Audi has whipped the covers off its new RS6 Avant, with Ingolstadt's super-wagon employing a twin-turbo 4,0-litre V8 petrol engine churning out a whopping 441 kW.

The TFSI mill in fourth-generation RS6 Avant furthermore offers 800 N.m, which is on tap from 2 050 to 4 500 r/min. That’s enough for a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 3,6 seconds, with the speedometer reading 200 km/h in a claimed 12 seconds. Top speed, meanwhile, is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Interestingly, the new RS6 also features a mild-hybrid system incorporating a belt alternator starter and a 48 V main electrical arrangement. The Ingolstadt-based firm says up to 12 kW can be recovered during light deceleration and stored in a lithium-ion battery. The eight-pot furthermore features cylinder-on-demand technology.

Audi claims the TFSI engine – which is mated to an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with “optimised shift times” and a new launch control function – “remains a thoroughbred V8 in terms of character and sound”, with the driver able to alter the soundtrack using new, customisable RS1 and RS2 modes included in the Audi drive select system (and directly accessible via a new “RS mode” button sited on the steering wheel).

The engine sends its oomph to all four wheels in a ratio of 40:60 via the all-mechanical centre differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70 percent can be channelled to the front wheels and up to 85 percent to the rear wheels, says Audi.

The new RS6 Avant’s track width is 1 668 mm fore and 1 651 mm aft, while the body rides some 20 mm lower than that of the standard A6 Avant. At speeds of 120 km/h and above, the standard air suspension lowers the vehicle by another 10 mm, while a lift mode is also offered to raise the body by 20 mm.

Inside, you’ll find a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and new shift paddles fashioned from aluminium. The RS sport seats come in perforated “Valcona” leather with a honeycomb pattern and "RS" embossing, and are offered with a ventilation function. Audi claims the new RS6 Avant is “even roomier” inside than before, with the luggage compartment able to handle between 565 and 1 680 litres.

[UPDATE: So, will the new RS6 Avant come to South Africa? Well, Audi SA tells CARmag.co.za it plans to launch the hot wagon locally in the final quarter of 2020, but points out "timing is subject to change".]