Impractically Practical: CSF’s Take On The C8 Audi RS6 Avant

Social media is among the deadliest time assassins. Its next greatest rival would be those ‘it will only take a second’ jobs we embark on, knowing damn certain they will take much longer than a second.

Typically, I pride myself on sidestepping most social media arguments. When I see something I don’t like I keep scrolling, or better still, I put my phone down and move on to whatever I should actually be doing.  However, I do have my trigger topics, and about a month ago a friend of mine said something I simply couldn’t let stand: ‘Wagons are the worst form of any vehicle’.

I tried to write him off as just another crazy Floridan, but shockingly several people from across the globe co-signed this blasphemy with digital upward-pointing thumbs and animated hearts. Worse still, they added their own sacrilegious comments about wagons too.

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Having sworn off daily drivers with trunks nearly a decade ago, this entire line of thinking sat ill with me. Are wagons the worst? Impossible.

In terms of practicality, I can’t see how wagons are not the ideal union of function and form. A wagon allows you to have your cake, eat it, and carry the table on which you dined. And all this without demanding you ride necessarily high above the ground in a truck, or one of the many SUV blobs currently roaming the roads.

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OK, perhaps I am being a little harsh towards SUVs, considering we just featured a rather tidy one. But the beauty of Speedhunters being a collective of authors is that we can present opinions both for and against nearly any automotive topic.

So, to answer the question Rick posed in his recent article, my opinion on modern performance SUV offerings is that as long as wagons exist they will remain redundant.

More Is More

We North Americans are entirely too good at accumulating large items. Hobbies require sticks, bats and pads. Jobs demand tools, suitcases, displays and changes of clothes. Kids? Well, kids need all of the above and more. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can run the line of fun and is purposeful, a wagon is hard to beat. Just ask Paddy; he opted for a wagon over a hatch simply because he needed more space. If all goes to plan, I will one day follow his lead.

The rest of the Speedhunters? I can only assume that they’ll all eventually see the trunk-less light too.

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Cool wagons are far from a new concept. Volvo 850s are legendary – especially in BTCC trim – and General Motors boasts noteworthy examples in both their current and back catalogues, including the formidable Cadillac CTS-V. BMW has some heavies in their new model quiver too, while the E30 Touring and 540is are noteworthy classics.

Currently, perhaps the best-looking wagons on the road are those produced by Audi. That includes the feature of the day, an Audi C8 RS6 Avant.

From the factory, this wagon features a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 that puts down just shy of 600 horsepower and 600ft-lb of torque. The RS6 Avant is definitely no slouch, and it looks mighty fine thanks to a sporty roofline and an unobnoxious ride height.

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CSF: Cool Stationwagons Forever

Ravi Dolwani is no stranger to making the cool, cooler, both literally and figuratively. As the owner of CSF Radiators, every car he owns ends up with at least a few CSF products installed alongside the latest and greatest from other tuning houses.


This project is more of the same, but Ravi approached it with some level of restraint as his family very recently grew in size with the addition of his firstborn son. So with that consideration, Ravi has managed to modify this car reasonable enough to remain useful for family errands, yet captivating enough not to seem out of place at the SEMA Show, where it was displayed earlier in the month.

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Ravi started with a stellar colour. Goodwood Green Pearl brings out the aggressive lines of the RS6’s design in an elegant manner. Outside of a deck lip spoiler, all of the C8’s visual modifications are present from the belt line down. The carbon fibre front bumper apron, side skill extensions and rear diffuser are all care of Urban Automotive.

Audi aficionados in the US will have surely noticed the headlights and taillights, both oh-so-desirable Euro-spec items.

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Audi’s dynamic suspension sees an altitude adjustment thanks to a lowering module from CETE. Ravi admits that it feels a bit “boaty” at times due to its size, but the power under the hood and all-wheel drive help make up for the somewhat sedate driving feel in comparison to his BMW M5. To bridge the gap between this car and his M5, he’s also added ABT front and rear sway bars.

Just a few years ago, 22-inch wheels would have never been mentioned in a practical context, but in this instance the deuce-deuces look appropriately sized for the generous 196.7-inch-long wagon.

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The bronze wheels are Titan 7 TC-5 models in 22×10-inch all around. They’re +10 offset square, but Ravi has added 3mm spacers in the front and 5mm spacers in the rear to bring them out just a hair. Michelin provides the 285/30R22 Pilot Sport 4S tires.

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In classic VAG owner OEM+ fashion, modifications in the cockpit are rather subtle. Anything that could be wrapped in leather is, and what couldn’t be is swathed in Alcantara.

The attention to detail exists right down to the RS Design package seat belts that match the stitching in the seats, dash, door panels and the flat-bottom steering wheel. The latter is another Euro-spec item that Ravi has added, as is the Alcantara headliner and cup holder cover.

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The details don’t stop there, though.

While the piano black center console is a factory fitment, the matching front and rear ceiling grab handles are not; these are Audi OEM items from the S8. And as much as I’ve been poking fun at SUVs, the Lamborghini Urus has come through with the assist here via billet shift paddles.

One of Ravi’s favourite upgrades is the radar/laser jammer system, which is neatly integrated both with sensors in the front and rear bumpers and the main control unit/display inside the cabin next to the rear-view mirror.

Performers Gotta Perform

Ravi dipped into his own parts booklet under the hood, fitting the Audi with a CSF High Performance Twin Intercooler kit. Eventuri offered up a carbon fiber engine cover and intake system for the car, and Akrapovič provided the stainless steel down and link-pipes along with the titanium exhaust system.


With a VF Engineering tune in play the RS6 performs better than it looks, and it looks pretty damn good.

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I don’t mean just for a wagon either. This car is stunning and – again in my opinion – a far more appealing option than any performance SUV.

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I know the line between wagon and SUV can be blurred with the right modifications, but I maintain wagons are better. This is my hill and I’ve chosen to die on it; won’t you join me?

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

Photography by Darrien Craven
Instagram: _crvn_



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The obsession with wagons is just funny. It's a body style, not a lifestyle. Cool RS6


Station wagons are like mini-mansions; it's just a better use of the real estate. Trunks, or boots, are always going to have the issue of form vs. function.


I could say the same about SUVs and crossovers too.


It's a lifestyle about as much as an SUV is, in that to some people it is (because they chose it for what other body styles don't offer), but for most it's not. Those latter people THINK they need it, but never actually take full advantage. I'm building a wagon for a fun road tripping vehicle; to enjoy good roads I find across the US, while also being able to (relatively) comfortably sleep in the back... because I'm cheap and don't want to pay for hotels.

On a recent episode of The Carmudgeon Show, Hyphen called the recent wagon trend a "fetishization," which I do largely agree with despite my lifelong love for the body style. "I was into them before it was cool!" Haha


Sounds weird to say I have a wagon fetish lol.

As mentioned I full admit it's different sides of the same coin.

While I'm firmly wagon camp I wouldn't get too twisted over what is ultimately a fun little article.

I'm not crazy enough to turn down a Typhoon it one landed on my doorstep.


Yes I am with you wagons forever and always 1000 times better than a SUV! If you need space just buy a wagon not a SUV who need more space is heavy and less aero.

Just two notes, the Volvo 850 its not from DTM its from BTCC/super turismo era, and the coolest wagons of all time are the Alfa Romeo 's at least for "good petrolheads"


Good catch, fixed it.

Alfas are rare birds where I'm from so I always kind of overlook them.

Sad because they have many good offerings


I understand, Alfa sometimes seems to throw herself into the shadows! how come even they don't currently sell a wagon? a Giulia Quadrifoglio Sportwagon must be a hit!


BTW great Audi, the most interesting model from Audi right now A6 wagon



That thing is vicious! Color, wheels, decals on door are incredible! One of the baddest wagons ever! I don't have any kids or dogs nor do I surf but I'd drive that badboy every day! Nasty!


Have to agree, though not just wagons.
I loved my old (1986) Saab 9000t16 Turbo, big enough to fit a 2 seat lounge in with the hatch closed, or sleep in on a double mattress, and quick enough to play at the track with. (250kw and 350Nm with a 4” exhaust and some basic tuning in a car that weighed just 1100kgs).
Replaced that with a Skoda Fabia vRS Combi when I needed a new car - this one on semi-slicks is good enough as stock to take 1st in class at our local Hillclimb.
Smaller than the Saab, but just as much fun with about half the power from a 1.4 twincharge engine/DSG combo.
Our Kia Sportage feels much more like a slow old barge in comparison and has a boot just a fraction bigger than the Skoda…


I agree 100%. Sport wagons rule. I just wish Audi would sell the A4 Avant in the U.S.


After the BMW M8 release with BRG an bornze wheels i've started to consider a car with the same color combo (never though i would like to acquire a green colored car) and this Avant is rocking the color combo even better. And you can never go wrong with eventuri and CSF under the hood when financing is not the problem.
Regarding the SUV/wagon debate: it's all due to the governement (lack of) rules that made the SUV and trucks sales that crazy but from a practical point of view wagons are better in any sort of comparaison. Sure speaking in urban areas where ground clearance is not a key point; working in rural areas for 8 years now (and counting) an SUV/truck is the way to go but when going back to urban areas while off duty i alawys prefer sitting in a car where my bum is the nearest possible to the ground.


Don’t forget the Mercedes AMG wagon…


Gotta love a good wagon and that one is awesome. VR4 Legnum also a fine looking wagon...


I'd love to have a wagon like this! The RS6 is a beautiful, powerful and expensive machine. But I wondered what it would look like with smaller wheels and taller sidewalls like a GT3 car? I made a quick trip to Photoshop and here's answer.


That Audi is gorgeous! Wagons forever! Unless like me, your third kid is on the way. We shall always refuse a minivan, so unfortunately 3 row SUVs are now in our sights. But I'm definitely team wagon.


Just strap the worst kid to the roof rack! My 4 kids fought over who would ride on top :)


Wagons and Hatchbacks forever. I am from the States and everyone thinks I'm crazy. My daily is MK7 GTI and my wife has the MK7 TDI wagon. Best of both worlds. I'm 6'4 255lbs and people are blown away seeing me get out of either. There is so much usable space in them and you can park about anywhere compared to a tippy SUV. It's so sad seeing these great cars disappear from the roads here and get replaced by these dishwashers on wheels.


I may in fact start using dishwasher on wheels. Know if I do it's because of you sir :)


Of all at the show WHY!?!


This was shot and in the cards before the show actually.

MPistol HVBullets

This conversation still happens? Wagon vs SUV? The irony is SUV's are wagons..... they simply are the ugly version. Sure there are some that look good - but typically the ones that look good veer closer to wagon than SUV - IE: lower roof line. This isn't a debate - look at the body style of ANY SUV - it IS a wagon with poor proportions. There's no two ways about it. Ppl want their SUV to handle like a car (that's a wagon). Ppl want to carry more things in the car (that's a wagon). Do ppl really want to go offroad in an SUV? No, because they wanted a wagon - bought a wagon - allowed marketing to call it an SUV, and agreed that terrible proportions are acceptable.... to you.... just not acceptable to me..... there are A FEW decent looking SUV's, I'll admit that, but for the MOST part, SUV's are all hideous.... less so for wagons since they are typically well proportioned


In my household we have two wagons, a '17 V60 and a '13 A3 TDI. Both are great.
I feel that these 22's are too large by about 2".


Great car until the side view. That lower rear bumper treatment makes it look like it has a prolapsed anus.