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For nearly two decades, the U.S. has had to look elsewhere for Audi’s high-horsepower wagon, the RS6 Avant. The performance wagon debuted in 2002, putting a 444-horsepower (331-kilowatt) 4.2-liter 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 a wagon – 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-liter twin-turbo V8, except the mill produced 473 hp (352 kW), and had a top speed of 174 miles per hour (280 kilometers per hour), which was an increase from 155 mph (249 kph). Audi built 999 examples. In 2008, Audi decided to make the RS6 Avant its most powerful car ever – at the time. It made 572 hp (426 kW) and had a top speed of 155 mph. The power increase came from a bigger engine and two additional cylinders – a 5.0-liter 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 (302 kph), and Audi built just 500 examples. The RS6 Avant had a change of heart in 2013 – Audi replaced the 5.0-liter V10 engine with a smaller twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. Horsepower dropped to 552 (411 kW), but top speed remained limited at 155 mph. This was the first time Audi made the air suspension standard on an RS model.

Gallery: 2020 Audi RS6 Avant

We now have the 2020 model that will finally come to the U.S. It’s a further evolution of the RS6 Avant. The 2020 Audi RS6 Avant still uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 except it’s now paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to increase performance. It makes 591 hp (440 kW). It’s unclear when it’ll arrive stateside, but it does go on sale in Germany and other parts of Europe in the first quarter of 2020. 

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