The RS6 Avant performance estate debuted in 2002, putting a 444-bhp 4.2-litre twin-turbocharged V8 into the practical body style. The shape has changed little in the last 17 years – there are only so many ways to make an estate – but there have been significant upgrades made over the years. The video above, another from the Cars Evolution YouTube Channel, shows how the Audi RS6 Avant changed both in looks, performance, and technology.

The RS6 Avant has seen tremendous improvements in performance. In 2004, Audi released the RS6 Avant Plus. It, too, was powered by a 4.2-litre twin-turbo V8, except the mill produced 473 bhp, and had a top speed of 174 miles per hour, which was an increase from 155 mph. Audi built 999 examples. In 2008, Audi decided to make the RS6 Avant its most powerful car ever – at the time. It made 572 bhp and had a top speed of 155 mph. The power increase came from a bigger engine and two additional cylinders – a 5.0-litre twin-turbo V10. 

Two years later, in 2010, Audi released the RS6 Avant Plus. Horsepower stayed the same, but top speed jumped to 188 mph, and Audi built just 500 examples. The RS6 Avant had a change of heart in 2013 – Audi replaced the 5.0-litre V10 engine with a smaller twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. Horsepower dropped to 552 bhp, but top speed remained limited at 155 mph. This was the first time Audi made the air suspension standard on an RS model.

Gallery: Audi RS6 Avant (2019)

We now have the 2020 model. It’s a further evolution of the RS6 Avant. The 2020 Audi RS6 Avant still uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 except it’s now paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to increase performance. It makes 591 bhp. No pricing details yet but the new Audi RS6 Avant will be available to order in the UK from November 2019 and due for first customer deliveries in January 2020.