EMBATTLED car maker Audi has thrown its hefty performance and efficiency capabilities behind a new model designation – to be simply known as ‘performance’ – with models to carry the RS branding.
The Audi RS 6 Avant performance and Audi RS 7 Sportback performance further hone the brand’s sporty profile, with their 4.0 TFSI engine with 445 kW and up to 750 Nm of torque pushing acceleration nearly to levels usually reserved for supercars.
The new Audi RS 6 Avant performance and the new Audi RS 7 Sportback performance offer more power output than ever before. The 4.0 TFSI now produces 445 kW and maximum torque of 700 Nm. A particular highlight of the engine is an overboost function allowing the driver to temporarily draw on up to 750 Nm.
The two RS high-performance models sprint like supercars from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the respective base RS model. They need just 12.1 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 200 km/h, 1.4 seconds less than the base RS models. With the optional dynamic package, top speed can be increased from 250 to 280 and 305 km/h, respectively. Despite the output boost of 33 kW, the sonorous V8 biturbo power unit consumes just 9.6 and 9.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, respectively.
The standard eight-speed tiptronic has been designed for extreme sportiness in both the new RS 6 Avant performance and the new RS 7 Sportback performance. The driver can choose between the modes D and S or change gears manually either by tapping the selector lever or by using the shift paddles on the RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel. In manual mode, a shift indicator in the driver information system or optional head-up display indicates the rev limit.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers the power to the road and flexibly distributes torque as needed via the centre differential. In the standard configuration, 40 percent flows to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear axle. The wheel-selective torque control intervenes as necessary. Audi also equips the quattro drive train with an optional sport differential on the rear axle with active torque distribution between the inside and outside wheel.
With its dynamic setup, the standard RS adaptive air suspension lowers the body of the RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance by 20 millimetres. The integrated damping control varies as a function of the road conditions, driving style and the mode chosen in Audi drive select. Audi offers the tauter RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) as an alternative. An additional option is dynamic steering with a continuously variable steering ratio.
The driver can adjust the function of key components using Audi drive select, including the steering, engine and sound management, the tiptronic and the optional sport differential. New in the performance models: Similar to the new Audi R8 high-performance sports car, the driver can switch between the modes auto, comfort, dynamic and individual without taking his or her eyes off the road using a special button on the RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel.
The new RS performance models come standard with exclusive 21-inch cast aluminium wheels shod with size 285/30 tyres on the RS 6 Avant performance and 275/30 tyres on the RS 7 Sportback performance. The four internally ventilated brake discs have a weight-saving wave design; as an option, Audi offers carbon fibre-ceramic discs. Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) has a Sport mode and can be deactivated if need be.
Striking design details reinforce the preeminent position of the two new RS performance models. These include the sportily designed bumpers with large air inlets up front and the heavily profiled diffuser insert at the rear, the gloss black honeycomb grille typical of the RS models and the flared side sills. The RS performance-specific exterior is distinguished by a quattro logo on the air inlet duct and add-on parts in matt titanium look. Audi offers the new exclusive paint finish Ascari blue, metallic as an option.
The sporty elegant interior of the RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance comes standard with RS sport seats with pronounced side bolsters and integrated head restraints. Audi offers the seats in the colour combination black and blue with the optional RS performance design package.
This includes new seat upholstery in an Alcantara/leather combination with a honeycomb pattern and matching contrasting stitching on the armrests, control elements and floor mats. Rounding out this interior combination are knee pads in Alcantara and carbon twill blue inlays. This sophisticated and exclusive carbon material is interwoven with a blue thread. The dial instruments feature black faces, white dials and red needles.
The new Audi RS 6 Avant performance and the new Audi RS 7 Sportback performance models will arrive in Australia in second quarter of 2016. Pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.