Audi RS 6 and RS 7 performance 2016

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Audi RS 6 and RS 7
Audi RS 6 and RS 7

Audi RS 6 and RS 7 performance 4.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic Australian Launch Review.If you thought Audi’s RS models were the most focussed sports cars available from the German luxury brand, think again, because now there are ‘performance’ versions of the two ultimate RS cars, the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback.

Audi RS 6 and RS 7 performance
Audi RS 6 and RS 7 performance

Audi RS 6 and RS 7

Naturally, they bring more power and equipment, which of course means more pace and higher prices.

Audi RS 6 and RS 7
Audi RS 6 and RS 7

Audi’s RS 6 and RS 7 have always danced to a different beat than their chief German rivals, the hottest A6 wagon offering the practicality of a huge 565-litre boot and the most potent A7 hatch bringing a unique five-door design to the large luxury car market.

The one thing they have in common is epic performance from a monumental 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, which for these new performance variants has now been tweaked to deliver no less than 445kW of power (up from 412kW) and 750Nm of torque in overboost mode — up from 700Nm.

Audi RS 6 and RS 7
Audi RS 6 and RS 7

That makes them not only the most powerful Audis this side of the new R8 V10 Plus, but also the quickest, with a claimed 0-100km/h figure two-tenths quicker than the models they replace, at 3.7 seconds.

They’re genuinely fast, too, with the option of lifting their electronic speed-limiters to no less than 280km/h or even 305km/h. Fitted with the ‘Dynamic package plus’, the RS 7 we drove effortlessly topped 260km/h on the Phillip Island grand prix circuit’s main straight, and the RS 6 was only slightly slower at the same point before braking, at 255km/h.

Despite their sheer size and weight (both cars measure about five metres long and weigh around 2000kg), it’s hard to argue with Audi’s standing-start performance claims.

Audi RS 6 and RS 7
Audi RS 6 and RS 7

No, we’re not sure if they’re quicker than the standard models, but that’s because both top-shelf RS cars were already blisteringly quick off the line and delivered enough midrange punch to press you firmly into the lavish Alcantara/Valcona leather-clad RS seats from almost any speed.

The bellowing birturbo V8 in both models spins so quickly to its 6750rpm limiter in the lower gears of the eight-speed tiptronic auto that you need to be ready to flick the upshift paddle well before you get there.

It might not sound quite as glorious – nor rev quite as high – as the naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 in the RS 4, but its outright performance and flexibility with almost zero turbo lag is nothing short of epic.

Of course, you can’t defy physics and all that weight and torque makes getting out of lower-speed corners efficiently a waiting game, even with one of the best all-wheel drive systems in the business. But once pointed in the right direction, both the RS 6 and RS 7 slingshot out of bends with addictive brute force.

Audi RS 6 and RS 7
Audi RS 6 and RS 7

Don’t go thinking these are lead-tipped arrows, because they steer with surprising alacrity and precision, but retarding the speed of both these big five-door performance cars for any corner on any racetrack requires careful attention.

Indeed, brake fade was evident after a handful of hard laps at Phillip Island, which is notoriously tough on tyres and brakes, but not with ceramic brakes, which are a cool $20,940 option.

They also come as part of the 305km/h Dynamic package plus, which for a substantial $25,840 also includes Dynamic Steering, RS sport suspension plus with 20mm lower ride height and Dynamic Ride Control, which replaces the standard air springs with steel springs and hydraulic diagonally-linked dampers.

For ‘just’ $4900 there’s the basic Dynamic package, which comprises all of the above except ceramic brakes and a lower 280km/h speed-limiter.

Audi RS 6 and RS 7
Audi RS 6 and RS 7

Tick just a few more options – like red brake callipers ($980), privacy glass ($1200), crystal-effect paint ($1490), powered door closure ($1400), night vision ($4890) and a 1200-Watt, 15-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound ($12,000) – and you can easily spent over $300,000 on either RS model. A new Ascari blue exterior paint colour is also available by special order.

That said, there is a bunch of extra standard equipment for both models – on top of the extra power and torque, which comes at the expense of just 0.1L/100km higher fuel consumption.

For starters, the standard equipment list extends to quattro all-wheel drive with a self-locking crown gear centre differential, quattro sports rear diff, torque vectoring, RS adaptive air suspension and variable damping via the four-mode Audi Drive Select system.

Both performance models also gain 42mm wider wheel-arches wrapped around 21-inch titanium-look alloy wheels with 285/30 tyres (RS 6) or 275/30 tyres (RS 7).

The unique theme continues with a matt-titanium exterior styling package for the grille, front spoiler and air intakes, mirror caps, window surrounds and rear diffuser, which can be had instead in matt-aluminium (no cost), black ($2200) or carbon ($8500).

Also no-cost is the RS design package bringing RS sport seats in Alcantara/leather with honeycomb quilting in blue stitching, blue-stitched leather-clad front armrests, Alcantara door inserts, RS embossing on front seats, Audi exclusive leather covered controls in black with blue stitching and carbon-fibre inlays with blue twill.

Another no-cost option is the Audi exclusive package comprising Alcantara/Valcona leather with marcato blue honeycomb stitching and carbon-fibre blue twill inlays.

This is on top of chunkier bumpers with larger intakes, a revised rear diffuser, gloss-black honeycomb grille, flared side sills, Matrix LED headlights and dynamic turn indicators all round.

Also standard is the switchable RS sports exhaust, digital TV and DAB radio, head-up display (HUD), Audi parking system plus with front, rear and 360-degree view, park assist, glass sunroof (panoramic on RS 6), RS leather-clad three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom steering wheel, powered tailgate with gesture control and Driver Information System.

No, Audi’s new RS range-toppers don’t come cheap at $245,000 for the RS 6 performance and $258,000 for the RS 7 performance. But we reckon a circa $16,000 price premium for all that extra performance and equipment make them fitting new flagships for Audi’s racy RS line-up.

2016 Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback pricing and specifications:
Price: $245,400 and $258,000 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Output: 445kW/750Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Fuel: 9.7 and 9.6L/100km (ADR Combined)
CO2: 226 and 224g/km (ADR Combined)
Safety rating: Five-star (ANCAP)

 

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Audi RS 6 and RS 7 performance 2016
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Audi RS 6 and RS 7 performance 4.0 TFSI quattro tiptronic Australian Launch Review.If you thought Audi’s RS models were the most focussed sports cars available from the German luxury brand, think again, because now there are ‘performance’ versions of the two ultimate RS cars, the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback.
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