Audi RS and S Experience – Milbrook proving ground

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Audi UK decided one of the best ways to get their RS and S models into the public would be to get more people to drive them. An excellent sentiment that led to myself, Adrian (business partner) and a fair few others (including the mighty @perfectionvalet) being invited to Audi’s test day at Milbrook proving ground to do just that.

As you approach the facility, you feel like you’re entering a military base. Large, heavy metal gates and security booths dominate the entrance. A young lady appears to tape up our phone cameras. Due to the nature of the facility, there’s many secretive tests and cars running around in their camouflage, which all adds to the excitement of the day.

Then, something unexpected happened. To be escorted to our hospitality for the day deep in the heart of Milbrook, a shining white R8 grumbled into view, it’s indicator cycling like Kit from Nightrider. You couldn’t ask for a better escort through the twists of the area that covers 700 acres of twists, turns, hills and valleys.

The Milbrook proving ground

Milbrook proving ground feels like a different world at times


The itinerary for the day was simple. Lots of driving, each time with a different instructor. You got to take each car on the high speed bowl (up to 100mph) and on the Alpine circuit to get a good feel for the handling on the more twisty stuff. At some point during the day we also got a passenger ride in the RS6 on the handling circuit and a much higher speed version of the high speed bowl.

Here’s the hit list:

  • Audi R8
  • Audi RS4
  • Audi RS6
  • Audi S5 Cabriolet
  • Audi S8
  • Audi S4
  • Audi S5 Sportback
  • Audi TT RS
  • Audi TT S

That’s quite a list of cars to experiencing in one day. It was just as exciting as it sounds. The alpine circuit is a great little drive and by the end of the day we had the lines well explored and were getting through it quicker each time (which is a shame because it’s so enjoyable!).

Audi RS6 at Milbrook proving ground

The RS6 is a mighty beast


There’s been quite a lot of lukewarm press about some of the latest S and RS models for Audi. Many describing them as a little lacking in soul and personality. Evo (the magazine) certainly holds this view. Whilst to the motoring elite and compared to many other cars this may well be true, and I think for many of us these cars are deeply impressive. The RS6 and RS4 in particular are fantastic overall cars – space, practicality, power, handling – it’s all there. The S8, the large barge that it is was one of my secret favourites. Like an absolute limo inside and yet still can fly with aplomb around the Alpine circuit.

My personal favourite of all though will probably not surprise you – the R8. Noise of norse gods (especially with the back window down), amazing power and on the Alpine circuit felt phenomenal in terms of flow and driver involvement. Now, there were cars there faster than the R8 on paper but none were the experience that is provided. The RS6 came an overall second and is an amazing car altogether.

My immense thanks for Audi for the day and even producing the video below of our ride in the RS6. Watch with pleasure especially what looks like medical gauze under my helmet (a hygiene net as it turns out)

About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.