Audi turns up the wick on twin-turbo V8-powered wagon and coupe
BY PETER BARNWELL
As the saying goes in some car enthusiast circles, “You can never have enough power”, and Audi would seem to be applying that thinking to the recently upgraded RS6 Avant (wagon) and RS7 Sportback coupe stablemate.
In fact, both have more of everything for 2024 and add the word “performance” to their names for good measure.
It’s totally understandable given the jump in power and torque alone from the previous model’s 441kW and 800Nm to a facial skin stretching 463kW and 850Nm.
But the price has increased by around $9K apiece to $241,500 for the RS6 and $248,500 for the RS7 excluding on road costs.
The extra kick from the sweet-sounding 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine comes from an increase in boost from the twin turbo system, the wick turned up from 2.4 bar to 2.6 bar, equating to nearly 38psi in the old measurement.
The news of this pair of Audis demonstrates the German-based carmaker is not quite ready to lay its V8 petrol mills to rest as it transitions to electric power.
That would come as music to the ears of hard-core petrol heads but Audi is having a bet each way here with a mild hybrid electric motor assistance system giving the V8 a leg-up.
The numbers do all the talking with blistering 0-100km/h times courtesy of the increased power and torque with the Avant and the Coupe clocking a 0-100km/h sprint in a rapid 3.4 seconds, shaving 0.2 seconds from the predecessor’s time.
“These two legendary models have become even more formidable. With an even higher level of capability than their astonishing predecessors, the new RS6 Avant performance and RS7 Sportback performance boast a finely optimised range of enhancements in performance, dynamics, and desirability,” the German manufacturer says.
Keeping a green tinge on the potent petrol Audis is the 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system that can recover power while coasting or under light throttle. In stop-start driving, the system can propel the car at speeds up to 22km/h while the cylinder deactivation that shuts down four pots when conditions allow, reignites them in milliseconds if more thrust is required – a process Audi says is imperceptible to the driver or passengers.
Contributing to driver and passenger “enjoyment”, Audi has reduced the amount of noise insulation to the firewall and under the rear of the cars so the “theatre” of the V8’s machinations can be savoured by those inside.
Audi reckons this reduced insulation also contributes to vehicle weight reductions.
All that poke up front is fed through a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission – modified this time around for faster shifting times and then onto the quattro permanent all-wheel-drive. Both cars feature a self-locking centre differential that is also lighter and more compact than before, which Audi says improves driving dynamics and offers more precise cornering.
Six drive modes are available in both cars including customisable RS-specific RS 1 and RS 2 settings.
Selected modes function through revised software for the transmission and the resulting reduced shift times become apparent when the gear selector is set to 'S' or Dynamic mode is selected.
As discerning buyers would expect for the ask, both the RS6 Avant performance and RS7 Sportback performance are luxuriously equipped to the same levels as the outgoing models.
Wheels are new forged 22-inch items and the tyre package refined by the Audi Sport engineering team. The new lightweight wheel is around five kilograms lighter per corner than the wheels of the outgoing models, contributing to a significant unsprung weight reduction.
Continental specially developed ultra-high performance Sport Contact 7 285/30 rubber for the pair that are said to offer consistently better grip on both dry and wet roads and reduce understeer when cornering at speed, making for more precise handling.
They also contribute to a two-metre reduction in braking distance when slamming on from 100km/h to 0km/h.
Visually differentiating the new models from their predecessors are matte grey exterior elements and new blue interior design packages featuring a choice of carbon fascia, piano black, aluminium, Alcantara and Dinamica microfibre. High-grade perforated Valcona leather is in the mix too on the pair’s sports seats.
The colour palette includes an exclusive matte effect paint finish available at an extra cost and, for the first time, Ascari Blue paint in both metallic and matte finish.
“Audi has always excelled at producing high-performance cars that can impress as equally on track as they do on a day-to-day commute,” said Audi Australia director Jeff Mannering.
“Astoundingly, we have managed to build upon what was already a pair of very impressive models for a flawless drive with highly desirable packaging.
“Both the Audi RS6 performance and Audi RS7 performance would be a welcome addition to any Australian garage; sure to leave a lasting impression on those lucky enough to drive one.”