Audi has always been at the pinnacle of sporting excellence and proof of this can be found as far back as the days when the company was known simply as Auto Union. Even in the shaky throws of pre-war times, the company made amazing strides in technological advancement with a apt eye focused solely on speed. Those cars were massively overpowered by great big V16 engines with a rather courageous chap piloting these flimsy rockets past the 300 km/h barrier.
For those of you pondering about the Auto Union car in question here, it’s none other than the 1936 Type C racer. And bear in mind, these guys were doing break-neck speeds in an era where television was still black and white and made of polished walnut; telephones were primative to say the least and safety was just a passing thought. To label these cars as dangerous is definitely a raging understatement, especially by today’s standards. Thankfully, Audi has gone with the times in terms of safety but always kept a finger on that insatiable itch for speed.
Like all big car manufacturers, Audi had to work around the downsizing issue that seems to be curbing the enthusiasm of petrol heads far and wide. But since both models carry the RS badge, they share the company’s newest V8 sourced from the hot top-shelf limo – the Audi S8. With a mammoth load of power and torque figures at the disposal of a right foot, the engine also features Audi’s Cylinder On Demand (COD) technology which shuts off four of its eight cylinders under load. This returns some really eco-friendly numbers in terms of consumption and emissions. Audi it seems, has found the ultimate solution to keeping everyone happy.
Under the hood of both these RS6 Avant and RS7 cars is the same turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, but the one word that makes all the difference here is ‘Performance’. What’s different between this and the regular V8 engine is the additional 40 horses and 50 Nm of torque. It may not sound like a lot, but consider the fact that these cars make in excess of 500 hp.
In full, the V8s here are tuned to the jingle of 596 hp and 700 Nm of twist with the help of a couple of turbochargers. Speaking of which, should you require an additional dollop of power, the engine is able make an additional 50 Nm of torque above the 700 Nm that you already have, bringing to grand total of 750 Nm! Although, truth be told, there aren’t too many circumstances that mere mortals like us would warrant such an overboost feature, but that said, it is always good to have.
Despite the additional boost, the sonorous V8 returns up to 9.6 litres per 100km in the RS 6 Avant performance and 9.5 litres per 100km in the RS 7 Sportback performance, corresponding to 223g and 221 g/km of CO2 respectively. Years of RS model development has been invested in the upgraded 4.0 TFSI lump, such as the specific engine management system with increased rpm and boost pressure to the aforementioned Audi cylinder on demand (COD) system.
The standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission has been designed to handle the increased performance, and drivers can still choose to change gears manually either by tapping the selector lever or by using the paddle shifters on the RS multifunction leather steering wheel. In manual mode, a shift indicator in the instrument cluster or optional head-up display indicates the rev limit.
Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system delivers the power to the road and distributes torque as needed via the centre differential. In standard configuration, both cars are rear-biased with a 40:60 front to rear power split. The wheel-selective torque control intervenes as and when necessary. A sport differential acting on the rear axle is also standard, and enables active torque distribution between the inside and outside wheel for better cornering.
Both RS performance models sit on a set of 21‑inch cast aluminium wheels with the help of 285/30 rubbers on the RS6 and 275/30 tyres on the RS7 Sportback. The four internally ventilated brake discs have a weight-saving wave design, although all four can be replaced by carbon fibre-ceramic discs for a price.
The RS6 and RS7 performance are slated for UK deliveries in February 2016, but the order books will be open in the first week of November. The RS6 Avant performance will be priced at £86,000 (about RM561k at press time), while the RS 7 Sportback performance will set you back at £91,600 (RM597k). It is rather unlikely that these cars will make it to the showrooms on our shores anytime soon, perhaps hope lies with specialist grey-importers. Then again, with Audi Malaysia helming operations here, we could all be in for a real treat.
Audi RS7 Sportback
Audi RS6 Avant