Unfortunately they don’t offer the RS vehicles to fleet journalists for test drives, so we’ve never driven one. So it may be surprising to know, that the V8 twin turbo powered celestial object in the body of a family station wagon is our favourite vehicle in the Audi range.
In the office we often joke about joining a ‘real’ motoring publication so we can get invited to sports car launches and drive days. But how would we help our friends and family move house without access to the vans, utes and trucks that make up the business fleet.
Oh sure, the people at Toyota gave us an introduction to Lexus to drive the gorgeous RC350 F and GS F. BMW is targeting novated lease buyers so we’ve taken the X1 and X2 M35i for a spin. And we did get a Q8, A8 and Q2, and Q7 from Audi. So we can’t really complain. But like everything in life, you want what you can’t have.
Now that Audi Australia is expecting the all-new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback to arrive later this year, we’re on the campaign trail. So here goes;
Dear Mr Sansom,
Please sir, can we borrow an RS 6 Avant for a week, or two?
The team at FAN
According to the press release, the all-new generation models combine supercar performance with a striking new design and progressive technology to set a new benchmark for contemporary sports cars.
“The idea of a high-performance sports car that is also refined and versatile enough for everyday driving is one that Audi has excelled in over the last 25 years,” said Paul Sansom, Managing Director if Audi Australia.
“The new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback are every driving enthusiast’s dream because they offer such all-round ability. But most impressive of all is the way these cars can generate excitement: in the way they look, the way they sound and of course, the way they drive.”
The all-new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback are the very pinnacle of the illustrious Audi RS range, and offer truly mind-blowing performance. The beating heart of these thoroughbreds is the 4.0-litre TFSI V8 engine. Two twin-scroll turbochargers sit within the 90-degree vee, each feeding one bank of cylinders with up to 1.4 bar of boost pressure. The aluminium crankcase weighs just 39.1 kg, and along with highlights like special plasma-coated cylinder linings, variable intake and exhaust camshafts, twin high-pressure fuel pumps and a fully variable oil pump, is an exhibition of innovative, high-performance engineering.
All-up, the 4.0 TFSI engine develops a monumental 441kW of power and an earth-turning 800Nm of torque, available across a wide band from 2,050-4,500rpm. Performance is astonishing, with both models sprinting to 100 km/h from rest in just 3.6 seconds, to 200 km/h in just 12 seconds, before reaching a limited top speed of 280 km/h.
As impressive as this crushing performance is, progressive efficiency technologies are integral to the all-new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback. Its 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system can recover up to 12 kW of power while coasting or under light throttle. The start/stop system also draws on the 48v electrical system and functions at speeds up to 22 km/h, saving up to 0.8 litres of fuel, per 100km. Additionally, cylinder on demand (COD) technology can shut down four cylinders under light throttle load, resuming within milliseconds when required. All of this is imperceptible to the driver and passengers.
To harness the engine’s incredible power, the all-new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback are equipped with a fast-shifting eight-speed tiptronic transmission, directing power to the road via the legendary Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Under normal driving conditions, torque is distributed asymmetrically: 40:60, front to rear respectively. This provides the perfect platform for dynamic handling with optimal traction, however up to 85 percent of engine torque can be directed to the rear wheels for especially sporty handling. The quattro sport differential can provide further adjustment, directing almost all of the rear axle’s torque to either wheel during particularly dynamic driving.
With capability for such velocities, the braking system that underpins the RS 6 and RS 7 is suitably powerful. The standard system comprises of steel brakes, with red 10-piston calipers clamping 420mm front discs, with 370mm at the rear. The optional RS ceramic braking system comprises even larger front discs, at 440mm, and a choice of colour for the calipers (grey, red or blue).
For the first time, the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback also benefit from dynamic all-wheel steering, enhancing both agility and stability – depending on the driving situation. The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds, reducing the turning circle by up to one metre, turning the same direction as the front wheels at speed, which provides dynamic handling with unshakable stability. This forms part of the RS Dynamic package, which is now standard on all Australian vehicles. Also equipped is the new adaptive air suspension, which has a broader depth of ability than ever before. The system can adjust ride height and the balance between suppleness and firmness depending on the driving conditions. A comfortable ride and agile handling are assured at all times. Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), which diagonally links the car’s suspension hydraulically, is available as an option.
All of these dynamic systems, the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) and the standard RS sports exhaust, are integrated through the Audi Drive Select system. The RS 6 and RS 7 debut two new RS 1 and RS 2 modes within Audi Drive Select that can be quickly accessed and configured for specific high-performance settings.
The all-new RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback display an imposing, athletic stance on the road. They share an aggressive exterior design with sharply sculpted elements. The wider Singleframe grille combines a black gloss finish with the RS-specific honeycomb structure, edged by arresting air inlets that sit below the standard HD Matrix headlights (with front and rear dynamic indicators), creating sheer dominance on the road. Audi laser lighting technology further enhances the sophisticated lighting system by doubling the range of vision when travelling at speeds of more than 70 km/h. Both vehicles are equipped with distinctive 22-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels as standard, with the striking red brake calipers within.
The RS 6 Avant is the latest incarnation of the iconic Audi high-performance wagon body style, offering excellent versatility for such a capable sports car. The RS 7 Sportback is a more contemporary body style, and both vehicles have a wider stance and broadly flared wheel arches that set them apart from their respective A6 and A7 siblings (40mm each side for RS 6, 20 mm for RS 7). Luggage capacity for the RS 6 and RS 7 is 565 and 535 litres respectively, with 1680 and 1390 litres available with the seats folded forward. With the seats up, both vehicles seat five people comfortably.
The RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback are highly specified, as expected of vehicles of such calibre. Exterior highlights include the black exterior styling package, panoramic glass sunroof and metallic paint. Inside, the cabin is upholstered in fine Nappa leather, while the RS sport front seats are swathed in Valcona leather and feature full electric adjustability, heating and lumber support. Comfort items include convenience key, electric tailgate, electric/heated/folding mirrors, privacy glass, power-assisted door closure and electric steering column adjustment.
Infotainment and connectivity are real strengths of the RS 6 and RS 7, with highlights including MMI navigation plus with MMI touch response (with dual touchscreens), Audi connect plus, Audi virtual cockpit, Audi smartphone interface with wireless Apple CarPlay, Audi phone box light wireless smartphone charging, 4x USB outlets located in the front and rear, DAB+ digital radio and the Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system (16 speakers, 705W).
The full suite of available Audi driver assistance systems are fitted to the RS 6 and RS 7 as standard, including Adaptive cruise assist with Stop&Go and traffic jam assist, active lane assist and 360-degree cameras with kerb view. Additionally, tyre pressure monitoring, an alarm and anti-theft wheel nuts with loose wheel detection provide peace-of-mind.
A selection of eight exterior colours are available on the all-new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, also unlocking a new crystal effect paint in Sebring black, as well as a striking Matt effect paint finish via Audi exclusive.
The RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback offer several equipment option packages with further interior customisation available, including a sensory package, the carbon and black styling package and the RS Dynamic package plus (with ceramic brakes and raised 305 km/h speed limit).
The all-new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback will arrive in dealers on July 24th for first customer deliveries, and will be available to order through the new Audi online purchase platform, at audi.com.au
|RS 6 Avant quattro tiptronic||441kW||$216,000|
|RS 7 Sportback quattro tiptronic||441kW||$224,000|
(*Manufacturer List Pricing [MLP] – excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges)