Audi is celebrating the RS 6 Avant’s 20th birthday this year. Hotel manager Andreas Fehlberger from Erding near Munich has been behind the wheel of RS models for the same period. In this interview, he tells us what drives him, proverbially speaking, and why the only car he needs in the garage is his 600-PS station wagon.
Mr. Fehlberger, you’re 40 years old and have been driving RS models for 20 years, right now an RS 6 Avant. Why the brand loyalty?
Andreas Fehlberger: It started with an experience I had while I was doing my training. My boss let me drive his RS 4, and I was hooked. I’ve always liked station wagons, and the RS 6 is a car that’s perfect for every situation. I often use it to do bulk shopping. Besides that, I always wanted to have something special, not a small car or an off-the-shelf color. I bought my first RS in 2002, a B5-generation RS 4 in Daytona Gray Pearl Effect. After that I had two RS 5s, one in metallic Suzuka Gray and one in metallic Ipanema Brown. Finally, I ended up with the RS 6, a C7 in metallic Austin Yellow. Right now I’m driving a current C8-generation RS 6 in Berry Pearl Effect.
You’re obviously a fan of custom paint jobs. That aside, what’s your take on the current design language for the RS 6 Avant?
Fehlberger: It’s exactly the right way to go. If it were up to me, the RS 6 would look even sharper. The C7 was a bit more daring from the outside, and the C8, with its even fatter cheeks, carbon package and 22-inch tires, which I drive winter and summer, is exactly my car. To me, small wheels are a make-or-break criterion [laughs].
Over the years, output has risen steadily in almost all segments, and your RS 6 Avant has a whopping 600 PS. Is that in keeping with the times?
Fehlberger: We could debate this for hours, I’m sure. I appreciate the output when I need it, but of course I don’t always push things to the limit; most of the time I drive rather comfortably. Then there’s the fuel aspect, which is also a big issue at the moment, especially when a liter costs more than two euros. On average, eleven or twelve liters will take me about 100 kilometers. Now and then, I’ll manage to do it in under ten when I’m driving in efficiency mode.
Do you ever hit the racetrack?
Fehlberger: No, never of my own accord. I was in Italy recently – I like to drive up and down the mountain passes there. But I drive mainly for the enjoyment of it. To me, it’s important to know how to control a car that has an output like this. That’s why I take part in training sessions on the racetrack when the opportunity arises.
Let’s look a few years into the future. Would you drive a partially electric RS 6 Avant?
Fehlberger: Let me put it this way: I’m not against it, but it has to look and feel right, on a par with my RS 6. I don’t see myself driving an all-electric car yet.
Back to your RS 6 Avant. Is it your only car?
Fehlberger: Yes, because all I need is my RS 6 – even on Saturdays and Sundays, I always hop into my RS. Like I said, to me the car is the perfect all-rounder, a Jack of all trades, so to speak. Limitless power, space for the whole family, and it looks amazing. The quattro all-wheel drive was another important criterion for me. If the car had rear-wheel drive, I would have bought something else. The RS ceramic brake system is an absolute must-have. Then there is the laser light and rear lights, which always fascinate me, especially the way the light reacts when I lock or unlock the car. But I’m also a big fan of the Bang and Olufsen sound system.
How does your environment react to the RS 6 Avant?
Fehlberger: Last year in Munich, a biker chased me for a while and asked me at a red light if he could take a few pictures. It was probably because of the color, the huge wheels, or the car’s overall stately appearance. But maybe it was also because the car simply goes down well in Germany, the world Capital of station wagons.
Is there anything you miss about your RS 6 Avant that you might expect from its successor?
Fehlberger: I should have treated myself to the massage seats and maybe a little more sound [laughs]. I’d be happy if the next RS 6 would focus more on lighting with OLEDs.
Bron: Audi DE