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The new pinnacle: the Audi RS 6 and RS 7 ‘performance’ models

Oct 22, 2015

New versions of RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback bring power and performance even closer to supercar levels

  • New RS 6 and RS 7 performance variants to supplement existing models available from November priced at £86,000 OTR and £91,600 OTR
  • First deliveries in February 2016
  • 4.0 TFSI uprated by 45PS to 605PS, new overboost function offers on-demand torque increase of 50Nm to 750Nm
  • 0 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, top speed of up to 189mph
  • Best-in-class economy is undiminished by performance enhancements

A new peak is about to be reached in the Audi RS range as RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback ‘performance’ models join their existing and already formidable counterparts and ramp power up to a colossal 605PS and torque to up to 750Nm. Despite doing even greater justice to the RS badge by translating their 45PS and 50Nm output advantages into a supercar-challenging sprint time of just 3.7 seconds, the new RS performance models retain the same best-in-class fuel economy and efficiency figures as their ‘standard’ equivalents.

Available to order in the UK from November, and scheduled for first deliveries here next February, the RS 6 Avant performance will be priced at £86,000 OTR and the RS 7 Sportback performance at £91,600 OTR. The 4.0-litre TFSI engine at the heart of both bolsters its 605PS output with a 700Nm torque peak which can be temporarily increased by the driver to 750Nm by way of an overboost function.

The two RS high-performance models sprint from 0 to 62mph in just 3.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the respective standard RS model, and need just 12.1 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 124mph, giving them a 1.4-second advantage. In each case the governed 155mph top speed can be increased as an option to 174mph, or 189mph if the dynamic package plus is specified.

Despite the 45PS output boost, the sonorous V8 biturbo power unit returns up to 29.4mpg in the RS 6 Avant performance and 29.7mpg in the RS 7 Sportback performance, corresponding to 223 and 221 g/km of CO2.

Engineering expertise gathered by Audi and quattro GmbH over many years of RS model development has been invested in the upgraded 4.0 TFSI, from the specific engine management system with increased rpm and boost pressure to the Audi cylinder on demand (COD) system, which only activates four of the eight cylinders when under part load.

The standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission has been designed to maximise the potential of the even more extreme engine 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.

quattro with sport differential

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 per cent flows to the front axle and 60 per cent to the rear. The wheel-selective torque control intervenes as necessary. A sport differential acting on the rear axle is also standard, and enables active torque distribution between the inside and outside wheel.

With its dynamic set-up, 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. As an alternative, the tauter RS sports suspension plus with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) is also available, and both set-ups can be complemented by optional dynamic steering with a continuously variable steering ratio.

The driver can modulate the function of key components using Audi drive select, including the steering, engine and sound management, the tiptronic transmission and the sport differential. The RS performance models, like the all-new R8 sports car, make the Audi drive select configuration process even quicker and easier by enabling the driver to switch between the auto, comfort, dynamic and individual modes without taking eyes off the road using a special button on the RS multifunction sport leather steering wheel.

In both RS performance models, 21 inch cast aluminium wheels channel the exceptional output with the help of 285/30 tyres in the RS 6 Avant performance and 275/30 tyres in the RS 7 Sportback performance. The four internally ventilated brake discs have a weight-saving wave design, and can be replaced by carbon fibre-ceramic discs as an option.

Striking design details reinforce the preeminent position of the two new RS performance models. These include the accentuated 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 matt titanium-look detailing. RS super sports seats with pronounced side bolsters and integrated head restraints are standard, and are upholstered in a black and blue Alcantara and leather combination with a honeycomb pattern and matching stitching on the armrests which also extends to the control elements and floor mats. The knee pads are also finished in Alcantara and the inlays in carbon with blue thread. This sophisticated and exclusive carbon material is interwoven with a blue thread