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Know Your Audi Car: Meet the RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback

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At a glance and then at a closer inspection, Audi certainly appears to have ticked all the boxes, and even added some more with its updated RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback models which go on sale in South Africa from 1 April.

But at a cool, if not completely icy, R2 070 000 for the Avant TFSI quattro and an even colder R2 173 500 for the Sportback TFSA quattro, it would be extremely hard to accept anything less.

The Audi RS 7 Sportback. Image: Motorpress

For those with very deep pockets however, the fourth-generation Audi RS 6 Avant and second-generation Audi RS7 Sportback’s are sure to deliver exceptional and comprehensive automotive packages, fine-tuned to meet their respective performance, luxury and practical needs.

In announcing the details and the arrival date of the two models this week, Audi South Africa described the vehicles as an effort to merge the high-performance nature of the models with practicality for everyday use, while maintaining their sporty design. And to this end, it appears that Audi has more than succeeded.

The Audi RS 6 Avant. Image: Motorpress

The headline attributes of the two models include:

  • High-performance Avant and Coupé-like grand tourer suitable for all purposes – sportiness and practical benefit;
  • 4.0 TFSI twin-turbo V8 with mild hybrid: High power meets high efficiency; and
  • 441 kW, 800 Nm, 0 to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds.

Innovative exterior, bigger is better

A stand-out change to the Avant is that its body has been widened around 40mm on each side with its broad flared wheel arches, emphasising its distinctive character.

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The Audi RS 6 Avant. Image: Motorpress

“The new Audi RS 7 Sportback sits low to the ground and its extreme width is no optical illusion – at 1.95mm at the front fenders, the performance model is an extra 40mm or so wider than the base model. Its RS-specific exterior design gives the 5.009mm grand tourer a character all of its own,” revealed Audi.

The company said the entire front-end of both models are differentiated to the maximum.

“In addition to the new hood, together with power dome, the performance models adopt a flatter, sportier headlight structure which offer HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light and darkened trims as a standard feature.”

The Audi RS 7 Sportback. Image: Motorpress

“The lights feature a dynamic turn signal along with an exciting RS-specific sequencing when the vehicle is locked and unlocked,” said the German automaker, which went on to list a host of other exterior design features.

This included that “the designers have taken their cue from the front-end of the Audi R8 supercar”, and that at a speed of 100km/h, a spoiler will extend from the Sportback’s tailgate.

V8 power and pure driving glory

The 4.0 TFSI in the new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback produces a massive 441kW and delivers 800 Nm of torque within a broad range from 2,050 to 4,500 rpm.

The high-performance models will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.6 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h; this can be increased to 280km/h with the RS Dynamic package.

And thanks to its mild hybrid system (MHEV) with a 48-volt main on-board electrical system, the 4.0 TFSI combines maximum performance with high efficiency.

Audi said the belt alternator starter can recover up to 12 kW power under gentle acceleration and feed it into a lithium-ion battery as electricity.

“With the MHEV-technology it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 0.8 litres per 100 kilometres,” it said.

You can hear it coming

The four-litre engine produces a full-bodied and sporty V8 sound. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system allows adjustments to the sonorous growl of the power unit. The standard RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trim provides an even fuller sound.

“In the customisable RS1 and RS2 modes, customers can decide for themselves whether they want a sporty or balanced sound,” revealed Audi.

Image: Motorpress

The power produced by the 4.0 TFSI flows via the standard eight-speed tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times and a new launch control function to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

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Drive forces are distributed to the front and rear axles in a 40:60 ratio via the purely mechanical centre differential. If one wheel slips, more drive torque automatically goes to the axle with the better traction. Up to 70% can flow to the front wheels and up to 85% to the back wheels.

Striking wheel aesthetics balanced with performance

The performance models are fitted as standard with RS-specific wheels with a 22-inch 5-V-spoke design with 285/30 tyres in silver, matt titanium look, gloss turned finish, and gloss turned anthracite black finish. The calipers of the RS brake system with internally ventilated and perforated discs (420mm at the front, 370mm at the rear) are painted red as standard.

On the optional RS ceramic brakes, the calipers can be blue. The discs measure 440mm at the front and 370mm at the rear. The new RS ceramic brake system tips the scales at 34kg less than its steel counterpart, which cuts down on unsprung mass.

What’s inside?

A stripped-down look with sporty accents are the key stylistic elements in the interior of the new Audi RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback said Audi.

“Much like the exterior design, the design language combines taut, sinewy surfaces with clearly defined contours. There is plenty of space for the driver and passenger, with the architecture of the interior accomplishing a seamless transition to the futuristic user interface,” enthused the carmaker.

Image: Motorpress

Extensive information at a touch

The upper MMI (Multi-Media Information) touch response display is embedded in the black-panelled architecture in a way that renders it almost impossible to see where the display ends and the surroundings begin. The driver can use the upper RS monitor display to call up an overview of drive system component temperatures, maximum g-forces and information regarding tyre pressures and temperatures.

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The Audi virtual cockpit is available as standard on both of these performance models and features the RS Performance and Sport layouts. The Audi virtual cockpit plus is available as an optional extra and features an all new layout called the RS Runway.

The special RS displays use the Audi virtual cockpit to provide details of tyre pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and g-forces. The shift light display prompts the driver to upshift when the rev limit is reached.

For the new performance models, Audi offers an extensive range of convenience, connectivity, and driver assistance equipment.

The cars will help the driver out in a wide range of situations. With an array of assistance systems available which include lane change assist; park assist package (360-degree camera, intelligent park assist); tour assistance package (adaptive cruise control and assist); and Audi pre sense rear package.

For Audi lovers and even new-comers to the brand, the two new models will certainly deliver the right combination of performance, practicality and style, along with a string other features too numerous to mention here.

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