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Ah, the simple perfection of a gen-1 Audi RS6

OK, so it’s not the V10 one, but gaze upon the C5’s perfectly proportioned lines

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No, it’s not the mad one with a V10, or the one capable of extracting a variety of previously unknown swear words from your brain. It’s the first one (sorta, if we discount the RS2), That One From Layer Cake, and thus, the coolest one. Don’t @ us.

It is the first Audi RS6. Compared to the new one we’ve just driven and really rather liked – that’s over this way – it looks like a city car. But this was what everyone now likes to label a ‘game-changer’. Practical. Fast. A desirable badge. A fine recipe for a motor vehicle.

OK, maybe it feels lazy and blunt compared to its modern incarnations, as TG’s Ollie Marriage noted in this here test. But remember that it’s from 2002. The world was a different place in 2002 and anyway, in our hyperactive world, being lazy and blunt is just fine.

We will instead focus on the fact that it has aged very gracefully indeed, that its 4.2-litre biturbo V8 was good for 444bhp and 0-62mph in less than five seconds, and that your whole family could join in the fun. Because it was, once again for the back, a practical performance car.

So yes, though the new one is mightily aggressive (can you imagine it riding in your rearview? *shudder*) and capable of outgunning most supercars and all the rest of it, the C5 is a little less try-hard. And thus cooler.

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