2004 Audi RS6 C5 With Twin-Turbo 4.2L V8 Is a Future Collectable Wagon, Mat Watson Says

Audi makes great SUVs and even a supercar, the R8, but for some reason, wagons are what this German automaker is known for. And because some of them have been in production since the 1990s, some are becoming collectible classics. Mat Watson, the frontman of one of the biggest car channels on YouTube, argues that this Audi RS6 C5 Avant is undervalued, and you should buy it while you can.

I really like Mat Watson’s personal videos. The personality and charisma are all there, but he gets to talk about subjects that don’t make it onto the main Carwow channel, like that incredible $1.4 million London “barn find” with dozen upon dozens of classics.

That video put the spotlight on BMWs, but the Bavarians didn’t offer any wagon that’s as cool as the RS6… excluding the V10 M5 Touring… that’s pretty cool. Anyway, the RS6 just arrived in America about a year ago, and that prompted people like Doug DeMuro to start buying the RS2. In fact, Mat points out this C5 was the third ever RS model, after the RS2 and the first-gen RS4.

In a few more years, this C5 RS6 could also become interesting to collectors who always had a thing for Avants (that’s the name of Audi wagons). In case you didn’t know, C5 is the name of the A6 family/series, which lasted from 1997 until 2005, and while the RS6 had multiple famous generations, this is where it all started.

The first-ever RS6 Avant and sedan were produced from July 2002. Just like the A6, they had aluminum construction at the front and shared most of the 4.2-liter V8 engine with the S6. Yes, that’s the same displacement as in the early R8 sports car, although the RS6 was a bi-turbo.

The main selling point of the C5 RS6 is indeed the engine. Mat mentions how the 4.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 was given over to Cosworth Technology, where they fitted it with new internals and a twin-turbo system. The result was 450 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque (580 Nm).

But what Mat Watson has to test out is the C5 RS6 Plus, made in limited numbers from April until September 2004. Through an ECU remap and two added cooling radiators behind the side-mounted intercoolers, they achieved 480 horsepower. Now, that increase might sound small and insignificant right now, but it was significantly more than a Ferrari V8 at the time, the 360 Modena having produced about 400 hp.

Mat only did 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds

Speaking of Ferrari, the Modena hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds whereas this super-Avant claimed to do it in 4.4 seconds. The comparison is a little forced, since the 360 was on its way out in 2004. But being faster than a supercar adds a lot of appeal to this icon of the 2000s.

The model Mat got to test out is pretty rare, with only about 80 brought to the UK in RHD. It’s got a number of upgraded features. I thought it’s worth pointing out that the C5 RS6 did make it to America. They never released import numbers, but it’s believed to be between 800 and 1,200 units. Either way, these C5 are rare, which will help their value.

This color is just to die for. It looks like the Nagaro Blue they used on the RS2 and the RS6 Tribute Edition. The engine sound is also fantastic, and the Avant is loaded with sports equipment, ranging from 8-piston brakes to a limited-slip diff at the rear.



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