The Audi RS6 Avant is Audi’s most powerful car ever, and although it is only set to be in the showrooms in April next year, Audi is giving us a preview at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Audi RS6 Avant is powered by a 5.2 litre twin-turbocharged V10 FSI engine that is loosely based on the normally aspirated V10 unit in the S6 and the S8.

Up from the 400-odd in the S-line Audis, the new RS6 engine puts out 580 horsepower peaking between 6,250rpm and 6,700rpm and 650Nm of peak torque available all the way from 1,500rpm to 6,250rpm. This power is channelled through a 6-speed tiptronic automatic to all four-wheels thanks to Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. Translated into acceleration figures, this means 4.6 seconds to 100km/h and 14.9 seconds to 200km/h.

The engine uses a compression ratio of 10.5:1 which is particularly high for a forced inducted engine, thanks to FSI direct injection which delivers precisely metered amounts of fuel to the combustion chamber – this avoids knocking. It also uses a dry-sump lubrication system which ensures all parts of the engine including the turbochargers are well-lubed despite constant lateral acceleration of 1.2g.

The scorching estate rides on a sports suspension equipped with Dynamic Ride Control, which reduces pitching and rolling movements without the aid of electronics – instead only the laws of fluid dynamics comes into play. With Dynamic Ride Control, shock absorbers are connected diagonally via two oil lines and two control valves. Uneven road surfaces will produce flows of oil which will generate additional damping force at whichever absorber which needs it. The suspension system uses a four-link front suspension and a trepezoidal-link rear suspension.

The quattro system splits power between the front and rear wheels at a ratio of 40 to 60 in it’s basic setting. Steering is via a speed-sensitive servotronic system. There is also an ESP system with a sporty setting that intervenes later, and it can also be completely deactivated.

The RS6 Avant comes with standard steel brakes, but there is an optional ceramic brake system which calls for larger 20-inch wheels (standard are 19 inch). The tyres for the 19 inch and 20 inch wheel options are 225/40R19 and 275/35/R20 respectively.

Seriously, it’s not very often you can say you’ve got a car that accelerates this fast but yet still has a maximum of 1,660 litres of luggage space, unless you have the M5 Touring of course. I can see why there’s a market for these cars.

More photos are available after the jump.