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    / #Audi-RS6-Avant-C5 / #Audi-RS6-C5 / #Audi-RS6-Avant / #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-A6-C5 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi /

    Back in #2002 the #V8 twin-turbo all-wheel drive Audi RS6 Avant was the world’s fastest estate. With 450bhp it outgunned both the contemporary BMW M5 E39 and Mercedes-Benz E55 W210; and until AMG upped its horsepower game, this was the undisputed king of the supercar load-luggers.

    Priced then at £66,675 it was limited to 155mph, but with a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds it could out-drag a Ferrari 360 and Porsche Carrera C4. If you bypassed the limiter, it could hit an astonishing 190mph. Between April and September 2004 Audi built a limited edition of 999 run-out C5 models known as the Plus, each with a numbered plaque on the transmission tunnel. The #Cosworth-tweaked 4.2 V8 cranked out 473bhp with a new ECU and it had sports suspension, pressure optimised exhaust (for more noise), quicker steering rack, 19-inch six-spoke alloys and a black body ‘Optic Pack’. Only 70 UK Plus versions were delivered so these are the rarest C5 RS6 Avants of all – and they’re limited to 175mph.

    While ‘normal’ 2002 to 2004 RS6 Avants can be bought for £10-£15k, a genuine factory Plus is worth an easy £20,000.

    A private Yorkshireman has just sold a lovely 2004 in black with 48,000 miles and eight stamps in the book for a very low £13,995 and I’m thinking he can’t have known what he was selling. Prices and desirability have stayed very strong and as far back as 2014 Historics managed to secure £14k for a silver 86,000- miler – which shows just how cheap that Yorkshire car was.

    As one of the rarest and most collectible Audis it’s worth checking all ads for #2004 RS6 Avants and looking for the distinctive black exhausts and roof rails just in case another bargain Plus slips through your fingers. All RS6s need converting to coil-over suspension because the original factory-specified gas shocks don’t last long and the five-speed #Tiptronic-ZF gearbox regularly fails too. #ZF said it needed regular oil and filter changes but Audi told owners it was sealed for life. Bills for gearbox oil changes are a good sign but if not, check the box works properly when it’s fully hot because torque converter issues and sludgedup valve bodies are common.

    Find a cherished RS6 or RS6 Plus Avant and you’ll own a classic Audi legend that can only grow in both value and stature.

    COST NEW £66.7K 2002 UK

    VALUE NOW £15K 2018 UK
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    Bad. In a very good way

    Glen Waddington tests the new #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S / , the two-tonne limo that goes like a supercar. / #Mercedes-AMG-E63-S-4MATIC-W213 / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-E63-S-4MATIC / #Mercedes-Benz-AMG-E63-S-4MATIC-W213 / #Mercedes-Benz-W213 / #Mercedes-Benz-E-Class / #Mercedes-Benz-E-Class-W213 / #2017 / #Mercedes-Benz

    FIRST UP, a number. Quite a large number: 604bhp. Not far shy of what a McLaren F1’s 6.0-litre V12 managed. Still enough for serious supercar territory. Only this is in a rather substantial executive car.

    The grunt comes from a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, seen already in the smaller C63 and the more hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT coupé. Only it’s been tuned further for this application. Naturally enough, ‘it’s the most powerful #E-Class ever,’ says Oliver Wiech, director of vehicle development for #Mercedes-AMG .

    And there have been plenty of powerful E-classes before. I always harboured a soft spot for the last generation, with its hugely luxuriant and satisfyingly symphonic naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8, and I vividly recall a journey in Switzerland with exotic car broker Simon Kidston in his supercharged E55 #AMG , while he conducted a three-way hands-free phone conversation in (immaculate) English, Italian and French before casually announcing that he was driving to Milan after he’d dropped me at Geneva airport. It’s that kind of car.

    What else is new, bar the downsizing and forced induction of the #V8 , is four-wheel drive. Specially developed to apportion torque to individual wheels as required, rather than simply front-to-back, and hooked up to a ninespeed multi-clutch paddleshift transmission, it combines with #AMG-tuned air suspension that operates in three modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+), gradually firming up with more aggressive throttle and gearshift mapping to match. Plus degrees of exhaust loudness. And a rear-drive-only drift mode. What a hooligan.

    Yet first impressions are of anything but. In dark blue with chrome on anthracite 20s, it’s menacing yet tastefully so. Within, the atmosphere is trad with a modern edge; like a five-star hotel with aluminium in place of giltwork. And that V8 fires with a distant rumble, in spite of an exhaust that, even at idle, speaks big-stick volumes to observers.

    On the motorway it is supple and silent, yet look down at the speedo (your choice of displays, thanks to a huge TFT screen that spans the dash) and you’ll find yourself travelling at unlikely speeds without realising. What feels like 60mph is more like double that. And it’ll reach 60mph (sorry, Europe, 62mph) from rest in 3.4sec. Honestly.

    Southern Portugal’s mountain roads tempt us away from the comfy highway, offering the chance to revel in rabid, fearsome, unrelenting acceleration you might otherwise expect in a supercar. Comfort mode is a bit loose here; Sport ties things down nicely but the big surprise is how Sport+ mode, in these tight and bumpy twisties, maintains exceptional ride refinement while making turn-in instant, deftly quelling body movement and allowing you to properly exploit the Merc’s exquisite balance.

    It simply eats corners, the four-wheel drive keeping you out of the weeds yet never getting in the way and washing you out. Only through deep compressions are you aware of so much mass, yet, even though the big Merc will slam into the bump-stops, it recovers in a single stroke, and never feels as long and wide as it is.

    The E63 faces talented rivals, though the #BMW-M5 is ageing and the #Audi-RS6 has less character. A more honest exhaust note like the last version’s, in place of the contrived thunder that turbos force, would edge it closer to perfection, but that’s the price of progress. In every other respect, progress is priceless.
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    / #Audi / #Quattro Used #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi / #Audi-RS6-C7 / #Audi-RS6-Typ-4G / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi-A6-Typ-4G / #Audi-A6 / #2016 /

    In your March Issue Roger Cartwright asked for comments about buying an early model used RS6 and future operating costs. My recommendation is that, unless he has a lot of money and a good RS6 certified dealer/ mechanic, don’t buy one of the original 4.2T V8 models. I will start out by saying I am a dedicated Audi enthusiast and owner. I have owned a 1991 #V8 quattro, 1998 A8, 2003 S8, 2003 RS 6 and now a 2013 TT RS (not counting family members who I have purchased other Audis for.)

    I put 207,000 miles on the 1991 V8 quattro and 156,000 on the RS 6. The V8 cost me basically nothing other than routine maintenance after 80,000 miles and the RS 6 cost almost as much as the car cost new in repairs after 60,000 miles.

    Fortunately, #Audi corporate and a great dealer, Winner Audi in Delaware, did all the work from day one, so I received significant discounts and subsidies along the way.

    I finally sold the RS6 last year when the transmission started slipping in second gear and it was going to cost $11,000 to rebuild it with no other options. The RS6 was a great, fast car to drive, but the electronics were horrible. Not only did every switch and button have to be replaced over the life of the car, but the engine and exhaust sensors all had to be replaced multiple times. A year before the transmission went, the catalytic converter temperature sensors went and they had to pull the engine to replace them. The cost: $11,000, but Audi picked up $9,500 as part of the loyal customer program.

    The DRC suspension went three times. They did give lifetime coverage for the shocks, but not the other parts. The suspension had to have multiple bushings and parts replaced many times, from just normal wear. There were many other parts that went wrong, like heating fan motors, radio; mirror retractors; the Navigation system and more. The engine was strong and had no internal issues, but sensor problems drove me crazy beginning as early as 60,000 miles.

    Oh, and by the way, the DOHC timing belts have to be replaced every 30,000 miles according to Audi; that costs $3,500 each time with the required tune-up, plugs, etc. Front brakes and rotors cost $1,750; rear $750. Audi says replace the rotors every time, but the fronts are good for at least two brake jobs unless you are on the Autobahn all day. If the starter motor goes you have to pull the engine, as you do for many other sensors and engine parts. When a turbo oil line leaked they had to pull the engine - another $6,000 plus. The dealer always gave me a discount and the hours were faster than book. Parts are all very expensive: any RS6 unique parts cost more than standard Audi parts.

    I changed my oil every 3,500 miles, followed and exceeded factory service requirements at the dealer and although I periodically drove it fast, it was more of a daily driver. I know other RS6 owners who have had the same type of problems as well.

    If you wonder why I kept it for so long, the answer is that after every major problem I couldn’t believe that something else could go wrong and my sunk cost was so great I didn’t want to give it away.

    As I told my Audi dealer, Audi can make an incredible car that is bulletproof and can win Le Mans and will hold up under any conditions for 24 hours, but after four years and 80,000 miles look out: they can’t hold together for more than six months at a time without some costly repairs!

    Caveat emptor! Buy a normallyaspirated V8 engine Audi to save money in the long term! By the way my 2013 TT RS six-speed (it’s the Plus specification in US) is incredible and the best Audi daily driver I have driven, and I say this having driven the R8 V8 and V10, the RS 5, the S5, S6, S7, S8, RS 4, and most of them on the track.
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    EXCLUSIVE CLUB #ABT-RS6 735hp 1 of 12 edition

    The ABT 1 of 12 is the most exclusive RS6 money can buy… Words Davy Lewis / Photography ABT

    The world of performance tuning can appear to be quite a recent phenomenon. The proliferation of high-tech software upgrades, in-car adjustable suspension and all manner of clever hybrid turbos, suggests that it’s all quite contemporary. It’s true that there’s a lot of very cool new tech available from companies that are less than 20 years old. But, what you may not realise, is that many of the companies that have developed this kit have a long and illustrious heritage. The likes of Bilstein, Eibach and others are well established, having supplied after market performance upgrades for decades.

    Perhaps the oldest of the lot though is ABT. Founded in 1896 by Herr ABT, this German company is celebrating its 120th year in business. And what better way to mark the occasion than by releasing a special edition RS6 – the 1 of 12…

    The car you see before you needs no introduction. The biturbo V8 super-estate is one of the most desirable Audis money can buy. They’re pretty epic things straight out of the factory, but, once the wick has been turned up, they become truly remarkable things. This latest offering from ABT is one of just 12, extra special cars being made available, which makes it very exclusive. Launched at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show, the highlight is an engine upgrade based around ABT’s renowned Power-S module, which boosts power from the 4.0 V8. It now produces 735hp – a staggering 175hp increase over standard. There’s also 920Nm of torque, which is what makes this big estate so devastatingly fast.

    It’s not just about the power though. The rest of this stunning RS6 has been upgraded to ABT’s 1 of 12 spec – if you like bare carbon fibre, then you’re sure to get very excited about this. The posh weave has been put to good use for the mirror caps, the rear diffuser, rear spoiler and front canards. It contrasts perfectly with the Nardo grey paint. ABT’s trademark wing vents add some drama to the flanks of the big RS – you either love them or hate them; but one thing’s for sure, they set this car apart from lesser RS6s.

    The wheels are real monsters – 10x22in FRs wrapped in Dunlop 295/25 rubber, which are rated for 180mph – something this RS6 will achieve without even breaking a sweat. 22in alloys may be a tad large for many, but that’s okay as ABT can supply them in 21 or even 20in, if required.

    Inside, the already well-equipped and luxurious Audi has been treated to even more goodies. The seats are finished in a leather and Alcantara mix that matches the exterior. The ABT logo is featured on the headrests, while the 1 of 12 logo is on the passenger side of the dash. All of the pillars and the headlining are finished in soft touch Alcantara. But that’s not all. The door frames, parts of the dash, door panels and even the steering wheel have been treated to a leather/Alcantara mix.

    So there you have it – the most exclusive RS6 currently available. A range of highly developed and quality enhancements have taken the big estate to the next level.

    SPECIFICATION ABT / #Audi-RS6 / 1 of 12 / #Audi-RS6-ABT / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi-RS6-ABT-C7 / #Audi-RS6-C7 / #Audi / #ABT / #Audi-A6

    Engine 4.0 #TFSI #V8 #biturbo , #ABT-Power-S New Generation control unit
    Power 735hp, 920Nm
    Brakes Audi carbon ceramic
    Wheels #ABT FR 10x22in with Dunlop 295/25 tyres
    Exterior ABT air inlet panels, front canards, rear diffuser, rear skirt, wing inserts, mirror covers, rear spoiler all made from carbon fibre
    Interior ABT leather and Alcantara used for headlining, tailgate, pillars, dash, steering wheel, door panels, centre console and sports seats, ABT floor mats, boot mat, integrated entrance light with 120 years logo, start stop switch cap
    Contact Richter Sport

    Above: The view most people will have of this RS6.
    Above: Front ends don’t get more menacing Left: They’ve even fitted ‘120 years’ logo puddle lights.
    Above: Bespoke interior features swathes of Alcantara Right: ABT logo seats are unique.
    “The ultimate RS6; exclusive and desirable”
    Far left: Carbon rear diffuser and quad tailpipes Left: Carbon mirror caps Bottom: The mighty 4.0 twin turbo V8.
    “A true monster – the only car you’ll ever need”
    22in alloys may be a bit OTT for some, but they do 21s and 20s too.
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    DRIVEN: LITCHFIELD AUDI RS6 RS6 C7 / Litchfield’s 750bhp monster

    We drive Litchfield’s 750bhp Stage 3 RS6 – quite possibly the perfect daily driver for those with deep pockets… Words Paul Cowland. Photography Chris Wallbank.

    When Audi created the RS Avant range, it almost made the perfect car. Practical and stylish, yet exclusive without being flashy or pretentious. While the latest RS6 is potent enough for many, for a burgeoning group of owners, it really only forms the basis for creating something even more accomplished. For those lucky enthusiasts, when the thrill of a 552bhp commute becomes too mundane, Iain Litchfield is the man they increasingly turn to, in order to make things better. As a serial super-car tamer and tuner, with Land Speed Records and race championships to his name, Litchfield was quick to recognise the potential in this platform. To capably prove this point, the company’s latest incarnation of its all-new demo car puts out a genuine 750bhp… or put simply, at least 150 more than pretty much anything attainable to come out of Woking, Stuttgart or Maranello.

    “The idea for this package really came from our clients,” smiles Iain Litchfield. “A great many of our customers have a selection of supercars to choose from, with their RS6 being their everyday transport. Dozens of them have come to us with a view to creating something a bit more special, but we’ve always rather liked the idea of creating a car that could be all things at once; a perfect family troop transport, an accomplished track machine and an effortless tourer. The Audi RS6 is the perfect blank canvas for that, but with our trademark car being our totally usable 1200bhp Nissan GT-R conversions, our customers rightly expected a little more performance in all areas. While, in theory, it’s totally possible for our R&D team to create a package that ultimately endowed the RS6 with that sort of power, we didn’t feel that it was the kind of car that needed that kind of conversion. Chatting to our clients, their RS6 is the car they use every single day, as a ‘sensible’ way of getting around. When we set out to improve this car, that easy drivability and docile nature was important to keep in the car. Speaking personally, this is the car I take my kids out in as a family hack, so keeping things usable, sensible and fit-for-purpose over-ruled any headline-grabbing figures. We were always much more interested in the overall feel of the car, rather than the outright numbers. It’s how we always approach the tuning process.”

    While that’s an admirable stance, it’s hard to argue that 750bhp isn’t a stellar amount of power for a family estate. For context, let’s look at a few key players. The Lamborghini Huracán has ‘just’ 602 bhp. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS – a scanty 500. Of course, these cars weigh very little, but even when you look at 2.2 tonne heavyweight performance leviathans like Bentley’s GT3-R (which uses the same VAG sourced 4.0 TT engine) , with its grin-inducing 572bhp, then you start to understand that Litchfield really has made the RS6 very fast indeed.

    It has achieved this in its usual, efficient fashion, and with a cast of reassuringly accomplished names. After extensive flow analysis of the standard turbos and injectors, Litchfield’s team was happy that they could easily cope with the proposed power and torque figures. Next on the agenda would be improved breathing, as this was clearly where the standard Audi system was strangling the RS6’s potential.

    On the intake side, the factory airbox has been removed entirely. To be replaced with a rather smart carbon fibre airbox of Litchfield’s own design. Dyno tests proved this to be able to flow significantly more than the OEM set-up, which would bode well for what was to come. Balancing this new-found efficiency, Litchfield then fitted a full Akropovic exhaust system, allied to their own customfabricated 90mm downpipes, which replace the restrictive factory catalysts. The exhaust is a key part of this conversion, as it gives the RS6 an aerobic capacity that the factory, with its need to tick its many legislative boxes, could only ever dream of.

    As well as looking much nicer and flowing more efficiently (the exhaust adds decent torque and power by itself), the Akrapovic saves a useful 8kg over the OEM system. It also creates a soundtrack that wouldn’t disgrace itself at the Albert Hall – but we’ll come to that in a moment. Crafted in lightweight titanium, this exhaust system has cast collectors and consists of three silencers. The central version of which features a cross-piece inside, which helps to improve power and ‘tune’ the exhaust note – particularly under full throttle. The valves of the system are designed to open and close in line with the RS’ standard electronics, giving this system the full functionality of the Ingolstadt parts, even if the flow rates and sublime noise that emanate from it across the rev range are anything but! These two components really are key to the Stage 3 conversion, as they allow the car to make an additional 50bhp above Litchfield’s Stage 2 package – which has to make do with a mere 700bhp, of course.

    With this new found lack of restriction, Litchfield’s team was then free to move the car to its in-house dyno in order to perfect a software solution that would really make the most of the new components. Keen to maintain all of the Audi’s useful CAN-BUS features (like the immobiliser and interactive functions) but increase control, Litchfield has developed a solution that has allowed them to enhance boost, fuelling and ignition parameters, while maintaining all of the factory failsafes in place. After many miles and hours of dial twiddling and key tapping, the result is a verified dyno trace that now reads 750bhp, with 680ft/lb torque… from a factory starting point of 552bhp and 516 ft/lb. “In theory, we could actually extract more from this set-up,” explains Iain. “But that would mean running the turbo, fuel pump and injectors too close to their maximum efficiency. At this current level, the whole engine is well within its capabilities, and reliability and longevity are assured. Back to that original brief; we’re not trying to chase numbers, we’re trying to create a family-friendly supercar.” All very sensible… well, as sensible as one can be when designing a 750bhp estate car…

    With the powertrain package fully signed off, Litchfield fettled the edges of the Audi’s already excellent chassis with a couple of tried-and-tested upgrades that really make a difference to the surefooted feel of the whole package. A couple of hours spent on Litchfield’s laser-alignment rig has resulted in a minute-perfect toe, camber and caster set-up that means the big #Audi can now be placed with the utmost precision on the road, while a full set of Goodridge brake lines give a subtle improvement in feel and precision to the feel of the brake pedal. Allied to race-spec brake fluid, they ensure that the Audi’s stopping capabilities more than keep up with its new-found performance. Currently, the factory rubber provides the grip on this demo car, but with a set of sticky Michelin SuperSports about to be added into the mix, expect the bar to go higher still in future.

    Out on the road, the work that has gone into this conversion is immediately apparent. On a micro level, the small suspension changes make a big difference to the crispness of this big estate. The steering is exceptionally communicative for a large 4WD car, and the weight and feedback are just right, with the car feeling very neutral in the turns. During our chat, Iain was keen to point out how much refinement has been applied to the throttle maps on this car, particularly with regard to low-speed cruising and bimbling around town. Here, the RS6 feels no different to its factory forebear.

    Sure, it’s able to shout a little louder if you want it to, thanks to the Akrapovic’s integration with the Audi’s exhaust control, but if you keep everything in ‘Comfort’ the Litchfield RS6 does a very passable impression of a docile, refined, well-behaved family commuter.

    That all changes in an instant however, the second you flick the #Akrapovic into shouty ‘Dynamic’ mode and start mashing the accelerator into the carpet. At this point, all 750 horses make it abundantly clear that they’re very angry and willing to gallop – bellowing with a raucous, sonorous holler through those fat titanium pipes. The effect is mind-blowing. This car can pick up its skirts and shovel like no big estate I have ever sat in. Let’s be honest, it’s faster than most of the exotica I have ever sat in too! When asked to do so, the Litchfield car simply squats and fires – with the immediacy and drama of a high explosive device. If you’re going to play at this level, prepare yourself for a visceral assault as your ears revel in that simply delicious exhaust note while your eyes struggle to adjust to how fast the horizon approaches and your brain realises just how fast it is having to think at this velocity. Iain wasn’t lying, it IS a very civilised car, but on a public road, with that much immediate power and that much gut-wrenching torque, it does make you adjust your driving style in order to make the most of what’s on offer. This car isn’t just fast, it can be in the next postcode before your cerebral cortex has had the chance to realise that you’ve even started moving. Not concentrating is not an option when you invite this car to play.

    As we approach the traffic lights, the speed is quickly scrubbed off by the impressive factory stoppers – those Goodridge lines giving impressive modulation as the nose squats heavily towards the tarmac – and in an instant, it’s a pussycat again. No barking, popping exhaust. No crackling downshifts. Just a big estate car, happy to pootle to whichever school run, shopping trip or holiday that you need it to. Iain’s right. This really is the only car you’ll ever need. More exciting and involving than a factory-level supercar, yet practical and usable enough to handle the boring and sensible stuff that life throws at us. If your budget stretches to an RS6, and you’re debating as to whether you need a supercar or an estate car as your next purchase, then why compromise? Why not have both? This really is the only car you’ll ever need.

    One of the best seats you’ll find anywhere.

    Below: RS6 looks stunning in white Right: 750bhp delivers epic performance Bottom right: Many hours were spent on the dyno perfecting the map.

    “A raucous, sonorous holler through those fat titanium pipes...”

    SPECIFICATION Litchfield / #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-RS6-C7 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-A6-C7 / #Audi / #2016 / #Litchfield / #Audi-RS6-Litchfield-C7 /

    Engine 4.0 V8 #TFSI bi-turbo, #Litchfield-Stage-3 Conversion, Litchfield Stage 3 remap, Litchfield carbon airbox, full #Akrapovic evolution exhaust system, custom 90mm Downpipes.

    Power 750bhp and 680lb/ft
    Transmission 8-speed tiptronic / #ZF / #ZF8HP
    Brakes Factory RS6 (non ceramic) with #Goodrige uprated hoses
    Suspension Full laser alignment
    Contacts/thanks Litchfield

    Left: Litchfield Stage 3 includes custom carbon airbox. Below: Akrapovic exhaust Bottom: Stock turbos are retained.

    Quiet and civilised, until you wake up that V8 biturbo!
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    Stunning C5 is packing 573ps, 881Nm C5 perfection. Absolute Perfection. Not much can beat the appeal of a really well done C5 RS6 and this 573ps beast has to be one of the finest examples in the world…

    Reputations mean everything. In this day and age of social media, if something isn’t right, then someone will quickly post an online review or comment to tell the world exactly what they think. This poses something of a quandary. On the one hand, an honest review can help – after all, who wants to buy something that’s likely to break? On the other, just because an individual has had a bad experience doesn’t mean you should run for the hills.

    The C5 RS6 is a classic example of this interweb hysteria. Yes, the big, biturbo avant can be devilishly expensive to put right if it breaks. The weak points – the DRC suspension, gearbox, intercoolers – are all well documented. Make no mistake, if you buy a poor one, you will face some big bills. But there’s more to the C5 RS6 than a list of known faults.

    You don’t buy a C5 if you’re after something sensible and cheap to service and maintain; if that’s what you’re after, buy a new A6 TDI. People buy C5 RS6s with their hearts.

    The combination of V8 twin-turbo performance and that iconic wide-shouldered style, means it’s still one of the best looking and most desirable RSs ever made. Add to this the fact that they can be tuned to over 600bhp, and are available in both saloon and avant form, and it’s clear to see why they are still so well loved.

    Darren Burt, owner of this immaculate C5, has always loved Audis. We displayed it on our stand at this year’s AITP, which is where we caught up with him to find out more.

    “Me and my pals used to walk past a brand new Noggy-blue RS2 on the way to school, so I’ve always likes avants; especially the C5 RS6,” he smiles. Having run a D2 4.2 A8, he really wanted an RS6 and often looked at them in the classifieds.

    “I left it for a while, then had a quick squiz one day and spotted this one for sale in London,” he recalls. “I was working offshore, so I thought, I’ll leave it to fate – if it’s still for sale when I get back, then it’s meant to be and I’ll buy it.” Then, barely 24 hours into his trip, he flew down to London and did the deal on the tidy C5.

    Previously owned by a guy on the AudiSRS forum, it had been well looked after. “It was lowered, remapped and had some MTM Bimoto wheels,” says Darren. “It was in decent condition with 80k miles; it had a few knocks on the paint and a chip on the windscreen, but I loved it; this was my dream car,” he smiles.

    However, his fun was short lived. A spirited 165mph run was caught short when an errant hare ran into his path, destroying the front bumper.

    “While the bumper was replaced, I decided to get a full respray as I wasn’t happy with the rest of the paintwork,” says Darren. This is where things began to get expensive.

    “The parts bill was over five pages long,” he laughs, “every time the bodyshop removed a grille or piece of trim, a clip or bracket would snap.” Fortunately everything was readily available, but came with the usual high dealer prices. So many parts have been replaced on this 2003 car, that much of it really is like new. The door trims, alloy boot lid trim, plus numerous clips and fittings are all factory fresh.

    When it came to the paint, it could only be Daytona Grey. This original hue suits the C5 to a tee and the full, glass-out respray looks fantastic.

    The optics, including window and grille surrounds, plus roof rails have also been painted. “They’d been wrapped by the previous owner, but they didn’t look right, so I had them done in gloss black,” says Darren. “I didn’t do them in matt like an RS6 Plus, as I wasn’t trying to make this look like a Plus,” he adds. The final touch was having the mirrors done in Daytona grey. This RS may be over 12 years old now, but it looks like it just rolled out of Ingolstadt.

    With a fresh paint job, Darren has been very particular about how it’s maintained. His missus, Mandy, explains, “We were out for dinner and Darren noticed a bird had poo’d on his car, so he drove home to clean it, leaving me in the restaurant!” To be fair it’d only just come out of the paintshop and home was only around the corner, but it goes to show the care he’s taken with this RS6. Unfortunately, the bird-poo incident was about to get a whole lot worse.

    “The gearbox decided to let go on the way back to the restaurant.” laughs Darren. Not one to mess around, he sent the C5 over to respected Audi tuners, #Unit20 , to have a reconditioned box with uprated torque converter fitted.
    Of course, he couldn’t leave it at that. “While it was in, I decided to get some #TTE650-hybrid-turbos fitted, together with Milltek race downpipes,” he smiles. “I also had some #Wagner-intercoolers ready to go on, so they were fitted too.”

    With a freshly uprated engine and a stronger gearbox ready to take some punishment, the RS was then shipped off to MRC Tuning for a pair of ITG filters and its custom map. Here it made 573ps with a corresponding 881Nm of torque.

    So, how did this compare to the previous spec? “90 to 190mph is ferocious,” says Darren. “I had 196mph out of it before the TTE turbos were fitted and it’s geared for over 200mph – I’m just waiting for a dry day to really test it!” he laughs. In a world where every other Audi we see appears to have airride, it makes a refreshing change to see something dropped very low on a static set-up. But this is no ordinary kit.

    Put together by Simon Sweetland from Still Static, this bespoke system has been designed to get the RS6 as low as possible, without ruining the handling. “It annoys me when people say ‘that must drive really badly; it’s too low’” says Darren. “They don’t know what they’re talking about. Everything has been custom modified for the C5 by AH Flachwerk.” The H&R race ultralow coilovers have been re-valved, with shortened damper bodies. With Hotchkiss anti-roll bars, and a full geometry set-up, the suspension is both low and compliant. There’s a lot more to this bespoke kit than a set of off the- shelf coilovers wound down as far as they’ll go.

    The set-up allows Darren to drop the car hard over the beefy set of 10x20in alloys, which came off a Q7. These OEM wheels really do look the part with polished lips and ceramic coated centres. Look behind the fronts and you’ll find a set of Brembo calipers gripping 380mm discs, which were kindly donated by a Lamborghini Gallardo. The C5 is no lightweight and with 190+mph on tap, it needs good stoppers.

    Pop your head inside and you’ll find a typical RS6 leather interior. But look more closely and you’ll notice it looks brand new. The leather was removed, stripped back, re-dyed and treated before being re-fitted for that factory-fresh look. “I’ve got a set of Recaro CSs to go in it,” says Darren, “but I’m still not happy with the retrim on them; they’ve been done three times now,” he grimaces. But, aside from the Recaro issues, the RS6 was looking truly awesome and ready for its first show.

    Then, just weeks before Audis in the Park, disaster struck. “I’d been sanding the headlights and on the way home noticed a rubber smell,” says Darren. Thinking he’d run over a plastic bag, he continued. “When I got home I could really smell burning and see smoke, so I opened the bonnet and the engine was on fire!” he exclaims. “I ran inside, got an extinguisher and managed to put it out very quickly.” A roll of tape had been left in the bay and the V8 had cooked it, along with part of his engine. Fortunately, the damage was relatively limited – the radiator overflow pipe had melted, some of the loom, and one of the coils.

    The car was rushed down to MRC Tuning to have it all fixed ready for AITP. While it was in, Darren had all the coils replaced, together with the cam belt, water pump, vacuum pipes and alternator. It was finished, ready for the show, where it took pride of place on the AudiTuner stand.

    “This is my first show in two years,” says Darren, “I just want to drive it and enjoy it now.” With plans for uprated manifolds to maybe unleash a bit more power, there’s plenty more to come for this stunning RS6. It really is a credit to Darren and the companies involved in tuning and maintaining it. The fact he drives it properly is just the icing on the cake.

    SPECIFICATION #2003 #Audi-RS6-C5 / #Audi-A6-C5 / #Audi-A6 / #Audi-RS6 / #Audi-RS6-Avant / #Audi-RS6-Avant-C5

    ENGINE 4.2 FSI biturbo V8, #TTE650 custom hybrid turbos, #Milltek race downpipes with 100cell cats, full #Milltek exhaust system, #Wagner intercoolers and shrouds, #ITG air filters, MRC Tuning custom ECU map

    POWER 573ps and 881Nm

    TRANSMISSION Unit 20-supplied recon gearbox with uprated torque converter and gearbox map

    BRAKES Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggara #Brembo upgrade with 380mm front discs, #Ferodo race pads

    SUSPENSION #AH-Flachwerk modified #H&R race ultralow coilovers from Still Static , #Hotchkiss anti-roll bars, 034 diff mount

    WHEELS AND TYRES #Audi Q7 10x20in Speedlines with ceramic polished centres and hand polished lips with silver powder coated barrels, Michelin Pilot Supersport 245/30x20s, H&R adaptors

    EXTERIOR Full windows-out respray in factory Daytona Grey pearl, all exterior trim (windows, grille surrounds, rear plinth, roof rails) painted gloss black, mirrors colour coded Daytona Grey

    INTERIOR Factory Euro Recaro interior fully re-Connolised in original silver, full Audi S6/RS6 plus blue flash carbon interior pack, highly polished and re-fitted

    TUNING CONTACTS Grizz and the crew at Unit 20, Doug and the crew at #MRC-Tuning , Simon at TTE, Del at Optimus Trimmers, Dave at Prestige Leather, Colin at Performance Bodyshop, Si Sweetland at Still static, Mike the polisher and Stevie Bryce

    “This is my first show in two years, I just want to drive it and enjoy it now”

    Top: Darren is happy, but there’s more to come.

    “90 to 190mph is ferocious... I had 196mph out of it before the TTE turbos...”

    Left: Milltek pipe, polished of course Below: Interior is mint Right: The V8 powerhouse.

    Left: Rear ends don’t get much better Above: Twin TTE 650 turbos are inside Below: Static drop is impeccable.

    “The parts bill was over five pages long”
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