the aid of launch control: unprecedented stuff.
And it would still be in touch with the mega Porsche – just two tenths of a second behind, in fact – going through a standing quarter mile.
Of much more import is the fact that the car roars through 100mph more than a second sooner than the last RS6 could (8.7- versus 9.9sec), and three tenths of a second before the current BMW M5. The BMW’s the faster car from 120mph onwards, but it’s also the lower, lighter option.
If taking two cylinders away from a car always had this effect, the whole industry would be doing it. The speed never feels savage, but on a less-than-perfectly-grippy surface the car can be spinning power away at both axles well beyond 60mph with the ESP switched out. It’s full-on and unrelentingly urgent, though, until well into three figures, the engine as flexible as it is brutishly potent under full load.