More powerful and faster than any RS 6 and RS 7 to date: the new Audi RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance are being introduced to South African media and customers this week at the Audi driving experience hosted at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.
Bursting with equipment that sharpen the models’ appearance and make for a more emotive driving experience, the new performance derivatives boast a potent 4.0-litre V8 biturbo TFSI engine that now produces 463 kW of power and maximum torque of 850 Nm.
At Audi, ‘performance’ means more power. For example, larger turbochargers and an increase in boost pressure from 2.4 to 2.6 bar in the 4.0-litre V8 biturbo TFSI engine free an additional 22 kW in power and 50 Nm more torque. The performance models sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the non-performance RS 6/RS 7 versions (which are no longer available in South Africa).
Yet, less is sometimes more: reduced insulation between the engine compartment, the interior, and the rear of the vehicle ensures the RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance will thrill customers with an exciting, next-level sound experience – the reduction also makes the car eight kilograms lighter. The RS 6 Avant performance has a total unladen weight of 2,090 kg whilst the RS 7 Sportback performance weighs 2,065 kg.
For heightened driving dynamics: the new self-locking centre differential
Power from the 4.0 TFSI engine flows through an eight-speed tiptronic transmission with faster shifting times to the permanent all-wheel drive quattro setup. The strictly mechanical centre differential distributes engine power to the rear axle at a ratio of 40:60 and, if slippage occurs, more drive torque is applied to the axle with better traction – up to 70 percent can flow to the front axle and 85 percent to the rear axle. The self-locking centre differential is lighter and more compact, improving driving dynamics plus offering noticeably more precise cornering which makes for less understeering at the handling limits. As an added improvement, the self-steering response is more exact with passengers benefitting from a more agile driving experience overall.
Exclusive and high-performance: 22-inch wheels with high-performance tyres
The new RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance leave the production line on standard 22-inch matte titanium grey, diamond turned wheels, which are also available in burnished glossy metallic black, matte black, or matte neodymium gold. Inspired by motorsport, the airy 5-Y spoke design aids brake cooling and the lighter rims are manufactured in a high-tech forging-milling process. The new lightweight wheel is around five kilograms lighter than the 22-inch aluminium wheel on the current RS 6 Avant or RS 7 Sportback – this 20-kilogram weight reduction in unsprung mass overall improves the throttle response.
New high-performance Continental Sport Contact 7 285/30 tyres also play a key role in reducing weight. The tyres offer consistently impressive grip on both dry and wet roads, and reduce understeer when cornering at speed, making for overall more precise handling across the entire speed range. Additionally, the brake path is up to two metres shorter with the new wheels when braking from 100 to 0 km/h.
The Audi drive select dynamic handling system lets the driver control the vehicle’s character. Six profiles are available: efficiency, comfort, auto and dynamic, as well as two customisable RS-specific RS1 and RS2 modes. Experience of the driving modes in the performance models is much more unique than before. For example, the coasting mode now activates automatically only in the efficiency profile, which means at speeds of up to 160 km/h, it switches off the combustion engine and coasts with no fuel consumption or drag torque from the engine.
Additionally, fine-tuning to the engine control unit software makes for tighter load changes in S mode when the “dynamic” drive select mode or driving mode S is active, further increasing the emotionality. The updated software in the transmission control unit makes for faster shifting times and a noticeably increased spread between the various driving modes.
Fresh exterior colours and styling packages
The new RS 6 Avant performance and RS 7 Sportback performance are available in a total of 16 exterior colours and, for the first time, metallic and matte Ascari Blue and matte Dew Silver are included. The performance models stand out with standard RS exterior components in matte grey, including the exterior mirrors, the front spoiler, the front side flaps, the side sill inserts, the roof rails, and the trim on the side windows and rear diffuser. A matte carbon/black styling package is also an option, in which the roof rails and trim on the side windows are black. The Audi rings and model name is available in the customer’s choice of chrome or black.
Out of the blue: new interior accents and features
In the interior, the familiar RS design packages in grey and red have been expanded to include blue. The steering wheel rim in Alcantra black features contrasting stitching in Mercato blue, whilst the floor mats, the side of the centre console, and the selector lever cuff also come with blue contrast stitching. The seat belts are full-surface ocean blue with the decorative inlays in a carbon twill structure with optional blue accents. The selector lever knob and the side of the centre console are made with Dinamica microfibre, which consists of around 45% recycled PET fibres and the sports seats feature high-quality Valcona leather upholstery perforated with honeycomb stitching with contrasting stitching in Mercato blue. Another distinguishing feature is an entrance LED in the front doors that projects the lettering “RS performance” onto the ground next to the car.
Customers can order RS design packages in the three available colour variants. An added benefit of this equipment variant is the seat centre panel with a grey, red, or blue inlay, while the customer’s chosen colour shows through the perforated sports seats and the seat backs feature RS embossing in matching colours.
The displays of the standard 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus offer new features including a blinking shift indicator in manual transmission mode which changes the r/min display from green to yellow to red, blinking in a manner identical to that used in motorsport, to indicate the optimal time to change gears. Lastly, launch control, which fully exploits the acceleration potential of the RS 6 Avant performance and the RS 7 Sportback performance by signalling the ideal moment to accelerate off the line, now comes with new traffic light icons.
- Audi RS 6 Avant performance: R 2,332,700
- Audi RS 7 Sportback performance: R 2,444,500
Pricing above is inclusive of a 5-year/100,000 km Audi Freeway Plan.