|March 7, 2002
Audi Highlights from Geneva
Two things stuck out in Geneva this year: striped ties and the Audi RS 6's. The first thing is a bit silly, really, and yet I mention it because of the overwhelming ubiquity of the Brooks Bros. style cravat. It was if Santa Claus brought all the good journalists diagonal striped ties this year.
But I digress.
The truly important event, at least from an Audi perspective, was the world debut of the new RS 6 sedan and Avant models. As like last year Audi did not hold a formal press conference, but rather chose to let the automotive specimens speak for themselves on the show floor. They didn't just speak; they were loquacious.
Two years ago I made my first trip to Geneva and was greeted by the intriguing RS4. This year the RS 6's lived up to the high standard set by that predecessor. With two versions to choose from, there was actually twice as much to take in.
Both vehicles start with the aggressively wide exterior styling of the A6 4.2 and add subtle hints of improvement. On the sedan, for example, there's the trunk spoiler. Each car has also been slightly lowered into a more potent stance and has over-large RS 6 logo'd brakes. Special RS 6 badging also tells the world that this is not just an A6 Avant (or even an S6 Avant for that matter). Aero styling that begins on the nose - including mesh grille - completes its task on the rear of the vehicles where fat dual exhausts stylishly emerge from beneath the car.
Meanwhile on the inside there are numerous distinctive "RS" features. From insanely form-fitting Recaro seats to carbon fiber dash elements and RS 6 badging, the cars are uniquely appointed.
Let's not forget the engine. At 450 bhp, the V8 biturbo is a monster by any contemporary standards. Of course nobody from the press has had the opportunity to spend any time behind the wheel, but I can imagine that these vehicles are as good as anything Audi puts to asphalt (Lemans race cars excepted).
Suffice it to say I was impressed with the RS 6 package. I am biased to the Avant version - something about a supercar station wagon that is too unique to pass up - but I'd take either version if it suddenly appeared in my driveway.