Audi has pledged to only introduce electric vehicles from 2026, but there’s still life left in the old internal combustion engine. To upgrade the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, the Four Rings are introducing a hotter Performance derivative with an upgraded version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo engine. The powerful V8 TFSI now develops 621 horsepower (463 kilowatts) and 850 Newton-meters (625 pound-feet) of torque delivered to a Quattro system.
The engineers in Ingolstadt have therefore increased the power by 30 hp and 50 Nm (35 lb-ft) compared to the standard models. Thanks to the newly unlocked muscle, Audi’s dynamic duo can now sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in just 3.4 seconds or two tenths of a second faster than before. The RS6 Performance and RS7 Performance get the RS Dynamic Package as standard, increasing top speed to 280 km/h (174 mph) and adding rear-wheel steering.
As well as getting a reworked engine, the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback get a new lighter and smaller self-locking center differential. Its job is to route the engine’s power in a rear-facing gear, as 60% of the power is routed to the rear under normal driving conditions. Depending on the amount of traction available, up to 85% can be transferred to the rear wheels or a maximum of 70% to the front axle. This new material improves cornering handling and decreases the risk of understeer when the cars are pushed hard.
Performance models come standard with 21-inch cast aluminum wheels upgradable to a 22-inch set. New here is a lightweight 22-inch made using a high-tech forge-milling process to reduce approximately five kilograms (11 pounds) in weight compared to the regular 22-inch wheel. .
Therefore, a weight reduction of 20 kg (44 lb) is achieved. These new wheels are fitted with Continental Sport Contact 7 285/30 tires promising to offer better grip on dry and wet roads while reducing the distance needed to come to a complete stop from 62 mph (100 km/h) by two meters (6.5 feet). ).
An additional 34 kg (75 lb) can be removed by getting the ceramic brakes to replace the standard steel set. Measuring 440mm at the front and 370mm at the rear, the lighter brakes with red, blue or gray calipers are part of the optional RS Dynamic Package Plus, which also boosts top speed to 190mph (305km/ h).
The RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback in Performance trim can be offered with a choice of 16 exterior colours, including new Ascari Blue with a matte or metallic finish and a matte-only Dew Silver. To differentiate the cars from regular models, Audi is painting some of the parts matt grey: front spoiler and front side flaps, mirror caps, rocker panel inserts, roof rails, side window trim and rear diffuser. Alternatively, an optional matt/black carbon optic package darkens the side window trim and roof rails while the chrome Audi logo can also be painted black.
Not much has changed inside where both RS models now have contrasting blue accents and several RS design packs to choose from. The seats are covered in perforated Valcona leather with honeycomb stitching while the side of the center console and the selector lever knob are covered in Dinamica microfiber. It is a material that uses approximately 45% recycled PET fibres.
For the 12.3-inch digital driver display, Audi has integrated a flashing gearshift indicator when the eight-speed tiptronic transmission is in manual mode. These also appear when the launch control system is activated illustrating the ideal moment to accelerate off the line. As a finishing touch, LED spotlights mounted in the front doors display “RS Performance” lettering.
Pricing for the US market has yet to be disclosed, but expect to pay more than a standard 2023 RS6 Avant available from $118,900. The regular 2023 RS7 Sportback starts at $120,900.
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