There are those at Audi who take offense to BMW's claim of producing the "ultimate driving machine," especially those who work within quattro GmbH, Audi's little-known performance arm. The general manager of quattro, Stephen Reil, is among those who feel that title is more indicative of his cars from Ingolstadt than anything from Munich. After driving the company's latest creation, the RS 6, it's difficult not to agree with him.
Developed by quattro GmbH, the RS 6 breaks virtually all barriers in the luxury sedan realm. Despite looking like a spacious five-passenger luxury sedan on the outside (albeit with flared fenders and 18-in. alloy wheels), there's something truly wicked lurking underneath, namely a twin-turbo-charged 4.2-liter V-8 that produces a whopping 450 bhp from 5700 to 6400 rpm. Torque is rated at 415 lb.-ft. peaking from 1950 to 5600.
Twin turbos and Quattro all-wheel drive make the Audi RS 6 a car for all seasons — and high excitement.
Aside from the addition of twin turbochargers and twin intercoolers, Audi's V-8 block was heavily massaged and fitted with newly developed cylinder heads that have sodium-cooled exhaust valves. The powerplant comes mated to a smooth shifting 5-speed automatic transmission, the same one developed for the forthcoming A8 W-12. This transmission allows you to select gears via paddles behind the steering wheel, just like in a Formula 1 car. Shifts were amazingly quick, though not up to par with the paddle-shifted manual gearboxes found in the Ferrari 360 Modena and BMW M3.
Audi claims that the RS 6 runs from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds, with an estimated sub-13.0-sec. quarter-mile time. Not bad for a car weighing 4025 lb.
As soon as I grabbed the keys to our test car in Germany, I naturally headed for the Autobahn. When the road ahead looked clear, I dropped the throttle. The RS 6 blasted forward with all four tires grabbing the road. Accompanied by a vicious-sounding engine growl, the RS 6 rocketed to 125 mph in about 17 seconds. The sensation was not unlike that of a genuine race car, and before I knew it the speedometer needle had reached 257 km/h (160 mph). I came upon traffic ahead, so I eased off, but it still had plenty left. The brakes, upgraded as well with 8-piston front calipers, provided ample stopping power with no hint of fade. Unfortunately, we Americans won't get a chance to experience the RS 6 in this way because the cars slated for North America will have a top speed governed at 155 mph. We also won't see the wagon version, which will be sold only in Europe.
The handling of the RS 6 is also first rate. The car's suspension — upper and lower A-arms front and rear — has been tuned to provide the ideal balance between sport and ride. What's notable about this system is that it features Dynamic Ride Control (DRC), an automatic pitch and roll compensation system that's unlike anything the company has produced before. DRC utilizes hydraulics to control the car's body roll, and limit squat and dive characteristics during braking and accelerating. DRC connects the shock absorbers at the opposite corners of the vehicle via a hydraulic system incorporating a central hydraulic reservoir. As the hydraulic pressure on the shock on the inside of a corner is reduced, it is transferred through the reservoir to increase pressure to the diagonally linked shock on the outside of the corner, thus reducing body roll. Combine this system with the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, and you have a car that corners with confidence-inspiring assuredness and agility. Understeer is noticeable through sharp corners, but the car remains relatively neutral on most other types of turns.
The RS 6 will be sold in limited numbers throughout the world. Of the 6000 total, the U.S. gets 860 of them. The car doesn't come cheap at $85,000, but if you want to be among the few to own this amazingly potent luxury sedan, hurry to your Audi dealer and get your name on the list. If it's already full, don't fret — Audi tells us there will be more RS conversions in the future.
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With a combination of luxury, capability, usability, and performance, there's a lot to like about the Audi RS6 Avant. They respond well to tuning, too, as you can see in this video. The previous-gen example goes flat out on the autobahn and goes so fast that the speedometer stops operating.
In stock form, the C7-generation RS6 Avant has a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making 552 horsepower (412 kilowatts or 560 metric horsepower) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque. The tuning for this one allegedly pushed the output to 690 hp (515 kW or 700 metric hp) and 693 lb-ft- (940 Nm). The tweaks include removing the top-speed limiter, too. An Akrapovič makes the V8 sound fantastic.
The autobahn is fairly busy during this run, so the driver has to make a few unsuccessful attempts before finding an open stretch where it's possible to push the wagon to the top speed. This provides lots of opportunities to hear the great noise from the exhaust, though.
When the road is clear, the RS6 accelerates effortlessly to about 180 miles per hour (290 kilometers per hour). From there, the speed increases more slowly. Something interesting happens at an indicated 324 kph (201 mph). The speedometer shuts off and spins back to zero. The car keeps accelerating, though. According to the GPS, the Audi hits 198.2 mph (319 kph) before the driver starts slowing down. This is an impressive speed for a vehicle that's still able to haul a whole family and carry all of their stuff.
While the C7 RS6 Avant was never available in the US, the latest-gen came to the American market. It comes with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that's good for 591 hp (441 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm).
From the September 2002 issue of Car and Driver.
To use the new 450-hp Audi RS 6 as your grocery-getting daily driver is to use a broadsword as a butter knife. Looking very much like your average Audi A6, the RS 6 is glorious overkill.
Audi claims this 4050-pound all-wheel-drive sedan—third in a line of RS hot-rod Audis and the first to be sold in the U.S.—sprints to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That's faster than the Mercedes E55 AMG by almost a second and fractionally faster than the manual-transmission BMW M5. The Audi easily reached an indicated 174 mph on the unlimited portion of the A92 autobahn near Munich. And so easily and with such supernatural stability does it maintain that speed that we found ourselves noodling with the navigation system while our co-driver bumped against the speed limiter. The limiter is set at 155 mph for all markets, so our test car had either a lazy limiter or an optimistic speedometer. Either way, 155 mph or 174 mph, it doesn't really matter. Germany is the only place we know where one can fully exploit this car's greatest trick—providing great speed along with great composure.
What we have here is a grand German game of wonderfully irrational one-upmanship. Mercedes offers 349 horsepower in the E55 AMG? BMW has 394 horses in the M5? Then Audi will produce 450.
In the engine room of the RS is a hot version of the 4.2-liter, five-valve DOHC V-8 that powers the A8 and the upper-level A6. It has been worked over by Quattro GmbH. "Quattro" is usually a reference to Audi's all-wheel-drive system, but here it applies to a performance arm of the company that is to compete with the M group at BMW and Mercedes' AMG.
Two turbochargers have been bolted to the 4.2-liter engine, which in stock guise makes between 300 and 360 horsepower, depending on application. They blow a maximum of 11.6 psi of pressure and come with twin air-to-air intercoolers. The cylinder heads are modified for better airflow and cooling. The two exhaust valves per cylinder are sodium-filled to keep them cool. Freer-flowing intake and exhaust result in 415 pound-feet of torque delivered over a flat plateau between 1950 and 5600 rpm to go with the 450 horses. Its delivery is fluid and almost electric in its smoothness.
And that performance comes while routing the power through a five-speed automatic transmission, the only gearbox available. Audi says there isn't a manual gearbox under parent VW's corporate umbrella that can handle this much power. So the RS 6 uses the tranny from the 414-hp A8 W-12 (a car not sold in the U.S.). With this much torque and the quick shifts in either standard or sport mode, we didn't mind giving our clutch-pedal leg a rest. Should you want to choose your own gears, Audi provides shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
When you need to slow the car more quickly than a downshift would accomplish—which you often will in this beast—Audi has you covered. Massive eight-piston Brembo calipers clamp down on 14.4-inch rotors in front, and single-piston calipers with 13.2-inch rotors handle the braking in back. Audi has upped the braking-technology ante as well. In place of a traditional rotor is a friction ring (the circular part where the pads contact) connected to an aluminum hub by 14 short pins. The pins allow the friction ring to move one millimeter either outboard or inboard. Audi says this allows the friction ring to stay in perfect alignment with the pad surface under extreme conditions. The arrangement also allows for better cooling and less unsprung weight. With full pressure on the brake pedal, the force of deceleration is nothing short of staggering, although the brakes on our prototype had a softer brake-pedal action than we'd like. We'll have to test a production car before we pass judgment on feel.
The RS 6's suspension is equally trick. The car comes standard with a semiactive suspension system called Dynamic Ride Control (DRC). Unlike Mercedes' electronically controlled ABC pitch-and-roll-control active suspension, DRC is strictly mechanical—hydraulic lines that connect diagonally opposed single-tube shocks through a central reservoir and valve. Shock fluid can move around the car to selectively change the damping characteristics of the various corners. For instance, in an aggressive cornering maneuver, as hydraulic pressure in the shocks on the inside of the corner is reduced, hydraulic fluid and pressure move to the diagonal outside shocks, stiffening them to reduce roll. Yamaha developed the system for its racing motorcycles. The result is a reasonably soft ride (at least over well-maintained roads in Germany) and generally good body control for a two-ton sedan.
Audi also stiffened the shocks by 40 percent and the springs by 30 percent, compared with the A6 4.2 model. The entire suspension of the RS 6 is made of aluminum, including the front and rear subframes. To this Audi adds 18-inch aluminum wheels wearing 255/40ZR-18 Pirelli P Zero Rosso tires at all four corners.
The wheels and tires are the visual clues that this A6 is something special. Otherwise, the RS 6 has restrained styling. There's a new front fascia incorporating intakes for the intercoolers, a new rear fascia to incorporate the large twin exhaust tips, a small rear spoiler to reduce aerodynamic lift at high speeds, and matte aluminum trim. The interior is near-standard Audi, but with the addition of special wood trim or carbon fiber as a no-cost option and perforated leather on the steering wheel and shift knob. Everything is standard but the navigation system and the rear side airbags.
Standard equipment, however, will not be what motivates buyers to step up to the estimated price (Audi officially says only that it will be "less than $85,000"). That estimate would make the RS 6 almost $10,000 more expensive than a BMW M5 or Mercedes E55 AMG. With only 860 RS 6 sedans destined for delivery to the U.S. starting next year, Audi believes there are plenty of people who will happily pay that much for massive overkill and grand one-upmanship.
2003 Audi RS 6
front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 40-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, Bosch Motronic engine-control system with port fuel injection
255 in3, 4172 cm3
Power (SAE net)
450 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque (SAE net)
415 lb-ft @ 1950 rpm
5-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
Wheelbase: 108.6 in
Length: 191.3 in
Width: 72.8 in
Height: 56.1 in
Curb weight: 4050 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 4.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.1 sec
Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph
European combined cycle: 16 mpg
Urban cycle: 11 mpg
Extra-urban cycle: 23 mpg
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Audi RS 6
The Audi RS 6 is a high-performance variant of the Audi A6 range, produced by the high-performance subsidiary company Audi Sport GmbH, for Audi AG, a division of the Volkswagen Group.
The first and second versions of the RS 6 were offered in both Avant and saloon forms. The third and fourth generations are only offered as an Avant.
The "RS" initials are taken from the German: RennSport – literally translated as "racing sport", and is Audi's ultimate 'top-tier' high-performance trim level, positioned a noticeable step above the "S" model specification level of Audi's regular model range line-up. Like all Audi "RS" models, the RS 6 pioneers some of Audi's newest and most advanced engineering and technology, and so could be described as a halo vehicle, with the latest RS 6 Performance having the equal most powerful internal combustion engine out of all Audi models, with the same horsepower and torque as the physically larger Audi S8 Plus. Unlike the A6 and S6, however, the RS 6's engines in the C5 and C6 iterations have not been shared with any other vehicle in Audi's lineup. However, for the C7 generation, the Audi RS 6 has the same 4.0L bi-turbo V8 engine as the Audi RS 7, with both being positioned at the top of the Audi S and RS range, and detuned variants of the same engines are found in the Audi S8, Audi A8, and Audi S6.
Based on the A6 platform, the RS 6's engines are front-mounted and longitudinally oriented, while the transmission is mounted immediately at the rear of the engine in a longitudinal orientation, in the form of a transaxle. Like all S and RS models, the RS 6 is only available with Audi's 'trademark' Torsen-based quattro permanent four-wheel drive system.
The C5 RS 6 was the fourth model to come out of Audi's private subsidiary company, "quattro GmbH". The first was the Audi RS 2 Avant, from a joint venture between Porsche and Quattro GmbH for the Audi marque. The second was the Audi C4 S6 Plus, produced from April 1996 to July 1997. The third was the 2000 Audi B5 RS 4; the fifth was the 2005 Audi B7 A4 DTM Edition saloon, and the sixth was the 2006 Audi B7 RS 4. The seventh and current (as of January 2010[update]) Quattro GmbH model is the latest Audi C6 RS 6.
Production of the original Audi C5 RS 6 began in June 2002 and ended in September 2004. The second Audi C6 RS 6 was introduced at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The original RS 6 (C5) was the first Audi RS variant exported to North America, while the C6 and C7 RS 6 were only sold in Europe, with the C8 RS 6 again being offering in North America.
Main rivals for the Audi RS 6 are the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E 55/E 63 AMG.
C5 (Typ 4B, 2002–2004)
|First generation (C5/4B)|
|Production||July 2002 – September 2004|
|Body style||5-door Avant (estate/wagon),|
|Platform||Volkswagen Group C5|
|Related||Audi C5 A6, Audi C5 S6|
|Engine||4.2 V8 biturbo|
|Wheelbase||2,759 mm (108.6 in)|
|Length||4,852 mm (191.0 in)|
|Width||1,850 mm (72.8 in)|
|Height||Saloon: 1,387–1,426 mm (54.6–56.1 in),|
Avant: 1,390–1,430 mm (54.7–56.3 in)
|Kerb weight||Saloon: 1,840 kg (4,057 lb),|
Avant: 1,865 kg (4,112 lb)
|Successor||C6 RS 6 (Typ 4F)|
The original Audi C5 RS 6 Quattro (Typ 4B) was the top-of-the-line user of the Volkswagen Group C5 platform (1997–2004), and was initially available as a five-door five-seat Avant - Audis name for an estate or station wagon. A four-door five-seat saloon/sedan followed shortly after the launch of the Avant. Derived from the Audi C5 S6 (itself derived from the Audi C5 A6), the RS 6 also shares the aluminium structure from the firewall and forward with the C5 A6s with V8 engines (A6 4.2 V8 Quattro, S6 saloon/Avant). It was manufactured from July 2002 through to September 2004.
Official performance figures for the Avant, whilst consuming the recommended high octane 98 RON "Super Plus" unleaded petrol indicate the 0-100 kilometres per hour (62.1 mph) dash would be completed in 4.6 seconds (s), reaching 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 22.8 seconds (22.6 s for the saloon). Official figures state an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph), although most "RS" owners report that the speed limiter is rather liberal on all RS cars, with genuine 'limited' top speeds of 270 km/h (167.8 mph) being possible to achieve. Using a lower octane-rated petrol, such as the standard 95 RON "Premium" unleaded will reduce the engine power output, and have logical reduction in performance.
Luggage capacity, measured according to the VDA block method in the Avant ranges from 455 litres (16.07 cu ft), to 1,590 litres (56.15 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down. For the saloon, the boot holds 424 litres (14.97 cu ft).
For the C5 RS 6 powertrain detail, the engine is an all-aluminium alloy 4,172 cubic centimetres (254.6 cu in) twin-turbocharged ('biturbo'), double overhead camshaft, 5 valve per cylinder version of Audi's 4.2-litre 90° V8 petrol engine (parts code prefix: 077, identification code: BCY), developed and manufactured in Germany and the UK by quattro GmbH and Cosworth Technology (now known as MAHLE Powertrain). With the addition of the two turbochargers (one per cylinder bank), the power output of the V8 engine was increased to 331 kW (450 PS; 444 bhp) at 5,700 to 6,400 rpm, and generated 580 N⋅m (428 lbf⋅ft) of torque. The combination of the 4.2-litre V8, variable inlet valve timing, and twin turbochargers gave the RS 6 an exceptionally wide power band, with peak torque available from 1,950 to 5,600 rpm.
Further detail of the engine includes fully sequential electronic multi-point fuel injection with intake manifold-sited fuel injectors, mapped direct ignition system with solid-state high voltage distribution using eight individual single-spark ignition coils and NGK longlife spark plugs, and three knock sensors. Engine management uses a BoschMotronic ME 7.1.1 engine control unit, which controls all functions of the engine operation; including fuel delivery, ignition system, valve timing, emissions control systems, and torque reduction control—the latter operating in conjunction with the Bosch ESP 5.7 Electronic Stability Programme, as part of the "Anti Slip Regulation" (ASR) traction control system. The engine is compliant with the European Union Euro3 (EU3) standard, and includes two close-coupled primary catalytic converters (CATs), two underfloor main CATs, and four heated oxygen sensors which manage the cylinder bank selective lambda control. This results in a CO2 emissions rating of 350 g/km for the Avant and saloon in standard configuration.
It has an electronically controlled five-speed ZF5HP24Atiptronicautomatic transmission (parts code prefix: 01L, identification code: GAG) (gear ratios—1st: 3.571, 2nd: 2.200, 3rd: 1.505, 4th: 1.000, 5th: 0.804), with lock-up torque converter in all forward gears. It has "hill-detection" capability, and despite many press articles stating that the gearbox was programmed to "blip" the throttle for downshifting gear changes, no UK owners have ever found this feature to be present. The transmission control unit ECU incorporates "fuzzy logic" with its "Dynamic Shift Programme" (DSP), with the shift pattern adapting to suit individual driving styles. 'Tiptronic' manual control can be achieved with either the floor-mounted gear shift lever or the steering wheel-mounted 'paddles'.
The RS 6 was only available with Audi's Torsen-based Quattro permanent four-wheel drive, utilising the Torsen T-2 dynamic 'automatic torque biasing' (ATB) centre differential (diff), a modified unit which was being used in the 6.0-litre W12-powered Audi D3 A8. The torque from the engine is first routed from the gearbox output shaft to the Torsen centre diff, and then automatically divided and apportioned between the front and rear axles.
The front and rear axle differentials (ratio: 3.197, rear axle identification code: GGW) are a conventional "open" type but utilise an "Electronic Differential Lock" (EDL). EDL is an integrated additional function of the Bosch Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) system, and works by monitoring and comparing the individual wheel speeds across an axle, and braking an individual wheel which is sensed to have lost traction (spinning), thus transferring torque across the axle to the wheel/tyre which does have grip. "Anti-Slip Regulation" (ASR), more commonly known as traction control system completes the Bosch ESP-related driver aids.
C5 suspension and steering
Utilising the same fully independent four-link front suspension, and double wishbone rear, as its related A6 and S6, the RS 6 was lowered by 20 millimetres (0.79 in), with a 30% stiffer spring rate, and 40% increased compression damping. The RS6 also served as the debut model for Audi's "Dynamic Ride Control" (DRC) system. The DRC system is mainly mechanical, and uses a pump to provide additional pressure to individual dampers (shock absorbers) during cornering, acceleration or braking; to counteract rolling and pitching. The system can adjust the stiffness at each individual damper constantly; to maintain both a comfortable ride on straight roads, and a high level of poise and grip when cornering hard, accelerating, or braking. The DRC's main advantage is that it operates without the need for complicated electronics, as required in similar systems from Mercedes-Benz and other competitors. Its main drawback is that the DRC dampers have been known to fail (leaking fluid from the cross-linked circuits), which can affect the handling and ride quality of the vehicle; some owners have reported needing multiple replacements of faulty DRC units and many drivers have opted to replace the system with simpler and more reliable aftermarket coil-over suspension.
C5 brakes, wheels and tyres
The front brakes feature fixed Brembo 8-piston monoblock brake calipers, working with radially vented and cross-drilled brake discs, sized at 365 millimetres (14.4 in) in diameter, by 34 mm (1.34 in) thick. The rear features single-piston floating ATE calipers with integrated cable-operated parking brake mechanism, mated to radially vented disc and cross-drilled, sized 335 mm (13.2 in) by 22 mm (0.87 in). Front and rear brake calipers are finished in a high-gloss black paint, with the fronts incorporating the Audi "RS" logo. Both front and rear discs are held in by metal pins to the lightweight disc hub, and allow 1.0 mm (0.039 in) of lateral thermal expansion from the hub centre.
Bosch ESP 5.7 Electronic Stability Programme, with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS),Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA) was standard fitment.
There were a total of three original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wheel and tyre types available with the RS 6. In Europe and elsewhere, 19-inch wheels were standard, with an optional 18-inch package. In the U.S. market, the 18-inch package was the only available offering. An 18-inch winter package, with Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 tyres (225/45 ZR18 95V) was universally available.
C5 RS 6 Plus
Between April 2004 and September 2004, there was a final limited run of an even higher-performance RS 6, named the Audi RS 6 Plus. This had an increased engine power output (identification code: BRV), and produced 353 kW (480 PS; 473 bhp) at 6,000-6,400 rpm, with the same 580 N⋅m (428 lb⋅ft) of torque at 1,950-6,000 rpm. This engine was also developed and manufactured in the UK by Cosworth Technology (now known as MAHLE Powertrain). The additional performance was achieved with a new engine control unit (ECU), and two additional coolant radiators behind the side-mounted intercoolers (these were standard fitment on the standard RS 6 in hotter climate countries). Official performance figures indicate the discipline of sprinting from standstill to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.4 seconds. The RS 6 Plus carries on to reach 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 20.36 seconds, and has an official top speed of 280 km/h (174.0 mph).
The RS 6 Plus came with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) as standard, and also included a no-cost option of "Sports Suspension Plus", which lowered the standard sports suspension by a further 10 millimetres (0.39 in) over the standard RS 6. A revised steering rack, with a reduced ratio of 14.3 for firmer steering feel was included, and resulted in a turning circle of 11.7 metres (38.4 ft). The brakes now included cross-drilled discs. The wheels were only available in the 9Jx19-inch '5-arm design' alloys, finished in "anthracite" (dark grey), with 255/35 ZR19 96Y XL tyres.
The car was available only as an Avant and was sold only in European markets. Visual differences for the RS 6 Plus included the "black optic pack", which consisted of black finish to the framing of the radiator grille, exterior window trims, tailgate lower trim, roof rails, and exhaust tailpipes. It quickly sold out once it was released (999 units total). The last three digits of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) are reproduced on a plaque inside the car, displayed on the centre console.
C5 RS 6 in auto racing
The RS 6 was used in the North American SPEED World Challenge GT Series of auto racing for three years - 2002 to 2004, claiming the manufacturers' championship victory successively in all three years. Once again, the special race derivative of the twin-turbo V8 engine was developed and manufactured in the UK by Cosworth Technology (now known as MAHLE Powertrain). However, the 2005 season proved difficult due to performance restrictions imposed on Champion Audi Racing by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), with Champion deciding to run a different wheel diameter, and the trade-off was reducing boost pressure.
The RS 6 was challenged by a factory-backed Cadillac CTS-V but was still victorious. Champion Audi Racing decided to pull the RS 6 from the series, citing unfair rules and regulations that targeted the dominant Audis.
C6 (Typ 4F, 2008–2010)
|Second generation (C6/4F)|
|Body style||5-door Avant (estate/wagon),|
|Platform||Volkswagen Group C6|
|Related||Audi C6 A6, Audi C6 S6|
|Engine||5.0 L Audi V10 Odd firing V10TFSIDOHC (BUH) |
|Wheelbase||2,846 mm (112.0 in)|
|Length||Avant: 4,923 mm (193.8 in),|
saloon: 4,928 mm (194.0 in)
|Width||1,889 mm (74.4 in)|
|Height||Avant: 1,460 mm (57.5 in),|
saloon: 1,456 mm (57.3 in)
|Kerb weight||2,025 kg (4,464 lb)|
|Predecessor||C5 RS6 (Typ 4B)|
|Successor||C7 RS6 (Typ 4G)|
The second-generation RS 6, later called the Audi RS 6 5.0 TFSI quattro (Typ 4F) was based on the Volkswagen Group C6automobile platform and was launched in September 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. With factory production starting in December 2007, it was available in Europe from the same date, and began to be exported elsewhere in 2009. The total production run of the C6 RS 6 was 8,000 units, with 6,500 of these being Avants and the remainder saloons. The RS 6 was not available in North America, leaving the Audi S6 as the top performing trim there. (The unpopularity of wagons made it unlikely that the RS 6 Avant would be imported, and although it had been rumoured that the RS 6 sedan would be offered in the United States, nothing came of this as the RS 6 importer could not clear US regulations). Production of the C6 RS 6 ended in the third quarter of 2010.
The RS 6's 5.0 L (4,991 cc) V10 engine produced 426 kW (579 PS; 571 bhp) at 6,250 to 6,700 rpm and 650 N⋅m (479 lbf⋅ft) of torque from 1,500 to 6,250 rpm, 52 kW (71 PS; 70 bhp) and 150 N⋅m (111 lb⋅ft) more than BMW's 5.0L V10. As of January 2010[update], the RS6 was Audi's single most powerful car ever, and positioned the car ahead of its closest competitors, the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG in terms of engine output, both of which have naturally aspirated engines. However the estimated price of the RS 6 sedan in 2010 was $160,000 USD (another source quotes $126,000 USD in 2009, making the RS 6 perhaps too expensive for the United States market) which set it apart from the performance variants of other executive cars: the MSRP of BMW M5's was $85,700 USD, of Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG's was $87,700 USD, and of Audi's own S6 was $78,025 USD.
Official performance figures for the Avant: 4.6 seconds for the 0-100 km/h (62.1 mph) sprint, 12.7 seconds 0-200 km/h (124.3 mph), and top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph), with a factory option to de-restrict the top speed to 274 km/h (170.3 mph). In standard form, CO2 emissions are rated at 333 g/km. The saloon reaches 0-100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.5 seconds.
C6 bodywork and styling
The C6 RS 6 Avant was launched in April 2008, and the four-door saloon/sedan was available from August 2008. Constructed from steel in a monocoque (unibody) design, the RS 6 uses lightweight aluminium for its front wings (fenders) and bonnet (hood).
Visually, the RS 6 differed from the related S6, having flared front and rear wheel arches (fenders), harking back to the original Audi Quattro, to allow for a wider wheel track. It also had no front fog lights to allow for larger frontal air intakes (for the two side-mounted intercoolers (SMICs), and additional radiators). The ten (per side) front light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lights (DRLs) are located within the main headlamp housing on the RS 6 in order to increase the size of the air intakes, whereas similar LEDs (but five per side) on the related S6 are found adjacent to the fog lamps in the lower front bumper. LED lighting technology was also used in the rear lights. The RS 6 also included adaptive headlights, which swivel around corners in conjunction with steering wheel movements. The facelifted Audi A6, released as a 2009 model, received similar front and rear-end LED lighting styling to that pioneered on the RS 6.
Luggage capacity, measured according to the VDA 'block method' in the Avant ranges from 565 litres (19.95 cu ft), to 1,660 litres (58.62 cu ft).
The engine (parts code: 07L, identification code: BUH) of the RS6 was what Audi claimed to be the first all-aluminium alloy even firing 5.0-litre (4,991 cc (304.6 cu in)) 90° V10 twin-turbocharged ("biturbo"), Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI), with a dry sump lubrication system. This engine is related to the naturally-aspirated V10 found in the Audi R8, S6 and S8, but the RS 6's engine has around 400 unique parts.
The engine has four valves per cylinder, with chain-driven double overhead camshafts, and variable valve timing for both inlet and exhaust camshafts. Charged intake air is cooled by two side-mounted intercoolers (SMIC)s. The engine is controlled by two BoschDI-Motronic MED 9.1.2 engine control units, which act as 'master' and 'slave': two ECUs are required due to the high revs the engine can achieve. It also uses mapped direct ignition system with ten individual direct-acting spark coils, an electronic drive by wire throttle (Bosch "E-Gas"), cylinder-selective knock control, and cylinder bank adaptive lambda control, utilising eight lambda sensors.
A total of seven radiators and four electric cooling fans are needed to cool the engine and related components under the aluminium bonnet of the RS6.
Drive output passes through a ZF6HP28A six-speed tiptronicautomatic transmission. The gear ratios are: 1st: 4.171, 2nd: 2.340, 3rd: 1.521, 4th: 1.143, 5th: 0.867, 6th: 0.691, with shortened shift times, with "Dynamic Shift Programme" (DSP) and "Sport" mode. It has paddle-shifts mounted behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel, similar in design to the Audi B7 RS 4. The gearbox is set by default, in conventional automatic mode, to delay up-changes during acceleration, and change down earlier to maximise engine braking. Downshifts in all modes of operation include the Powertrain Control Moduleelectronic control unit (ECU) "blipping" the Bosch "E-Gas" drive by wire throttle, for smoother shift shifts. The hydraulic torque converter includes a lock-up function in all forward gears and is able to completely disconnect when the vehicle is stationary, thus saving fuel.
Like all Audi "RS" models, the RS 6 is fitted with Audi's 'trademark' Quattro permanent four-wheel drive as standard. This version of the RS 6 uses the latest asymmetric dynamic 40:60 front-to-rear default torque distribution from the Torsen T-3 'automatic torque biasing' (ATB) centre differential. This latest incarnation of the Torsen Quattro, first seen in the B7 RS 4, can automatically dynamically apportion up to a maximum 100% torque to the rear axle, or up to 80% to the front, dependent on traction conditions.
The front and rear final drives are conventional "open" differentials (ratio 3.317) and use the Audi "Electronic Differential Lock" (EDL). EDL is a part, or "function", of the Bosch ESP 8.0 Electronic Stability Programme, which also includes "Anti-Slip Regulation" (ASR) traction control system. EDL does not 'lock' the differential in a traditional sense, but uses electronics to compare the speeds of the two wheels on an axle, and brakes any wheel that is sensed to have lost traction (by rotating faster than the opposite wheel, beyond normally accepted deviations). This braking of a slipping wheel has the effect of transferring torque across the axle to the other wheel, which is assumed still to have traction.
C6 steering and suspension
Like the previous RS6 and the B7 RS 4, this generation of RS 6 includes Audi's "Dynamic Ride Control" (DRC) Sports suspension system. The system is mainly mechanical, using a pump to provide additional pressure in the diagonally linked dampers (shock absorber) during cornering, to counteract rolling and pitching. The system can dynamically adjust the stiffness at each damper constantly to maintain both a comfortable ride and a high grip. In this version, it has a three-way level control, selectable from the Multi Media Interface controls.
The steering system includes rack and pinion speed-dependent "servotronic" power steering, with a ratio of 12.5, and a turning circle of 12.2 metres.
C6 brakes, wheels and tires
The standard brakes on the RS 6 are cross-drilled, radially vented, and floating iron discs. At the front they are 390 millimetres (15.35 in) diameter and 36 mm (1.417 in) thick, clamped by gloss black six-piston fixed Brembo monoblock alloy calipers incorporating the "RS" logo, and at the rear they are 356 mm (14.02 in) diameter and 28 mm (1.102 in) with black single-piston floating calipers and an integrated electro-mechanical parking brake linkage. The parking brake serves doubles as a full emergency brake whilst the car is in motion, by applying maximum braking effort to all four wheels, resulting in activating the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
Optional "Audi ceramic" Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) composite front brakes are available, only with 20-inch wheels, which use 420 mm (16.54 in) diameter by 40 mm (1.575 in) thick drilled, vented, and floating SGL Carbon composite discs, with grey painted eight-piston fixed Alcon monobloc alloy calipers with the "Audi ceramic" logo.
Irrespective of the type of disc construction, all brake discs are mounted via high strength steel mounting pins which connect the 'working' surface of the disc to lightweight alloy disc hubs.
A specifically 'tuned' "sport-biased" Bosch ESP 8.0 Electronic Stability Programme is standard, and includes Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA). This ESP system has three user-selectable settings: "ESP-on" - the standard default full protection mode, "ESP-sportmode" (which turns off the ASR and EDL traction functions), and "ESP-off" (which fully disables all 'stability' and 'traction' related functions).
Standard wheels (in the UK) are 9.5Jx20-inch '5-segment-spoke' design alloy wheels running on 275/35 ZR20 102Y XL (eXtra Load) tyres (rated at 850 kg (1,874 lb) per tyre), with official supplies being either Pirelli P-Zero Rosso or Dunlop SP SportMaxx GT. No-cost options are 9.5Jx20 '7-arm double spoke' design (identical style to B7 RS 4), or 9Jx19-inch '10-spoke' design alloys with 255/40 ZR19Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tyres.
C6 other notable features
- Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) digital radio tuner with DVD-based satellite navigation and Multi Media Interface (MMI), with optional hybrid digital/analogue TV tuner.
- Solar sunroof operating the air-con whilst the vehicle is stationary and the engine is turned off
- Rear window and rear side window manual sun blinds
C7 (Typ 4G, 2013–2018)
|Third generation (C7/4G)|
Audi RS6 Avant quattro (C7, United Kingdom)
|Body style||5-door Avant (estate/wagon)|
|Platform||Volkswagen Group C7|
|Related||Audi C7 A6, Audi C7 S6|
|Engine||4.0 L (3,993 cc) V8TFSItwin-turboDOHC (see list of Volkswagen Group petrol engines)|
|Wheelbase||2,915 mm (114.8 in)|
|Length||4,991 mm (196.5 in)|
|Width||1,986 mm (78.2 in)|
|Height||1,461 mm (57.5 in)|
|Kerb weight||1,950 kg (4,299 lb)|
|Predecessor||C6 RS6 (Typ 4F)|
|Successor||C8 RS6 (Typ 5G)|
Audi revealed the details of the RS 6 Avant on December 5, 2012. Its twin-turbo 4.0 L (3,993 cc) TFSIV8 engine develops 412 kW (560 PS; 553 bhp) at 5700-6600 rpm and 700 N⋅m (516 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 1750-5500 rpm. This will enable the RS 6 Avant to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds. The top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph) by default. By adding the optional Dynamic or Dynamic Plus package, this top speed is increased to respectively 280 km/h (174.0 mph) or 305 km/h (189.5 mph). Audi claims an average fuel consumption of 9.6 L/100 km (29.4 mpg‑imp; 24.5 mpg‑US) and CO2 emissions of 223 g/km. In order to accomplish this, Audi has added a start-stop system and a cylinder on demand system. The RS 6 Avant is offered with an 8-speed tiptronic transmission.
The C7 RS 6 was not offered in North America, however that market received RS 7 Sportback which shares the same powertrain and platform.
C7 RS6 Performance
The RS6 Avant Performance is powered by the same 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbo V8 engine as the standard RS6,  but with the help of a retuned ECU mapping, it increased power output to 605 PS (445 kW; 597 bhp) at 6100-6800 rpm and increased torque to 750 N⋅m (553 lbf⋅ft) at 2500-5500 rpm. While the top speed remains limited to 250 km/h (155.3 mph), or 305 km/h (189.5 mph) with Dynamic Plus package, the 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) time has been reduced to just 3.7 seconds at from 0 to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 12.1 seconds. Despite the improved performance, the fuel economy and CO2 are unchanged from the standard RS6 Avant.
C8 (Typ 5G, 2019–Present)
|Fourth generation (C8/5G)|
|Body style||5-door Avant (estate/wagon)|
|Related||Audi C8 A6, Audi C8 S6|
|Engine||4.0 L (3,996 cc) V8TFSItwin-turboDOHC (see list of Volkswagen Group petrol engines)|
|Transmission||8 speed ZF 8HP90automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,929 mm (115.3 in)|
|Length||4,995 mm (196.7 in)|
|Width||1,951 mm (76.8 in) body|
2,120 mm (83.5 in) with mirrors
|Height||1,460 mm (57.5 in)|
|Curb weight||2,150 kg (4,740 lb)|
|Predecessor||C7 RS6 (Typ 4G)|
As with the previous generation, the new RS6 is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo TFSI petrol engine, now boosted by a 48V belt alternator/starter mild-hybrid system, which can recover up to 16 bhp (12 kW). The engine also utilises a cylinder-on-demand system that can shut off half of its cylinders to boost fuel economy.
The powertrain produces 600 PS (441 kW; 592 bhp) with 800 N⋅m (590 lbf⋅ft) available between 2100rpm and 4500rpm.
The acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 3.6 seconds and 200 km/h in 12 seconds. As standard, top speed is limited to 250 km/h, with a further two levels courtesy of optional packs – the Dynamic package allows 280 km/h, while the Dynamic package plus grants even more headroom for a maximum of 305 km/h. The C8 is first RS 6 Avant to have the hybrid drivetrain, utilising Riemen-Starter-Generator and 48-volt electrical system. The Quattro system has power distribution with 40% for front and 60% for rear. The system can adjust the power distribution up to 70% for front and to 85% for the rear if needed. The adaptive suspension system is 20 mm lower than standard A6 and can lower the vehicle further 10 mm during the high-speed driving or can raise the ride 20 mm at low speed. The Drive Select function gains configurable RS1 and RS2 modes, which are activated by an ‘RS mode’ button positioned on the steering wheel. As well as adjusting the engine and handling responses, they also enable bespoke information on the Virtual Cockpit system.
Under the new Euro-7 emissions law, Chairman of the Management Board of Audi, Herbert Diess recently said "The RS range set will be the biggest change in the production line since 2004. The new RS range will be the most economical, low emission with the RS6 and Q8 will both have electric hybrid engines to reduce the current emission by 27%." The new Electric range will begin production in the Audi Sport GmbH Neckarsulm factory in Germany. The new RS range is set to be in Australia and is said to have a three-cylinder hybrid plug-in, also currently being taken on by Mercedes Benz in order to comply with the new Euro-7 emission law.
The C8 RS 6 Avant will also be sold in North America, the first time than an RS 6 was offered there since the C5-based RS 6. It will be sold alongside the RS 7 Sportback and RS Q8 whom share the same powertrain.
C8 RS6 Avant "RS Tribute edition"
RS Tribute Edition (front)
The RS2 Avant kicked off the success story of the Audi high-performance models that continues to this day. The 2021 RS 6 Avant "RS Tribute edition" honors and pays tribute to the foundation the RS2 Avant established. These 25 year anniversary tributes were only available in North America and limited to 25 examples. They are different from the European tributes in how they were all optioned.
Exterior Highlights include Nogaro Blue pearl effect exterior paint with body-colored mirrors, black optic roof rails, front grills, spoiler, side trim, and rear diffuser, red brake calipers, 22" silver cast-aluminum wheels, and an RS sport exhaust with black tips. Interior Highlights include carbon twill structure inlays, Audi Exclusive Valcona S sport seats, lower seat panels, leather interior elements, and RS floor mats all with Denim Blue contrast stitch, and an Audi Exclusive steering wheel with Denim Blue contrast stitching.
In addition, the vehicles were equipped with a Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System package, the Executive package, and the Driver Assistance package.
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- ^Bosch Automotive Technology Manifold injection: Method of operation
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- ^ abBosch Automotive Technology Electronic Stability Programme ESP
- ^Bosch Automotive Technology Antilock Braking System ABS
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- ^Bosch Automotive Technology Variable valve timing direct gasoline injection
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- ^Justin T. Westbrook (20 August 2019). "The 591 HP 2020 Audi RS6 Avant Is Coming To America (Updated)". Jalopnik.
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2003 Audi RS6 Road Test
A worthy match for the M5 and E55 AMGAudi A6 Full Overview
Audi says its 450-hp RS6 is top-speed-governed at 255 kph. Why, then, did the speedo on the example we drove read a solid 280 (about 174 mph)? It's not hard to understand: The cars from Ingolstadt, even in their most ferocious form, tend toward elegant understatement.Based on the 4.2L V-8-powered A6, the RS6 is intended to go beyond the performance levels set by the S models currently sold here. Each RS6 will be handbuilt by the company's quattro GmbH performance subsidiary. Just 860 units will find their way to the U.S. before Audi remodels the A6 a few years hence.
The RS6's epicenter is a twin-turbocharged and intercooled 4.2L all-alloy V-8 that belts out the aforementioned 450 hp in U.S. trim. The torque curve is Texas-wide and flat: 415 lb-ft, constant from 1950 to 5600 revs. The only trans offered is a five-speed Tiptronic automatic, programmed for quicker, firmer shifts, and managed via steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Hardware upgrades continue in the form of huge vented disc brakes (eight-piston calipers up front!), a handling-oriented suspension, an innovative Dynamic Damping Control, and all-wheel drive, of course. You'll recognize the RS6 via its aggressive front and rear fascias, satin alloy trim, bulging wheel arches, and handsome 18-in. rolling stock. Nappa leather-trimmed AudiSport seats and a choice of wood or carbon-fiber trim highlight a comfortable, feature-packed cabin.
Though docile when driven moderately, this Maximum-Strength Audi is a serious performer when prodded. Strange as this may sound, its acceleration feels supple yet brutal at the same time. The Tip trans works great, too, responding quickly to paddle commands with no slop between shifts. Some might think the steering too heavy, but it's very direct, with great feel. The brakes require more-than-expected pedal effort, though serve up tons of stopping power with minimal dive. Ride quality is well polished for such a bahnfire, with excellent high-speed stability. Impressive.
Mercedes is rolling out a new E55 AMG that will pack nearly 500 hp, and we hear the next M5 could get a V-10. So this hyper-performance sport sedan thing is only going to get more interesting.
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