Crossover & Midsize

Lamborghini Urus vs Audi RS6 Avant: Do the Numbers Matter?

The RS6 Avant is the latest in a long line of high-performance Audi wagons. Like Mercedes’ E-Class AMG Wagon, the Audi RS6 Avant is a genuinely fast and practical car. But it’s not the only unlikely performance vehicle developed by the German automaker. Under the skin, the Lamborghini Urus SUV is technically an Audi—albeit one that can out-accelerate EVs. It’s also more powerful than the RS6 Avant. But, as one YouTuber has shown, that doesn’t necessarily make it faster.

Lamborghini Urus vs. Audi RS6 Avant: specs

Dark gray 2020 Audi RS6 Avant
2020 Audi RS6 Avant | Audi

The Lamborghini Urus and Audi RS6 Avant have some things in common. Both use a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 also found in the RS Q8 and Cayenne Turbo. Both also come with all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatics. However, their powertrain similarities basically stop there.

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The Urus’ engine delivers 641 hp and 627 lb-ft. The RS6, meanwhile, only puts out 591 hp and 590 lb-ft. The Audi RS6 Avant, though, unlike the Lamborghini Urus, has a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, Automobile reports. However, it doesn’t add additional performance. Instead, it’s there to power the wagon’s start-stop system, and let it coast for brief periods, Motor Trend reports.

2020 Lamborghini Urus | Lamborghini
2020 Lamborghini Urus | Lamborghini

The Urus and RS6 also share other features. For example, both come with rear-axle steering, to improve handling. The Audi RS6 Avant comes standard with adaptive air springs, like the Lamborghini, and can even be equipped with the Urus’ carbon-ceramic brakes. However, unlike the Lambo, the RS6 can be equipped with linked adaptive hydraulic dampers, The Drive reports. This eliminates the need for the SUV’s active anti-roll bars.

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But the Lamborghini Urus does have a few exclusive features of its own. For one, it has dedicated several off-road modes, Car and Driver reports. Its air suspension can also be raised more than the wagon’s suspension.

But what happens when these two fast family haulers meet? YouTube team Archie Hamilton Racing wanted to find out.

The Lamborghini Urus vs. Audi RS6 Avant drag races

Archie Hamilton Racing’s race set-up was fairly simple. The Audi RS6 Avant and Lamborghini Urus would go head-to-head in 2 sets of drag races.

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The first 2 races used the typical formula: start from 0, first to the end wins. And, to give the best possible chance, both cars used launch control. The second 2, though, were rolling races. Instead of starting from a stop, both the Lamborghini Urus and Audi RS6 Avant started at 30 mph. Both drivers were free to shift their cars manually or let the transmissions shift automatically.

On paper, the Urus and RS6 are actually fairly evenly matched, and not just because of the similar hardware. Lamborghini reports the Urus can go 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, Roadshow reports. But Car and Driver saw 3.2 seconds in its testing. Meanwhile, Audi estimates the RS6 Avant can do 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, Car and Driver reports. And though it’s down on power, the RS6 is about 700 pounds lighter. It’s also closer to the ground, increasing aerodynamic efficiency.

What happened and why

The Audi RS6 Avant did manage to eke out one win against the Lamborghini Urus. During the first rolling-start races, the Urus’ driver tried to shift manually, instead of automatically. But he messed up the shift, allowing the Audi to pull ahead. However, in the other 3 races, the Lamborghini won.

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Although the Urus did have a power advantage, these drag races also show why 0-60 times aren’t the only way to measure performance. The best recorded times, Road & Track explains, comes as a result of repeated launch control and/or abusing the cars. In the real world, 5-60 times and rolling-start races are better indicators of how two cars compare. After all, when did you really use launch control at a set of traffic lights?

There’s also another lesson to take away from Archie Hamilton Racing’s video. When the Lamborghini Urus’ driver shifted manually, his mistake let the Audi RS6 Avant win. Just because you have the more powerful car, doesn’t mean you’re automatically faster.

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