What you are looking at here is a very rare automobile. So rare in fact that just 860 of them ever made it to the United States. Back in the early 2000’s the Germans began having their version of a muscle car war. Horsepower ratings were going up and people wanted the biggest guns they could find. It started with BMW, and their stellar E39 M5 super sedan. This car came out in Europe in 1999 and set the world on its ear when BMW announce that it produced 400 HP / 396 LB.TQ. – back then those were huge numbers. It did 0-60 in under 5 seconds and only came in a manual… this car was downright cool.
Next up was Mercedes flying brick, the 2002 E55 AMG. Here too was another super sedan that put out 349 HP from it’s SOHC 5.4-liter V8. It was a bit more boxy than the BMW and unlike the M5, it only came with a 5-speed automatic transmission. No manual was ever offered. Both sedans were electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph. Which was kind of a drag for anyone who wanted to really check out their uncorked potential.
Then Audi showed up to the party and decided to throw a monkey wrench into the machine in the form of their amazing RS6. The standard S6 from Audi was already an amazing performance car, but by releasing the new RS, Audi brought the super sedan wars home and pissed off a lot of M5 and E55 owners in the process. The RS6 was released in 2002 and right out of the box it was meant to put the hurt on its German brothers.
The Audi, in it’s own subtle way had some big advantages over the BMW and Mercedes. First off, it launched like no other car of the day thanks to Audi’s amazing AWD system. Secondly it was fast… like really fast. Audi decided to take the amazing 4.2-liter V8 they had in the S6 and slap two turbos on it. This bumped output from 340 HP to 450 HP with a torque rating of 415 LB.FT. Numbers higher than both the Bimmer and the Benz. Audi did limited the top speed, but it was “limited” at 167 mph, not 155 mph. This was a nice touch and gave full on bragging rights to any and all RS6 owners.
If there was one down side to the RS6 it had to be the price, as manufactures retail was over $80,000.00. This was 5K more than the BMW and almost 10K more than the Benz. The 2002-2004 Audi RS6 is one of those cars that only enthusiasts really know about. It’s a rare bird that is, to this day feared at stop lights everywhere. It’s also a car that I have never had the opportunity of driving, which for me is quite aggravating. One day though maybe my chance will come and I’ll be able to give you guys a full review of one of my favorite four door hammers.