The all-new Audi RS 6 Avant has been unveiled — and it needs just 3.9 seconds to dispel any doubt about its downsized V8 TFSI engine.
The latest RS 6 Avant will outrun its mighty V10-powered predecessor with an exceptional sub-four-second 0-100km/h sprint time.
The super-Avant will make use of a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 TFSI engine to replace the 5.0-litre twin-turbo V10 TFSI. Peak output of 412kW in the new engine is reached between 5700 and 6700rpm, with a constant 700Nm of torque available between 1750 and 5500rpm.
Two large twin-scroll turbochargers enable the RS 6 Avant to gather momentum with remarkable intensity. They are mounted together with the intercooler in the inside V of the cylinder banks. The exhaust side of the cylinder heads is also on the inside, while the intake side is on the outside. This concept allows for a compact design and short gas paths with minimal flow losses.
The RS-specific engine management and unthrottled intake system also contribute to the eight-cylinder engine's dramatic response, which is delivered to the tune of a classic V8 soundtrack. Switchable flaps in the exhaust system will make the sound even louder at the touch of a button, and a sports exhaust system will be available as an option to provide even greater amplification if required.
After catapulting to 100km/h from rest in a best-in-class 3.9 seconds, the RS 6 Avant in its standard form will be capable of continuing to an electronically limited 250km/h top speed. It will be possible to increase this top speed to 280km/h by specifying the optional Dynamic package, and to go a step further still with the Dynamic plus package, which curbs acceleration only when the vehicle reaches 305km/h.
Despite straying even further into the realms of the supercar, the latest RS 6 Avant nevertheless manages to register a fuel economy improvement of approximately 40 percent, thanks partly to an engine start-stop system and innovative thermal management technology, but primarily to the new engine's cylinder on demand (COD) system. At low to intermediate loads and engine speeds, it shuts down the intake and exhaust valves of cylinders two, three, five and eight. The 4.0-litre TFSI then runs as a four-cylinder engine until the driver accelerates more forcibly again. Efficiency in the active cylinders is increased because the operating points are displaced toward higher loads.
The switch between four and eight-cylinder operation takes just a few hundredths of a second, and the only real indication to the driver that it is taking place is a visual signal within the instrument cluster. The COD technology reduces ECE fuel consumption by roughly five percent. Even greater savings of approximately 10 percent are possible when driving at moderate speeds. Active engine mounts use out-of-phase counter-oscillations to compensate for the vibrations that occur during four-cylinder operation.
The 4.0-litre TFSI is paired with an eight-speed tiptronic transmission featuring shortened shift times and offering "Sport" and "Manual" modes in addition to the standard "Drive" setting. To shift for themselves, drivers can use the paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever, which is of a unique RS design. The lower gears of the tiptronic are tightly spaced for optimum performance, while a tall eighth gear reduces fuel consumption.
At the heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring is a self-locking centre differential with an elevated locking value. A sport differential is also active on the rear axle to distribute power steplessly between the rear wheels for even greater agility and stability.
The new RS 6 Avant will be the first Audi RS model to feature adaptive air suspension. The specially tuned set-up lowers the body by 20 millimetres, and incorporates controlled damping which takes into account road conditions, driving style and the mode chosen in the standard Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, with which the driver can influence the function of key components in multiple steps.
The body plays a major role in the handling. It comprises roughly 20 percent aluminium, and a sizeable proportion of components made from high-strength steel. Through the more intensive use of lightweight materials Audi engineers have been able to reduce the weight of the new Audi RS 6 Avant by approximately 100kg compared with its predecessor. This obviously has a positive effect on the power-to-weight ratio, which in turn enhances performance, efficiency and overall agility.