But I wasn’t just going to skip on the chance of seeing how the S8 stacks up against the RS6. We’ve had our fair share of experiences with Audis over the past few years and we know these can be very fast and entertaining to drive. But can a road-going “yacht” like the S8 hold a candle to the mighty RS6? As always, looking over the performance figures for both cars might provide an initial clue.
The S8 makes use of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 with 420kW (563 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque. Audi claims that the S8 will go from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in just 3.8 seconds, which is nothing short of impressive for a car that weighs about 2,230 kg (4,916 lbs). A package like this won’t come cheap though but its worth every penny.
In the other corner, we all know that the RS6 is a formidable force, even though some people might look at it and think it’s just an ordinary station wagon. From the get-go, the RS6 is a lot cheaper. The twin-turbo V8 used here churns out 441kW (591 hp), but the same amount of torque as the S8. The RS6 is also lighter at 2,075 kg (4,574 lbs), which means it’s also faster to 60 mph (97 kph).
So, on paper at least, the RS6 should have the upper hand here, and you would think there’s no way the S8 can score a victory. For the first run, the S8 takes the lead from the very beginning, and even though the RS6 makes up for lost ground, it’s the luxury sedan that crosses the finish line first. They go for one more round, and it might just be that Mat, who’s driving the S8, has had more practice than the other driver.
An additional, third run has the same outcome, and it doesn’t look like the RS6 can do anything about it. Even so, both cars are pretty evenly matched, as the S8 needed 11.4 seconds to complete the quater-mile (402 meters), while its sibling was just 0.2 seconds behind. After the initial runs, we are treated to a rolling race, which should provide a favorable result for the lighter car.
They start at 80 kph (50 mph), and both cars are set to automatic and comfort mode. The RS6 immediately lunges forward, and it’s like the dynamics of this challenge have changed completely. After switching both cars to manual and Dynamic mode, they have another go at it, starting from third gear. As they go up to about 209 kph (130 mph), it’s clear that the RS6 is the faster car here.
The last test involves heavy braking from 113 kph (70 mph), and as expected, the RS6 is the winner here, thanks to being the lighter car. So regardless of how you look at it, if you want a fast Audi, just go for the station wagon and not the big sedan!