Owning an Audi RS6 4.2 V8 Twin Turbo

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You know you want one. You can probably even afford one due to the monumental depreciation. But can you afford to run one?

Here are my experiences of 3 glorious years RS6 ownership. I hope you find it helpful.

I was lucky enough to have a successful business back in 2004 and decided to buy the car of my dreams - an RS6.

Actually, it hadn't quite worked out like that. I'd bought the new 4.2 Audi S4 and had so much trouble with it I'd left it on the dealers forecourt and written to Audi in Germany to reject the car. After many arguments they eventually agreed to give me the full purchase price of the S4 against the purchase of a new RS6.

£62,000 didn't seem much back then....

At the outset I decided to take advantage of the Audi Tyres, Service and Maintenance plan. A jolly good deal as it turns out. At an annual mileage agreement of 10,000 miles it cost just £60 per month.

I knew I would exceed 10k per year but the excess mileage wasn't too bad. I eventually did just over 43k in the 3 years and had to pay an extra £900. So my running costs (excluding fuel - we'll come to that) were 36x£60 = £2,160 plus the £900. Just over £3,000 or £1,000 per year!

But what would the real costs have been without the super maintenance plan? A damn site more.

In that time I had 4 sets of tyres fitted which would have cost approx £200 per tyre so that's about £3,200 (see, I said the maintenance plan was a steal)

Next we have servicing. I didn't know exactly how much they charged because I never saw the bills but I cannot imagine even the small services (10k and 30k) were much under £200 due to the expensive fully synthetic oil and the sheer amount of it required. The 20k service was a fairly big one and no doubt £300 ish but the 40k was a monster full day affair and had to be at least £300 so to be conservative we'll call it £1,000. And a bi-annual brake fluid change for another £100.

A particularly sore point with Audi maintenance was the cambelt change. I had the car booked in on its third birthday for two reasons. One was that the warranty expired on that day and the second was that the maintenance also ended. Boy did they argue the toss over the cambelt. First they tried to say it wasn't due until 60k. I had already got it in writing from Audi that it was 3 years - mileage irrelevant. Then they tried to say that I wasn't covered because I'd exceeded the maintenance mileage. I pointed out that since they were charging excess mileage they had to pay and that the mileage didn't matter - they would have had to pay even if I'd only done 50 miles!!

Cambelt prices varied according to where in the country you were but the 7.8 hour (or 5.6 depending on who you talk to) job will cost around £1,000.

Lets not forget brakes. Two sets of front discs, three (maybe four, I lost count) of front pads and one set of rear discs and two rear pads. The fronts are 8 piston calipers so imagine the size of them. I reckon on a full set of front and rear pads and discs costing a grand so lets be generous and say £2,500 for braking.

So a VERY conservative estimate for 3 years 45k miles running excluding fuel would be £7,500 or £2,500 per year. Fuel ran at about 25 to the gallon (so they say - I don't think I really ever saw much over 20) and we'll call a litre of super £1 (I know it isn't now) so that adds another £8000. £15,000 over 3 years - wow.

Don't forget insurance and the inevitible repair bills that a 4 or 5 year old 50k mile supercar will need.

Also ask a very important question of the seller - has the DRC been repaired. DRC stands for Dynamic Ride Control and is the fluid based system consisting of the shocks and valves which on a survey at RS246.com (great website for info about the pitfalls and joys) 77% of surveyed RS6 owners had suffered problems with. The system was a pain for inexperienced dealers to repair and regularly failed more than once. A 3k repair for a whole set. My car failed its first MOT on leaking NSF shocker.

Might be an idea to factor in £2,500 per year for an Audi extended warranty. There are others available but they are almost not worth the paper they are printed on due to the max claim limits compared to the vast cost of RS6 engines/auto boxes etc. £7.5k + a year to run a car; heavens.

So would I buy another one? F*CK yeah. Best car I have ever owned. Could I afford to run one now? Not a chance.

Please add a further £1,800 that I may have spent at AMD on a stage 1 tune to 515 BHP but you can't prove anything and I'm not talking.

Oh, and please remember to click if you found this guide helpful - I may get round to writing about the S4..or the Saab Aero..or the M3..or the Carrera 4 - You get the idea.

I thought I'd add a 2013 P.S. after reading the review again and realising I didn't mention the performance which may be what you were hoping for.

Having owned the M3 and S4 plus a selection of motorbikes, I was no stranger to 'fast'. What separates the RS6 from any of the other fast cars I'd owned was the sheer ease of use.

I didn't choose the RS6 on a whim. The seeds were possibly planted many years previous when I'd worked at an Audi dealer. A customer with an new RS2 had reported that an engine light intermittently came on and after no luck diagnosing it, he requested an overnight road-test. I pulled rank and got the 'job'. His parting words were something like 'it only comes on when you give it a bit of welly'. That's a bit like the supermodel who's chatting to you saying that she prefers short ugly men!

I'd experienced the thrill of turbo charged engines whilst working for Saab and wasn't disappointed with the rush experienced when flooring a turbo engine, albeit a 2.2 litre, 5 cylinder one. The RS2 was brutal and I new that one day I had to have one. Faster 0-30 mph than a McLaren F1 road car and 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

Shoot forward 9 or so years and I was actually in a position to consider something similar. I'd had a 2.6 Audi A4, a few 2.3 Turbo Saab 9000 CSEs and even a new Saab 93 Aero but was now ready for an S4 and as luck would have it, Audi had just released their spanking new 4.2 V8 version. But hold on; no turbo! On an S car. Could this be possible? I scuttled down to the dealer for a test drive and loved it. No deals to be had as it was a new car but I did get a set of floor mats thrown in. The S4 had bugger all standard equipment so by the time I'd specced one up with Bose, Sat Nav, full leather (it didn't even get that as standard!) it added nigh on 10K to the price. Oh, and it had to be in nogaro blue to be a real S car.

After a long wait it was ready for collection and it went downhill from then. At collection, one of the rear doors wouldn't open. Later, the bonnet jammed shut. An engine mounting broke plus a few smaller problems. Oh, and the dealer left the suspension shipping rubbers in (that stop the suspension working when in transit - quality)

I'd had enough by then and wanted a refund to scuttle off and buy a new M3 so I dropped it on the forecourt, took an A3 diesel loan car and told them to keep it. After a week I was a little fed up driving around in a 3 door hatch so I phoned audi customer care who said they'd sort me a car from their demonstrator fleet to use while Germany decided what to do about the lemon, as the S4 had come to be known. Little did I know that the sneaky b'stards were about to butter me up big time. They asked me to collect the replacement car from Dartford - quite a trek for me, but I was fed up enough with the A3 that I agreed. I couldn't believe my eyes when the pointed to the RS6 and gave me the keys. I genuinely had to sit in the car for 10 mins before driving off to let my heart rate settle down a bit. I couldn't believe they were trusting me with a 60k + car.

I soon got used to it, though. Too bloody used to it. So used to it that I had to have one. Then the negotiating started. I already mentioned the deal I got above and it had to be on a stock car. Luckily there was a black on black one (black car + interior) that was my chosen combination, available. The RS6 has a standard specification that actually makes 60k (if you say it fast) seem like good value compared to many other performance cars. Indeed, it came standard with everything I'd paid extra for on the S4 - A Bose sound system with sub-woofer (really) sat-nav with TV reception and the ability to feed in dvd or games console feeds easily, full leather plus alcantara  (suede effect to you and me) head lining, heated front AND rear seats for that just urinated feeling, electric adjustable front seats, cruise control and 19 inch wheels. The only option they had to dealer fit was the window tints. So the deal was done and for good measure, I crashed the loaner before returning it. Not on purpose - I hit some ice (quattro isn't that good) on a bend and took out a car coming the other way. Oops, sorry Audi.

The RS6 only comes in auto. They fancy it up by putting those tippy tronic flappy paddle things on so you think you are in control but it's an auto. On many autos the sport selection on the gearbox just seems to make more noise. On the RS6 it holds it in gear longer and really makes it fly; and drink. It sups from the well of super unleaded at a rate to make Esso and Shell smile and the Green lobby weep. Oh, did I mention it has to be run on Super before? Doesn't really like the cheap stuff at all and you certainly won't get the 4.6 second dash to 60 mph on Asda basic gnats' pee blend.

The thing is, it's the auto that makes this car so easy to drive. My kids tell me that my wife used to burn up the local boy racers in their souped up jap cars. Never mentioned it at the time. But that's what makes it such a practical day to day performance car. Mine was the estate so the 455 litres of load space with the back seats down meant that dump runs could be completed easily and shopping collected with no drama. I once had to meet my wife at Argos when she'd got too eager with the 3 for 2 toy offers and found out quite how limited the Porsche 911 is for luggage loading.

The stage one AMD tune that I may have had transformed the driveabilty even further by not only upping the power but holding the car in a gear and letting the engine do the work rather than that stupid auto box changing down, accelerating for a fraction of a second then having to change back up again. It also de-restricted the car and it may have approached 180 mph (on the autobahn) To be honest, even before de-restricting it seemed to accelerate over the 155 anyway. In fact, my trusty Tom Tom indicated a steady 167 mph.

We completed a family holiday to Italy in the car with no issues at all travelling through Switzerland an Austria with a sure footedness that made me feel safe and a level of comfort for all five of us and luggage that I now compare every car I get, to.

Did it go like stink? Yes. Did it drink fuel even when pottering? Yes. Will that stop you wanting to race anyone that even twitches? Nope. The power was effortless which may get you into trouble as the only thing between you and a ban is your self control. Some cars have to be driven hard to perform. The RS6 is simply point and go. I was lucky enough to drive one at Silverstone on an Audi performance day and I have to say they hold their own on a track for such a huge car. They just don't feel like a boat and the really do go round corners. Fast.

On a final note, as far as I recall, all RS6 came with a tracker fitted as standard so try to get the paperwork and maybe get it checked to see if it still works. Good luck, I know that none of what I have said will put you off wanting one. I've just had the 6th member of the family arrive so I am waiting for the delivery of my new Q7. I've just had an A6 2.0 TDI for 2 years but it was so functional there's nothing to write about it.

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