Find of the Day: 2002 Audi S6 Avant Manual AND RS 6 Engine Swap

words: Bill, photos: ninertriplezero via Cars & Bids This year, we finally got the C8 RS 6 Avant here in the States. For way too long, we’ve been longingly looking across the pond while everyone else got to romp around in the super Avant. However, one person took matters into his own hands. What you see here is a C5 S6 Avant that has been transformed into an RS 6 Avant and with a manual transmission. Be still my beating heart. Here’s the ad:

Doug’s Take

WOW — now THIS is one really, really cool Audi!!! The “C5” S6 Avant was only sold in North America for the 2002 and 2003 model years, which makes it exceptionally rare in stock form – but this is far from that. This S6 boasts an engine swap from the RS6, making it the closest thing we ever got to having a C5 RS6 Avant here in the States. AND it has a 6-speed manual transmission, which was never offered on either car. This Audi also includes a lot of other modifications to enhance the driving experience, along with a clean, accident-free Carfax report – AND the seller is offering it with no reserve. This is an extremely exciting Audi, and an exciting auction for Cars & Bids.


THIS… is a 2002 Audi S6 Avant, finished in Ming Blue Metallic with a Grey interior.

  • This S6 features a desirable 6-speed manual transmission.
  • The attached Carfax vehicle history report shows no accidents or mileage discrepancies in this S6’s past.
  • A build sheet is provided in the photo gallery, and a partial list of notable equipment includes all-wheel drive, Servotronic steering, a power sliding and tilting sunroof, additional noise insulation, auto-adjusting headlights, heated front and rear seats, an electrically adjustable steering column, adaptive cruise control, and a navigation system.
  • Modifications to this Audi are extensive, and the full list is detailed below. Highlights include a 4.2-liter RS6 V8 swap, 01E 6-speed manual transmission with a taller sixth gear from a Euro-spec Audi TDI, RS6 SE exhaust, TDI front axels, Ringer Racing Stage III clutch and flywheel, RS6 brakes, RS6 bodywork and belly pan, RS6 headlights, and carbon-fiber interior trim.
  • Called “C5” internally, the second-generation A6 is one of the cars that helped Audi position itself as a credible alternative to BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It was launched for the 1998 model year with a highly aerodynamic design, an upscale interior that reflected Audi’s upmarket ambitions, and available all-wheel drive. The quicker, V8-powered S6 was offered in the United States exclusively as a wagon for 2002 and 2003, but never with a manual transmission. A total of 882 S6s were sold here for 2002, according to Audi’s archives. An RS6 Avant was never offered in the U.S. market, though the RS6 sedan was offered for the 2003 model year.
  • Power comes from a 4.2-liter Biturbo V8, rated at 450 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. Due to the modifications performed to this S6, it may produce more power, but a dyno sheet was not provided to confirm. Power is sent to all 4 wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.


A build sheet is provided in the photo gallery, and a partial list of notable equipment includes:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Servotronic steering
  • Torsen torque-sensing center differential
  • Auto-adjusting xenon headlights
  • Power sliding and tilting sunroof
  • Additional noise insulation
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Alcantara headliner
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 200-watt Bose audio system
  • Driver information display
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Navigation system


The seller reports that the following modifications have been performed: Mechanical:

  • BCY 4.2-Liter Biturbo V8
  • Stern motor mounts
  • OE RS6 SE Exhaust (with cats) and black oval tips
  • ETSpec 6MT ECU tune
  • Rebuilt Audi 01E 6 Speed manual transmission
  • JHM Rebuild kit
  • JHM Solid Shifter
  • JHM 4:1 Center diff
  • TDI 6th Gear (lower revs when cruising)
  • TDI front axles (higher torque rating)
  • Ringer Racing Stage III Clutch and Flywheel combo
  • H5-40-RS 40 amp-hour with 1500 cranking amp lithium-ion battery
  • 19×8.5 Forged Champion Motorsports RF-62 wheels in anthracite gray

Brakes and suspension:

  • RS6 brakes front and rear
  • ECS braided steel brake lines
  • H&R RS6 springs
  • Bilstein Sport dampers
  • Hotchkiss front and rear swaybars


  • RS6 body (front and rear bumpers, side skirts, door blades, side view mirrors, and grilles, with all OE hardware and bracketry)
  • Euro-spec RS6 headlights with clear corners
  • RS6 specific belly pan
  • Debadged
  • RS6 brushed aluminum side mirror bodies


  • RS6 gauge cluster
  • RS6 specific black door pulls
  • Carbon fiber interior trim

Known Flaws

  • The mileage reflected in the gauge cluster is the engine mileage from the RS6 donor car. The chassis is estimated to have about 5,000 fewer miles on it, but an exact mileage is not available. As a result, this RS6 is listed as True Mileage Unknown or TMU; the odometer currently displays approximately 143,000 miles.
  • Rock chips in the paint
  • Driver side-view mirror glass discoloration
  • Pitting and chips in the side view mirror front-facing housings
  • Rust bubbling under the roof rails
  • Cracking on front and rear seat bottoms and back
  • Wear on rubber floor mats
  • Scratching on the ignition tumbler surround
  • Scratching on the kick plates
  • General wear on the button, dials, and steering wheel
  • Some rust on underbody components (pictured in the gallery)

Recent Service History

The attached Carfax report shows services that have been performed up until 2014. The seller states that recent maintenance includes:

  • July 2021: New front tires
  • June 2021: Engine oil change, new front rotors and pads, new power steering pump, and all four wheels powder coated
  • October 2020: New clutch and flywheel, new Bilstein shocks and H&R springs
  • March 2019: Transmission fluid replaced

Additional service documentation is included in the gallery, however, the seller reports that it corresponds to the donor RS6.

Other Items Included in Sale

  • 1 key
  • Owner’s manuals (S6)
  • OE RS6 Avant rear spoiler (painted)
  • OE RS6 front bumper holder (painted)
  • Interior wood trim
  • U.S. RS6 TCU
  • RS6 starter motor
  • Full stainless steel pedal set for C5
  • New Euro side view mirror glass heated/dimming
  • Better condition set of RS6 side view mirrors
  • Four new replacement door speakers for Bose system
  • An additional set of black RS6 interior door handles, trim, surrounds, and tweeters
  • Stock S6 springs
  • Euro-only RS6 Plus Avant springs
  • Koni Yellow shocks
  • Two C5 Audi Symphony II head units
  • Various C5 interior trim pieces
  • RS6 rear spoiler and front license plate holder (painted)
  • Cargo cover and net

Ownership History

The seller purchased the vehicle as an unmodified S6 in June 2015 at roughly 110,000 miles. The seller has since put 33,000 miles on the car.

Seller Notes

  • The seller also states that when the new RS6 bodywork was painted, the two front fenders were painted as well in order to blend the new bodywork with the original paint.
  • Due to the modifications performed to this S6, it may not pass emissions testing in some states. As always, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to perform all due diligence regarding registering this Audi in their respective state prior to placing a bid.

As Doug said in the beginning, wow…RS 6 and manual swap. We’ve seen a B7 S4 Avant transformed into an RS 4 Avant by Dan Gray (featured in the quattro Magazine Q1_2018 issue) and this is right up there with that…impatient Audi fans taking the reins for their fantasy car. In the comments on the ad, ninertriplezero states that: All of the mechanical work for the engine/transmission swap, subframes and everything drivetrain and suspension related was completed by a 16 year Audi Master Tech who has built 5 of these, and who I’m still in touch with. Much of the OEM+ work: (shifter, headlights, RS6 body installation etc) was done by me. (And I am a stickler for hunting down ALL of the right brackets, fasteners and trim fillers, some of which are extremely hard to source) The drivetrain conversion happened about 10k miles ago. Between having multiple cars and my commute going from very short to zero during 2020, all of my cars see very little in the way of miles. One cool thing is that immediately after the conversion, the car made a 1700 mile trip, -in the summer- from Sacramento to Colorado Springs (by way of Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Santa Fe) without issue.

If you don’t have the skills to do your own transformation, take the “easy” way…buy this. As of right now, there are 5 days left and the bid is up to $15,450. You can find this super Avant, hundreds of photos, and a few videos HERE.