Audi’s racy sportster pairing of the RS6 and RS7 are not fooling around even though their debut date on South African showroom floors is April 1 – getting a more aggressive look and packing an 800 Nm punch.
With the RS6 Avant, the body has been widened around 40 millimetres on each side while the new Audi RS 7 Sportback sits low to the ground. The extreme width is no optical illusion – at 1 950 millimetres at the front fenders, the performance model is an extra 40 millimetres or so wider than the base model. Its RS-specific exterior design gives the 5 009 millimetre grand tourer a character all of its own.
The entire front-end of both models are differentiated to the maximum. In addition to the new hood together with power dome, the performance models adopt a flatter, sportier headlight structure which offer HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light and darkened trims as a standard feature. The lights feature a dynamic turn signal along with a RS-specific sequencing when the vehicle is locked and unlocked.
The three-dimensional honeycomb structure within the Singleframe grill is finished in gloss black. The Singleframe surround and the quattro logo in the bumper have been eliminated. Below the headlights, side air inlets open on the new RS bumper and extend almost into the lower edge of the headlights.
The 4.0 TFSI in the new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback produces 441 kW and delivers 800 Nm of torque within a broad range from 2 050 r/min to 4 500 r/min. The high-performance models will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3,6 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h but this can be increased to 280 km/h with the RS Dynamic package.
Thanks to its mild hybrid system (MHEV) with a 48-volt main on-board electrical system, the belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity. If the driver releases the accelerator at a speed between 55 km/h and 160 km/h, the drive management will select one of two options. Depending on the driving situation and the settings in Audi drive select, the vehicle will either recover energy or coast with the engine switched off. When the driver steps on the accelerator, the belt alternator starter will start the engine again. MHEV technology allows for start-stop mode at speeds below 22 km/h. As soon as the vehicle in front of the performance model starts moving, the engine will spring back to life—even if the brakes are applied. With the MHEV-technology it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0,8 l/100 kilometres.
The cylinder on demand (COD) system means in higher gears at low to medium loads and engine speeds, it will deactivate cylinders 2, 3, 5, and 8 by halting injection and ignition and closing the intake and exhaust valves. In four-cylinder mode, the operating points will switch to the active cylinders at higher loads, improving efficiency, while the deactivated cylinders continue to run like gas springs, largely without any losses. When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, they are reactivated immediately. Each switchover takes mere milliseconds and is virtually undetectable by the driver and passengers.
The power produced by the 4.0 TFSI flows via the standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimised shift times and a new launch control function to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio via the purely mechanical centre differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70% can flow to the front wheels and up to 85% to the back wheels.
The performance models are fitted as standard with RS-specific wheels with a 22-inch 5-V-spoke design with 285/30 tyres in silver, matt titanium look, gloss turned finish, and gloss turned anthracite black finish.
The calipers of the RS brake system with internally ventilated and perforated discs (420 millimetres at the front, 370 millimetres at the rear) are painted red as standard. On the optional RS ceramic brakes, the calipers can be blue. The discs measure 440 millimetre at the front and 370 millimetres at the rear. The new RS ceramic brake system tips the scales at 34 kilograms less than its steel counterpart, which cuts down on unsprung mass.
The special RS displays use the Audi virtual cockpit to provide details of tyre pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and g-forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the rev limit is reached.
The RS models are priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan:
Audi RS 6 Avant TFSI quattro R 2,070,000
Audi RS 7 Sportback TFSI quattro R 2,173,500